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NY J87380

August 6, 2003

CLA2-RR:NC:3:353 J87380


Mr. Mike Daly
Livingston International Trade Services
100 Walnut Street
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for used goods

Dear Mr. Owens:

This is in reply to your letter dated July 10, 2003, on behalf of The Owens Group Inc., requesting a classification and country of origin determination for used goods, which will be imported into the United States.

The subject merchandise consists of used goods. The used goods are in unclaimed airline baggage from overseas. The baggage is checked by airline employees to remove perishables, for contraband, hazardous materials and high value items. The baggage is then inventoried and held by the airline for at least 90 days. After 90 days, any remaining unclaimed baggage is sold by the airline at contract rate to the Owens Group. The goods are imported and transported to its facility in Alabama. There are four main classes of merchandise in the baggage: used luggage, worn apparel, worn footwear and toiletries. Salvaged/refurbished merchandise will be sold at the Owens retail facility in Alabama or through a web site. Low commercial value and excessively worn items are donated to charity or disposed of properly.

You propose classifying the used merchandise under subheading 6309.00 as “worn clothing and other worn articles” because you believe the goods are imported in a commingled manner, in bulk and are in worn/used condition.

Chapter 63 Notes (a) and (b) state:

Heading 6309 applies only to the following goods:

(a) Articles of textile materials:

(i) Clothing and clothing accessories, and parts thereof;

(ii) Blankets and traveling rugs;

(iii) Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen;

(iv) Furnishings, other than carpets of headings 5701 to 5705 and tapestries of heading 5805.

(b) Footwear and headgear of any material other than asbestos.

In order to be classified in this heading, the articles mentioned above must comply with both of the following requirements:

(i) They must show signs of appreciable wear; and

(ii) They must be entered in bulk or in bales, sacks or similar packings.

Therefore, luggage and toiletries, which are not named in Note 3, are excluded from this subheading.

The wearing apparel and shoes are not imported in bulk, bales, sacks or similar packings, but in luggage. The merchandise is almost certainly does not show signs of appreciable wear. See ruling HQ 960577, dated August 7, 1998 for a detailed explanation of “bulk, bales, sacks or similar packings” and “appreciable wear.”

None of the merchandise in question qualifies for classification under subheading 6309.00. All merchandise must be entered under the appropriate Chapter 1 through 97 subheading.

You further propose that for all the merchandise the country of origin should be considered to be the country where the luggage/baggage is shipped from storage to the United States. You cite ruling HQ 732409, dated September 25, 1989 as a ruling of similar circumstances.

This office notes that ruling HQ 732409 involved used clothing that had entered the commerce of Canada, was bought from Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries stores and similar organizations. In the ruling, it was presumed that the clothing was worn and used in Canada and the imported used clothing could all be marked "Made in Canada". In addition, the importer was the end user of the merchandise and was aware of the circumstances surrounding the importation.

In the instant situation luggage from travelers from all over the world is collected at certain locations. One cannot assume that the merchandise is likely from the country where the luggage was shipped, because the instant situation involves international luggage/baggage, from travelers from various countries. No assumption can be made that the item had ever been worn and used in the country from which the baggage is shipped to the US.

Finally, the end user in this circumstance is the retail purchaser. Retail purchasers have the expectation of being able to ascertain the country of origin of any foreign merchandise that they purchase. There is no provision in the Customs Regulations for an alternative country of origin determination. Each item should be marked with its actual country of origin.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 646-733-3053.


Robert B. Swierupski

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