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NY L88308

November 18, 2005

MAR-2 RR:NC:3:350 L88308


Stephen S. Spraitzar
Law Office of George R. Tuttle
Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 1160
San Francisco, CA 94111


Dear Mr. Tuttle:

This is in response to your letter dated October 13, 2005, on behalf of your client G.L. Bowron & Co., Ltd., requesting a ruling on the classification and country of origin marking for the “Longwool 4-Piece Rug Star Grade in Ivory” (Model LWWQRT IVORY), (“4-piece rug”). Two samples were submitted with your letter.

The finished rug being imported into the United States will consist of four finished sheepskins that are sewn together in China, Vietnam, or other country. The two samples that were submitted for review were a single finished sheepskin used in the construction of the 4-piece rug and a completed Longwool 4-piece rug.

In your ruling request submission, you provided a summary of both the operations performed in New Zealand as well as the assembly process to be performed in China, Vietnam, or other country. The following is a brief summary of the information provided:

Raw sheepskins are procured in New Zealand and Australia. These raw sheepskins are temporarily preserved, soaked/scoured, and fleshed. The sheepskins are then tanned. The tanning occurs entirely in New Zealand. The tanned sheepskins are then dried, sorted, bleached/dyed, dried again, finished and baled. The tanned sheepskins will be shipped to China, Vietnam, or other country. The tanned sheepskins will be trimmed to make the edges straighter – not exactly straight but rather attempting to maintain the natural shape of the sheepskin. These trimmed tanned sheepskins will then be sewn together. To prevent any gaps from appearing, a small patch of fur may be sewn into a hole where the armpit of the sheep was located.

The applicable subheading for the Longwool 4-Piece Rug will be 4303.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Articles of apparel, clothing accessories and other articles of furskin: Other.” The rate of duty will be Free.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. §134.1(b)), defines country of origin as “The country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the ‘country of origin’ within the meaning of this part.”

The tanning of the raw sheepskins in New Zealand constitutes a substantial transformation of the raw sheepskins into a new and different article, the finished tanned sheepskin, having a new name, character and use. The trimming and sewing operations described in your submission, to be performed in China, Vietnam, or other country, do not constitute a substantial transformation. Therefore, New Zealand is the country of origin of the “Longwool 4-Piece Rug.”

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 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 Deborah Walsh at (646) 733-3044.


Robert B. Swierupski

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