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NY J88996

October 31, 2003

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:WA:361 NY J88996


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.50

Mr. Steven Zisser
Zisser Customs Law Group
2297 Niels Bohr Court, Suite 114
San Diego, CA 92154

RE: Eligibility under 9802.00.50, HTS for various garments that have been exported for screen printing and soldering

Dear Mr. Zisser:

In your letter dated October 2, 2003, on behalf of Giant Merchandising, you requested a ruling on the eligibility for reduced duty status under 9802.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States(HTS) for two processes: soldering and screen printing. You submitted several samples of each process, showing the garments before and after the embellishments are added.

You have indicated that non-NAFTA foreign garments will be sent to Mexico where they will be either soldered or screen-printed. In Mexico, they will be embellished with a variety of generic or licensed designs. The embellished articles will be re-imported into the United States.

You have described the two processes as follows: Screen printing applies a design directly on the garment using ink; Soldering applies the design directly on the article using a combination of plastic resins and other materials.

Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, provides for a full or partial duty exemption for articles that are returned to the United States after having been exported to be advanced in value or improved in condition by means of repairs or alterations, provided that the appropriate documentary requirements of 19 CFR 181.64 are met. Section 181.64(a) states, in part: For purposes of this section, “repairs or alterations” means restoration, addition, renovation, redyeing, cleaning, resterilizing, or other treatment which does not destroy the essential characteristics of, or create a new or commercially different good from, the good exported from the United States.

In the Customs Bulletin of October 4, 2000, several rulings were revoked or modified to reflect a change in the manner in which Customs treated decoration or embellishment of articles. It was determined that decoration of articles was an acceptable alteration, and did not result in a new or different good.

This office believes that both the screen-printing and the soldering operations that occur in Mexico qualify as acceptable operations under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS. The garments in condition as exported and returned to the United States have the same use when sold to consumers. The operations in Mexico do not result in the loss of the good’s identity. Neither do they create a new article with a new and different commercial use. Therefore, the operations that occur in Mexico constitute an acceptable alteration within the meaning of 9802.00.50, HTSUS, and the garments qualify for the special tariff treatment of that provision.

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 Angela De Gaetano at 646-733-3052.


Robert B. Swierupski

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