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NY N018273





November 6, 2007

CLA2-OT:RR:NC:TA: 361

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

Mr. Anthony Melendez
The Wet Seal Inc.
26972 Burbank
Foothill Ranch, CA. 92610

RE:     Classification and country of origin determination for a pair of women’s woven pants; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(1); 19 CFR 102.21(c)(4).

Dear Mr. Melendez:

This is in reply to your letter dated October 4, 2007, requesting a classification and country of origin determination for a pair of women’s pants.

FACTS:

Style ST369 is a pair of women’s pants constructed from 98 percent cotton and 2 percent spandex woven blue denim fabric. The garment has a flat waistband with five belt loops; a two button closure in the waistband; a front opening with a zipper closure; two front pockets, one of the front pockets has a small front coin pocket; two back pockets with a pocket flap and button closure; and hemmed leg openings.

      The garment has a left over right closure in the front. Chapter 62, note 8 states, in part:

Garments of this chapter designed for left over right closure at the front shall be regarded as men's or boys' garments, and those designed for right over left closure at the front as women's or girls' garments. These provisions do not apply where the cut of the garment clearly indicates that it is designed for one or other of the sexes.

As the pants have a left over right front closure, the presumption is that they will be for men. However, it is clear based on the cut that they were designed for women. Therefore, the pants will be classified as women’s garments.

You state the denim pants may also be produced in colors other than blue denim.

The pants will be exported from either China or Hong Kong.

You provided two versions of the manufacturing operations.

The manufacturing operations are as follows:

VERSION A

Fabric and garment wholly produced in China

VERSION B

CHINA

Fabric woven
Fabric cut into parts
Back rise sewn
Zipper sewn in

Hong Kong

Join the outer side seams
Join the inseams
Front rise sewn
Labeling

CHINA

Trimming, checking, ironing, packing

ISSUE:

What are the classification and country of origin of the subject merchandise?

CLASSIFICATION:

The applicable subheading for the women’s woven pants in blue denim, style ST369, will be 6204.62.4011 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for women’s trousers: of cotton: blue denim. The general rate of duty is 16.6% ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the women’s woven denim pants in colors other than blue denim, style ST369, will be 6204.62.4021 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for women’s trousers: of cotton: other. The general rate of duty is 16.6% ad valorem.

     The pants, style ST369, fall within textile category designation 348. 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 U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs 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.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN - LAW AND ANALYSIS:

     Section 334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592), enacted on December 8, 1994, provided rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. Section 102.21, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 102.21), published September 5, 1995, in the Federal Register, implements Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Section 334 of the URAA was amended by section 405 of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, enacted on May 18, 2000, and accordingly, section 102.21 was amended (68 Fed. Reg. 8711). Thus, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by the sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.

     Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." As the subject merchandise in version A is wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is applicable; the country of origin is China. As the subject merchandise in version B is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

      Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each of the foreign materials incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section:"      Paragraph (e) in pertinent part states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section":

6201‚Äď6208 If the good consists of two or more component parts, a change to an assembled good of heading 6201 through 6208 from unassembled components, provided that the change is the result of the good being wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession.

     The pants consist of two or more components. Since the pants in version B are assembled in more than one country, territory or insular possession, the terms of the tariff shift are not met and (c)(2) are inapplicable.

     Section 102.21(c)(3) states that, "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this section":

     (i) If the good was knit to shape, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was knit; or      (ii) Except for goods of heading 5609, 5807, 5811, 6213, 6214, 6301 through 6306, and 6308, and subheadings 6209.20.5040, 6307.10, 6307.90, and 9404.90, if the good was not knit to shape and the good was wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession, the country of origin of the good is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly assembled.

     As the subject merchandise in version B is neither knit to shape nor wholly assembled in a single country, territory or insular possession, Section 102.21 (c)(3) is inapplicable.

     Section 102.21 (c)(4) states, "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1), (2) or (3) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory or insular possession in which the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurred".

The most important assembly operations are sewing the front rise, joining the outer side seams and joining the inseams. Therefore, the country of origin for the subject merchandise in version B is Hong Kong, the country in which these operations are performed.

HOLDING:

     The country of origin for the pants in version A is China regardless of the country of exportation. The country of origin for the pants in version B is Hong Kong regardless of the country of exportation.

     The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

     This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.

     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 Peggy Fitzgerald at 646-733-3052.

Sincerely,

Robert B. Swierupski
Director,

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