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NY K87413

July 14, 2004

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:N3:TA-359: K87413


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2075; 9819.11.12

Ms. Janice Sarmiento
McNaughton Apparel Group Inc.
498 Seventh Avenue, 9th Flr.
New York, New York 10018

RE: The tariff classification; the status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the country of origin of women’s knitwear from Lesotho.

Dear Ms. Sarmiento:

In your letter dated July 1, 2004, you requested a ruling on the tariff classification, the status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the country of origin for an item of women’s knitted wearing apparel. The sample that you submitted is returned, as you requested.

Style P80248 is a woman’s knitted pullover that consists of 60% cotton, 40% polyester fibers. The pullover features a crew neck with a keyhole opening and a plastic buckle that is permanently inserted into the capped neckband; short sleeves that are capped with trim fabric; and a hemmed bottom. The knit fabric of the pullover has more than nine stitches per two centimeters, measured in the direction in which the stitches were formed. The garment extends from the wearer’s neck and shoulders to below her waist.

You have stated that the nylon buckle is manufactured in Taiwan and that the knit fabric and trim fabric are knit in Taiwan. The fabric, buckle and trim fabric are shipped to Lesotho. In Lesotho, the fabric is cut into component pieces and the garment is fully assembled in Lesotho. It is then shipped to the United States.

The applicable subheading for the pullover, Style P80248, will be 6110.20.2075, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for sweaters, pullovers --- and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: of cotton other: other: other: women’s. The general duty rate will be 16.5% ad valorem.

The pullover, Style P80248, falls within textile category designation 339. Based upon international textile trade agreements this product of Lesotho is neither subject to quota nor to the requirement of a visa.

The provisions implementing the textile sections of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) are contained in Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTS. Apparel articles wholly assembled in a sub-Saharan African lesser-developed beneficiary country (LDC) and directly imported into the United States are entitled to duty free status, subject to certain restrictions. Such articles are entered under subheading 9819.11.12, which provides for

Apparel articles wholly assembled, or knit to shape and wholly assembled, or both, in one or more lesser developed countries enumerated in U.S. Note 2(d) to this subchapter, and subject to the provisions of U.S. Note 2 to this subchapter, regardless of the country of origin of the fabric or the yarn used to make such articles, if entered during the period beginning on the date announced in a Federal Register Notice issued by the United States Trade Representative and continuing through September 30, 2004, inclusive.

U.S. Note 2(d), Subchapter XIX, HTS, lists the Kingdom of Lesotho as qualifying for designation as lesser-developed sub-Saharan African beneficiary countries. Duty free status is granted to apparel articles wholly assembled in one or more lesser developed beneficiary countries regardless of the country of origin of the fabric used to make those articles. Further, eligibility for such status requires that the apparel article be “wholly assembled in” the lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African country “. The term “wholly assembled” means that “all of the components of the textile or apparel article (including thread, decorative embellishments, buttons, zippers or similar components) were joined together in one or more lesser developed beneficiary country.” (Customs Regulations, C.R., Section 10.212).

U.S. Note 3(a), Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTS, states that

An article otherwise eligible for preferential treatment under any provision of this subchapter shall not be ineligible for such treatment because the article contains
(i) findings or trimmings of foreign origin, if the value of such articles does not exceed 25 percent of the cost of the components of the assembled article.

The nylon buckle qualifies as a finding or trimming.

Based on the information that you supplied, and provided that all statutory requirements are met, including the requirement that the value of the foreign-origin nylon buckle does not exceed 25 percent of the total cost of the garment, the pullover, Style P80248, is eligible for duty-free status under the AGOA.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, which is available at our Web site at www.cbp.gov. In addition, 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 and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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 Camille R. Ferraro at 646-733-3049.


Robert B. Swierupski

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