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NY N010311

May 22, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.50

Mr. Gerald B. Horn
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
551 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10176

RE: The eligibility of wearing apparel for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS.

Dear Mr. Horn:

In your letter dated April 23, 2007, on behalf of Florentine Fashions 2007 USA, Inc., you requested a ruling on whether wearing apparel was eligible for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The imported merchandise consists of wearing apparel imported into the United States by Florentine Fashions 2007 USA, Inc. (Florentine USA), who will pay the appropriate duties upon entry and supply required visas for any merchandise subject to quota. Following importation, Florentine USA will send the wearing apparel to its related parent company in Canada, Florentine Fashions, Inc. (Florentine Canada). The merchandise is being sent to Florentine Canada for the purpose of pressing, inspection and, as needed, minor repairs including the repair or replacement of missing or broken buttons, spot cleaning and bar tacking for additional reinforcement. The wearing apparel will then be returned to Florentine USA for distribution to its customers in the U.S.

You request a determination regarding the eligibility for treatment under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS.

Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, provides a partial or complete duty exemption for articles exported from and returned to the United States after having been advanced in value or improved in condition by repairs or alterations, provided that the documentary requirements of Section 181.64, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 181.64), are satisfied. Section 181.64, C.R., which implements Article 307 of NAFTA, provides that goods returned after having been repaired or altered in Canada may qualify for complete or partial duty free treatment, provided that the requirements of this section are met. However, entitlement to this tariff treatment is precluded in circumstances where the operations performed abroad destroy the identity of the exported articles or create new or commercially different articles through a process of manufacture. Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, treatment is also precluded where the exported articles are incomplete for their intended use and the foreign processing operation is a necessary step in the preparation or manufacture of finished articles.

In this instance, the garments are complete for their intended use as wearing apparel prior to being exported to Canada to undergo pressing, inspection, and, as needed, repair or replacement of missing or broken buttons, spot cleaning and bar tacking. The merchandise in its condition as exported from the United States and as returned from Canada can be marketed and sold to consumers for the same use. The operations performed in Canada do not result in the loss of the good’s identity nor create a new article with a different commercial use. Therefore, the pressing, inspection, repair or replacement of missing or broken buttons, spot cleaning and bar tacking performed in Canada constitute an acceptable alteration within the meaning of subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS. The garments will qualify for the special tariff treatment of that provision, provided that the documentary requirements of 19 C.F.R. § 181.64 are met.

Based on directives issued by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), goods entered under subheading 9802.00.50 are exempt from quota/visa requirements.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 646-733-3053.


Robert B. Swierupski

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