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NY K82799

February 18, 2004

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:WA:355 K82799


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2025

Mr. Eugene Cheng
The Apparel Group, Ltd.
5080 Spectrum Drive, Suite 800 East
Addison, TX 75001

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of a man’s shirt and tie set from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. Cheng:

In your letter dated January 19, 2004, you requested a ruling on the status of a man’s shirt and tie set from Mexico under the NAFTA.

You submitted a sample of a man’s shirt and tie, presented in a gift box. The shirt is made of 55% cotton, 45% polyester woven fabric in a solid color. It is sized numerically. The garment features a pointed collar, a left over right front opening secured with seven buttons, long sleeves with buttoned plackets and buttoned cuffs, and a curved hemmed bottom. The tie, according to the information you supplied, is made of a woven silk shell with man-made lining and interlining. You state that the percentage by weight of the silk shell is 42 percent and the polyester lining and interlining comprise 58% of the overall weight of the tie.

The shirt and tie are imported and sold together in a paperboard and acetate presentation box. The are intended to be sold as a unit.

You state that the tie is made entirely in China. The tie is then shipped to Mexico where it is packaged with the shirt. The shirt is classifiable under heading 6205; the tie is classifiable under heading 6215.

GRI 3 provides for goods that are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings. GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

The shirt and tie are considered a set for purposes of classification, with the essential character being imparted by the shirt.

The applicable tariff provision for the shirt and tie set will be 6205.20.2025, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for men’s or boys’ shirts: Of cotton: Other: Dress: Other: Men’s. The general rate of duty will be 19.7% ad valorem.

In determining if the shirt is eligible for NAFTA treatment reference is made to General Note 12(t)(30) which states in part:

“A change to subheading 6205.20 through 6205.30 from any other chapter, except from headings 5106 through 5113, 5204 through 5212, provided that the good is both cut and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the NAFTA parties.”

Subheading rule ( c ) to Gn12(t)(30) states:

“Men’s or boys’ shirts of cotton (subheading 6205.20) or of man-made fibers (subheading 6205.30) shall be considered to originate if they are both cut and assembled in the territory of one or more of the parties and if the fabric of the outer shell, exclusive of collars or cuffs, is wholly of one or more of the following: ( c ) Fabrics of subheadings 5210.21 or 5210.31, not of square construction, containing more than 70 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 70 metric.”

You have stated that the non-originating fabric, woven in Malaysia, is of heading 5210.31. We assume that you intend it meets all of the construction requirements outlined in the above note. If it has, then the fabric satisfies the requirements for NAFTA. The shirt is cut and assembled in Mexico, a NAFTA territory and meets all the requirements for eligibility. The non-originating material used to make the shirt has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/30. The shirt set will be entitled to a FREE rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

The fact that the tie was merely packaged in the same set as the shirt does not disqualify the set from being considered an originating good. In Headquarters letter 561326, dated April 26, 1999, Customs explained that there is no language in General Note 12, HTSUSA, which would disqualify a good from obtaining originating status by virtue of merely having undergone simple packaging or combining operations. Thus, as in the case of the tie, non-originating items may undergo the requisite tariff shift under General Note 12, HTSUSA, when packaged in Mexico with NAFTA originating items. In your letter you specifically inquire as to the proper marking for the set. Since it has been determined that the items in the set are originating for purposes of the NAFTA preference rule applicable to the set, it is Customs belief that Section 102.19(a) operates as an override for all the items in a set and all the items are entitled to be marked “Mexico”. (Headquarters letters 559421, dated September 16, 1996, 560577 dated August 4, 1997; 560546 dated September 26, 1997; and 560992, dated July 6, 1998 noted.) The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has directed Customs to apply applicable quota and visa requirements to textiles and textile products which are classified as components of a set. See 54 Fed. Reg. 35223 (August 24, 1989) clarifying 53 Fed. Reg. 52765 (December 29, 1988). CITA recently reconfirmed the previous directive concerning the applicability of visa requirements and quota reporting of textiles and textile products entered as parts of sets under GRI 3 of the HTSUSA. See 67 Fed. Reg. 12977 (March 20, 2002). The directive states in pertinent part: “all applicable visa and quota requirements will apply for textiles and their products which are classified as parts of a set. The rule applies to all items, which, if imported separately, would have required a visa and the reporting of a quota.” If the tie had been imported separately, it would have been classified under HTSUSA 6215.10.0025, with a corresponding textile category of 659. It would not have received benefit of the NAFTA override. Thus, the country of origin of the tie for duty and marking purposes is Mexico, but the country of origin for quota/visa purposes is China.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181)..

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

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

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