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NY K89488

September 24, 2004

CLA-2-57:RR:NC:TA:349 K89488


TARIFF NO.: 5702.10.9010; 9819.11.27

Mr. G. L. Kabozu
Commissioner: Customs and Excise
Ministry of Finance, Customs and Excise
Fiscus Building, 10 John Meinert Street
Private Bag 13295

RE: The tariff classification and status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for hand woven rugs from Namibia

Dear Mr. Kabozu:

In your letter, Reference Number 10/2/4/2, dated August 30, 2004 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Karakulia Weavers CC of Swakopmund, Namibia.

The submitted sample is a handloomed rug. The rug is hand woven in the kelem style with wool yarns in the weft and cotton yarns in the warp. The warp yarns extend to form a hand knotted fringe. The dyed wool yarns are woven to create a design of two African birds. The rug is predominantly wool. Karakulia Weavers note that the wool is a product of Namibia and is spun and dyed in Namibia. Some yarns are left natural. The cotton yarns are from South Africa or Zimbabwe. The flat woven rugs are handloomed in Namibia.

The applicable subheading for the handloomed rugs will be 5702.10.9010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for carpets and other textile floor coverings, woven, not tufted or flocked, whether or not made up, including “Kelem”, “Schumacks”, “Karamanie” and similar hand-woven rugs: other of wool or fine animal hair. The duty rate is FREE.

The issue of eligibility for duty free status under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was also raised. AGOA permits the entry into the United States of specific textile and apparel articles free of duty. Those countries that are designated as eligible sub-Saharan African countries in U.S. Note 1, Subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTS, and that are the subject of the publication of a notice of eligibility by the United States Trade Representative in the Federal Register, may benefit from this program. In addition, the goods must be imported directly into the customs territory of the United States. The country of Namibia is included in the specified tariff note.

Handloomed fabrics and textile articles meeting the description in subheading 9819.11.27, HTS, are eligible for preferential treatment under the AGOA. This subheading provides for handloomed, handmade or folklore textile and apparel goods, under the provisions of U.S. note 4 to this subchapter. U.S. note 4 to subchapter XIX, Chapter 98, HTSUS, reads as follows: “For purposes of subheading 9819.11.27, goods entered under this provision must be certified, by a competent authority of a designated beneficiary country enumerated in U.S. note 1 to this subchapter, as eligible products of such country, in accordance with any requirements established by the appropriate U.S. government authority.“ Moreover, the AGOA legislation mandates the President consult with representatives of the AGOA beneficiary countries concerned for the purpose of identifying particular textile and apparel goods that are mutually agreed upon as being handloomed, handmade or folklore goods. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), pursuant to sections 112(a) of the AGOA, has determined, that handloomed fabrics, handloomed articles (e.g. handloomed rugs, scarves, placemats, and tablecloths) and handmade articles made from handloomed fabrics, qualify for preferential treatment under the AGOA. Imports of eligible products from Namibia with appropriate visas will qualify for duty-free treatment.

Based on the sample and the information supplied, and provided that all statutory requirements are met, the handloomed rug would be eligible for duty free treatment under subheading 9819.11.27, HTS. The submitted rug is free of duty under both the general classification and AGOA.

The rug falls within textile category designation 465. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Namibia are not subject to textile restraints.

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 John Hansen at 646-733-3043.


Robert B. Swierupski

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