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NY J86692

July 14, 2003

CLA-2-94:RR:NC:SP:233 J86692


TARIFF NO.: 9401.90.5020

Mr. Bruce Schiller
Exel Global Logistics Inc.
10205 N.W. 19th Street, Suite 101
Miami, FL 33172

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin marking of textile sofa parts from the Dominican Republic.

Dear Mr. Schiller:

In your letter dated July 8, 2003, on behalf of Reed Manufacturing Company, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling.

The merchandise to be imported consists of textile sofa parts. A factory in the Dominican Republic will receive 100% woven denim fabric on a continuous roll approximately 68” wide. Prior to importation into the Dominican Republic, the fabric will have been woven and finished in China in a manner typical of denim fabric. In the Dominican Republic, the fabric will be cut into various special shaped pieces and subject to assembly by sewing in accordance with the specifications provided in Exhibit 1. As a result of these operations, 25 different parts are produced. Upon completion of the cutting and sewing operations needed to produce the 25 different pieces, the various pieces will be subject to a wet laundering operation in order to impart a faded appearance to the pieces.

After importation into the United States, these pieces are further manufactured to form the complete textile covering that is applied to a wooden frame, in conjunction with various stuffings and pillow forms, in order to create a finished sofa. Most of the pieces, with the exception of the parts identified as “cushions”, will be permanently fitted directly to the sofa frame, unlike a slipcover. You have submitted the specifications for all of the pieces as well as various photographs showing many of the individual pieces that will be imported as part of the complete set.

In their imported condition, the textile parts are dedicated as sofa parts and are identifiable furniture parts.

The applicable subheading for the textile sofa parts will be 9401.90.5020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Seats (Other than those of heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: Parts: Other: Other, Of textile material, cut to shape.” The rate of duty will be free.

You have requested a ruling on whether the imported textile sofa parts are required to be individually marked with the country of origin if they are later to be processed in the U.S. by a U.S. manufacturer. A marked sample was not submitted with your letter for review.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304. Section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d)(1) states that if an imported article will be used in manufacture, the manufacturer may be the ultimate purchaser if he subjects the imported article to a process which results in a substantial transformation of the article. The case of U.S. v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., Inc., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (C.A.D. 98) (1940), provides that an article used in manufacture which results in an article having a name, character or use differing from that of the constituent article will be considered substantially transformed and that the manufacturer or processor will be considered the ultimate purchaser of the constituent materials. In such circumstances, the imported article is excepted from marking and only the outermost container is required to be marked. See, 19 CFR 134.35.

In this case, the imported textile sofa parts are substantially transformed as a result of the U.S. processing, and therefore the U.S. manufacturer is the ultimate purchaser of the imported textile sofa parts and under 19 CFR 134.35 only the containers (outer bags) which reach the ultimate purchaser are required to be marked with the country of origin "Dominican Republic". The country of origin of the denim (China) has no bearing on the marking since the fabric will have been substantially transformed in the Dominican Republic.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Lawrence Mushinske at 646-733-3036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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