United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 NY Rulings > NY K80179 - NY K80222 > NY K80196

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY K80196

November 6, 2003

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:WA:355 K80196


Mr. Michael Lee
Lee & Huang Associates
2330 Mountain Brook Drive
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for men’s woven pants and shorts; United States – Israel Free Trade Agreement; 19 CFR Section 12.130; 19 CFR Section 102.21; General Note 8, HTS

Dear Mr. Lee:

In your letter dated October 27, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling and a country of origin determination for garments that will be imported into the United States on behalf of your client, Delta Global Manufacturing, Inc. The samples submitted with your request will be returned as you have requested.


Style DGM 102103 is a pair of men’s 100% cotton woven shorts. The garment features pleated front panels, two side pockets, two back welt pockets with button closures, a zippered front fly, seven belt loops, a buttoned waistband and hemmed leg openings.

Style DGM102203 is a pair of men’s 100% cotton woven pants. The garment features plain front panels, two side slash pockets, two back welt pockets with button closures, a zippered front fly, six belt loops, a cargo pocket with a flap located over each side seam, a buttoned waistband and hemmed leg openings.

Style DGM102403 is a pair of men’s 100% cotton woven “zip-off” pants. The garment features plain front panels, two side slant pockets, two back pockets with flaps and hook and loop fabric tape closures, a zippered front fly, six belt loops, a buttoned waistband, cargo pockets on each side seam directly beneath the side pockets, (these pockets have flaps with hook and loop fabric tape closures), and hemmed leg openings. There is a zipper running the entire circumference of each pant leg directly below the cargo pockets which can zip off to form shorts.

In your letter you state that in addition to these three garments, there are pants identical to style DGM102103 shorts and shorts identical to style DGM102203 pants. No style numbers were given for these variant garments. Additionally, you refer to all these styles as pull on pants and shorts, when, in fact, they are not considered pull-on in the trade as they all have front zippers. However, since no samples were submitted of the variant garments, they could, in fact, be true pull on garments. For this reason we will not issue classification or origin advice on styles for which neither style numbers nor samples were submitted.

Fabric for each of the garments will be produced in countries such as China, Taiwan or Turkey and then shipped to Israel. All cutting of the components of the garments will take place in Israel. The components will then be shipped to China (or to another country) for sewing into finished garments. The finished garments will undergo finishing processes in the same country where the garments are sewed. The finished garments will then be shipped directly to the United States from the country where they were sewn. Each garment will be marked “Made in Israel”.


What are the classification and country of origin of the garments?


The applicable subheading for the pants, styles DGM102203 and DGM102403 will be 6203.42.4015, HTS, which provides for men’s or boys’ trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, of cotton, other, trousers and breeches, men’s, other. The general rate of duty is 16.7% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the shorts, style DGM102103 will be 6203.42.4050, HTS, which provides for men’s or boys’ trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, of cotton, other, shorts, men’s. The general rate of duty is 16.7% ad valorem.

The textile category designation for all the styles of shorts and pants is textile category designation 347.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. §3592) provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.


You have stated that the woven fabric is cut into garment parts in Israel. Section 334(b)(5) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act provides that:

This section shall not affect, for the purposes of the customs laws and administration of quantitative restrictions, the status of goods that, under rulings and administrative practices in effect immediately before the enactment of this Act, would have originated in, or been the growth, product, or manufacture of, a country that is party to an agreement with the United States establishing a free trade area, which entered into force before January 1, 1987. For such purposes, such rulings and administrative practices that were applied, immediately before the enactment of this Act, to determine the origin of textile and apparel products covered by such agreement shall continue to apply after the enactment of this Act, and on and after the effective date described in subsection (c), unless such rulings and practices are modified by the mutual consent of the parties to the agreement.

Israel is the only country which qualifies under the terms of Section 334(b)(5). As the Section 334 rules of origin for textiles and apparel products do not apply to Israel, we refer to the 19 C.F.R. §12.130 rules of origin, the rules of origin applicable to textiles and textile products before the enactment of Section 334. Section 334(b)(5) makes clear that if country of origin was conferred in Israel under Section 12.130, Israel will now be accorded the same treatment. This interpretation of Section 334(b)(5) was confirmed in a Notice of a general statement of policy, Treasury Decision 96-58, appearing in the Federal Register, Vol. 61, No. 148, dated July 31, 1996.

Accordingly, pursuant to Section 12.130(b), the standard of substantial transformation governs the country of origin determination where textile and textile products are processed in more than one country. The country of origin of textile products is deemed to be that foreign territory or country where the article last underwent a substantial transformation. Substantial transformation occurs when an article is transformed into a new and different article of commerce by means of substantial manufacturing or processing.

Section 12.130(d) sets forth criteria for determining whether a substantial transformation of a textile product has taken place. These criteria are not exhaustive; one or any combination of criteria may be determinative, and additional factors may be considered.

Section 12.130(d)(1) states that a new and different article of commerce will usually result from a manufacturing or processing operation if there is a change in: (i) Commercial designation or identity,
(ii) Fundamental character, or
(iii) Commercial use.

Section 12.130(d)(2) states that for determining whether the merchandise has been subjected to substantial manufacturing or processing operations, the following will be considered: (i) The physical change in the material or article; (ii) The time involved in the manufacturing or processing; (iii) The complexity of the manufacturing or processing; (iv) The level or degree of skill and/or technology required in the manufacturing or processing operations; (v) The value added to the article or material.

Section 12.130(e)(1) states, in pertinent part, that an article will usually be a product of a particular country when it has undergone in that country: (iv) Cutting of the fabric into parts and the assembly of these parts into the completed article; or (v) Substantial assembly by sewing and/or tailoring of all cut pieces of apparel articles which were cut from the fabric in another country into a component garment. (e.g., the complete assembly and tailoring of all cut pieces of a suit-type jacket, suit or a shirt).

It is the consistently held position of Customs that the cutting of fabric into garment parts is a substantial transformation of the fabric and that those garment parts become the product of the country in which they are cut. It is also the consistently held position of Customs that when garment parts are cut in one country but the garment in assembled in another country, unless the assembly operation is a substantial assembly such as that referred to in Section 12.130(e)(1)(v), the country or origin remains the country in which the garment parts are cut. See, for example, HRL 088235 dated March 15, 1991, and the rulings that are cited in that ruling.

In this case, since the fabric is cut into garment parts in Israel, Israel is the country of origin for all styles of the imported apparel. This is because in Israel the woven fabric is substantially transformed into garment parts that are designated for particular articles of apparel, thereby creating a new and different article of commerce. The mere assembly of goods on the other hand, is not enough to substantially transform the components of an article into a new and different article of commerce.


Under General Note 8, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), products of Israel are eligible, when imported into the United States, for the "special" duty rate set forth in the tariff schedule only if each article is imported directly from Israel into the customs territory of the United States (General Note 8(b)(ii)). Since the garments which are the subject of this ruling are shipped from Israel to China or another country for final assembly of their component parts into finished garments, the garments do not qualify for the "special" duty rate.


The country of origin of the garments is Israel. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Israel are not subject to quota nor the requirement of a visa. The garments are not eligible for the “special” duty rate as they are not imported directly from Israel.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 C.F.R. §177.9(b)(1). This sections states that a ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

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 C.F.R. §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 C.F.R. §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 Camille R. Ferraro at 646-733-3046.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: