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NY N014080

July 31, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6203.42.4011; 9802.00.50

Ms. Rachael Goding, Esq.
International Automated Brokers, Inc.
1655 St. Andrews Cove
San Diego, CA 92154-8213

RE: The tariff classification and eligibility for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, for certain men’s woven jeans.

Dear Ms. Goding:

In your letter dated July 3, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of EB Internacional, S.A. de C.V. of Tijuana, Mexico concerning the eligibility for partial duty exemption under 9802.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for certain men’s woven jeans that will be imported into the United States.

You state that men’s blue denim jeans will be manufactured by a company in the United States who will contract with EB Internacional to import the jeans into Mexico, sew leather patches on the jeans, and return them to the United States. You have provided a sample of the jeans as they will be imported into Mexico before application of the leather patches and a sample of the garments as they will be exported to the United States after application of the leather patches. As requested, your samples will be returned.

The submitted sample, Style J502ESKST, is a pair of men’s 100% cotton, blue denim jeans. The jeans have a flat waistband with five belt loops, a fly front opening with a zipper closure, a metal button on the waistband, two front inset pockets, a coin pocket on the right hip, two rear patch pockets, and hemmed leg openings. The leather patches are sewn to the left leg and the right rear pocket. Metallized ornaments have also been sewn to the front pocket openings.

The jeans will be imported under various style numbers which will vary depending upon the different designs of the leather patches. The style numbers are J5022DRAGONST, J502AST, J502CST, J502FST, J502DRAGONC, J502ESKC, J502CC, J502FLC, and J502CD.

The applicable subheading for Style J502ESKST will be 6203.42.4011, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for men’s or boys' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): of cotton: other: other: other: men’s trousers and breeches: blue denim. The duty rate is 16.6% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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 Mexico may qualify for complete or partial duty free treatment, provided that the requirements of this section are met.

19 C.F.R. § 181.64(a) states that “repairs or alterations” means restoration, addition, renovation, redyeing, cleaning, resterilizing, or other treatment which does not destroy the essential characteristics of, or create a new and commercially different good from, the good exported from the United States. 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 prior to being exported to Mexico to undergo the stated operations. As exported from the United States, the garments are finished products in that they are suitable for use as wearing apparel. They are shipped to Mexico solely to have appliqués or other embellishments added before being returned to the United States. The merchandise in its condition as exported from the United States and as returned from Mexico can be marketed and sold to consumers for the same use. The operations performed in Mexico do not result in the loss of the good’s identity nor create a new article with a different commercial use. Therefore, the operations performed in Mexico constitute acceptable repairs and alterations 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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). A copy of this ruling letter 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 this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Mary Ryan at 646-733-3271.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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