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HQ 967327

December 10, 2004

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 967327 TMF


TARIFF NO.: 6105.10.0010

Eric Flicker, President
Onwel California, Inc.
1143 East Janis Street
Carson, California 90746

RE: Country of Origin of Men’s Cotton Jersey Knit Polo Shirt; Customs Regulations 102.21(c)(4)

Dear Mr. Flicker:

This is in response to your letter of July 29, 2004, in which your company requested a binding ruling on the classification of a man’s jersey knitted polo shirt under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (hereinafter referred to as “HTSUSA”), and a country of origin determination under §334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Your request and three samples of the subject garment at various stages of production were submitted to our office.


The subject shirt, identified as style 1M20W016, is a men’s polo shirt constructed from 100 percent cotton, jersey knit fabric that measures 12 stitches per linear centimeter counted in the horizontal direction and 16 stitches per linear centimeter in the vertical direction. The garment has a rib knit spread collar with a woven collar band, a partial front opening with a two button left over right closure, short sleeves with rib knit cuffs, a woven triangular sweat patch at the rear neckline, and a straight hemmed bottom with side slits and a tail.

You submit that the instant shirt will be manufactured in accordance with a similar production process of a woman’s knitted, hooded sweatshirt, as outlined in New York Ruling Letter (NY) K85250, dated June 14, 2004. However, we note that the instant garment is a shirt that has a collar and not a hood.

The manufacturing operations, as stated by you, are as follows:


The fabric is cut to shape
The interlining is fused to the placket
The placket is sewn to the front panel
The main label and country of origin labels are sewn to the sweat patch The triangular sweat patch is sewn to the rear panel The collar is formed by joining the knit collar and the woven collar band The brand “loop” label is sewn to the collar band The rib knit cuffs are attached to the sleeve components The side seams are sewn at the bottom and the side slits are formed The bottom of the front and back panels are hemmed

Hong Kong:

The shoulder seams are sewn closed
The sleeves are attached at the armholes
The underarm seams are sewn
The remainder of the side seams is sewn


The collar is attached
The buttonholes are formed and the buttons are attached The garment is inspected, ironed, folded and packed into cartons

Hong Kong

The cartons are exported to the United States

ISSUE: What is the classification and country of origin of the subject men’s jersey knit, polo shirt?


Section 334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592), enacted on December 8, 1994, provided rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. Section 102.21, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 102.21), published September 5, 1995, in the Federal Register, implements Section 334 (60 Fed. Reg. 46188). Section 334 of the URAA was amended by section 405 of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, enacted on May 18, 2000, and accordingly, section 102.21 was amended (68 Fed. Reg. 8711). Thus, 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.

Paragraph (c)(1) states:

The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced.

You have stated that the manufacturing process of the subject shirt is performed in both Hong Kong and in China. In this instance, the shirt is not “wholly obtained or produced” as provided in Section 102.21(c)(1) as it is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country. Therefore, we must consider paragraph (c)(2), which states:

Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each foreign material incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section.

Paragraph (e) states, in relevant part, (1) "The following rules will apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section."

We have determined that the subject shirt is classifiable in subheading 6105.10.0010 HTSUSA, which provides for “Men’s or boy’s shirts, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: men’s.”

Paragraph (e), Section 102.21, in pertinent part, states:

HTSUS Tariff shift and/or other requirements

(1) If the good is not knit to shape and consists of two or more component parts, except for goods of subheading 6117.10 provided for in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, a change to an assembled good of heading 6101 through 6117 from unassembled components, provided that the change is the result of the good being wholly assembled in a single country, territory or insular possession.

Section 102.21(b)(6) defines wholly assembled as:

The term "wholly assembled" when used with reference to a good means that all components, of which there must be at least two, preexisted in essentially the same condition as found in the finished good and were combined to form the finished good in a single country, territory, or insular possession. Minor attachments and minor embellishments (for example, appliqués, beads, spangles, embroidery, buttons) not appreciably affecting the identity of the good, and minor subassemblies (for example, collars, cuffs, plackets, pockets), will not affect the status of a good as "wholly assembled" in a single country, territory, or insular possession.

In this case, the subject shirt is composed of two or more components parts and is partially assembled in both Hong Kong and China. Due to this partial assembly in both Hong Kong and China, the subject shirt is not “wholly assembled” in a single country, insular possession, or territory as required by Section 102.21(c)(2). Therefore, Section 102.21(c)(2) is not applicable to the shirt, as it is not wholly assembled in a single country.

Section 102.21(c)(3) provides for goods that have been wholly assembled (with certain enumerated exceptions) in a single country, insular possession, or territory or which are knit to shape. As the subject shirt is not wholly assembled, Section 102.21(c)(3) does not apply.

We go to Section 102.21(c)(4), which provides the first multi-country rule. It states the following:

Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1), (2) or (3) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurred [emphasis added].

In the instant case, we find the most important assembly process is when the shoulder seams are sewn closed, the sleeves are attached to the armholes, and the underarm and side seams are sewn closed in one continuous seam. We note that although there is partial sewing of the side seams in China, this is a minor attachment consisting of an extremely small length of the seams. This minor attachment is akin to minor tacking to facilitate the formation of the side slits and hemming of the garment. Therefore, in accordance with Section 102.21(c)(4), we find the most important manufacturing process occurs in Hong Kong. For a similar manufacturing process, see Headquarters Ruling Letter 958930, dated May 28, 1996, in which CBP determined the country of origin of a girls’ cotton knit polo-style shirt was based on the most important assembly process as provided by Section 102.21(c)(4), supra. The manufacturing process of HQ 958930 is similar to the instant proposed production as the assembly process of HQ 958930 involved attaching the collar in one country, and the left and right sleeves in another country. In the instant case, attachment of the subject shirt’s collar occurs in China and the attachment of the sleeves and closure of the shoulder seams, underarm and side seams occurs in Hong Kong.


The subject men’s shirt is classifiable in subheading 6105.10.0010 HTSUSA, which provides for “Men’s or boy’s shirts, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: men’s.” The applicable visa category number is 338 with a duty rate of 19.7 percent ad valorem. The country of origin is Hong Kong.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since 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 you check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, available on the CBP website at www.cbp.gov.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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 section 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 CBP, 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 entered


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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