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NY N018685

October 26, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0045; 9802.00.50

Ms. Emilia Arroyo
Jerry Leigh
7860 Nelson road
Van Nuys, CA 91402

RE: The tariff classification and eligibility for duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, for a girl’s T-shirt.

Dear Ms. Arroyo:

In your letter dated October 12, 2007 you requested a ruling concerning the eligibility for a duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, for a girl’s T-shirt. Your samples will be returned.

Style JT 3703 is a girl’s dyed T-shirt constructed from 100% cotton, finely knit jersey fabric that weighs less than 200 grams per square meter. The garment has a rib knit crew neckline; short, hemmed sleeves; and a straight, hemmed bottom.

The applicable subheading for style JT 3703 will be 6109.10.0045, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: women’s or girls’: other T-shirts: girls’. The general rate of duty is 16.5% ad valorem.

You state that that the garments were produced in Guatemala and that they were imported into the United States under DR-CAFTA and met all requirements for duty free importation. You inquire whether these DR-CAFTA T-shirts that were imported into the United States can now be sent to Guatemala or El Salvador for screen printing, packing and reimportation to the United States under heading 9802.00.

You have provided samples of the garments as they are initially imported from Guatemala and as they will be re-imported, after screen printing, into the United States. Your request involves a determination regarding the eligibility of the garments for duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS.

Subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, provides for a full or partial duty exemption for articles that are returned to the United States after having been exported to be advanced in value or improved in condition by means of repairs or alterations, provided that the appropriate documentary requirements of 19 CFR 181.64 are met. Section 181.64(a) states, in part:

For purposes of this section, “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 or commercially different good from, the good exported from the United States.

In the Customs Bulletin of October 4, 2000, several rulings were revoked or modified to reflect a change in the manner in which Customs treated decoration or embellishment of articles. It was determined that decoration of articles was an acceptable alteration, and did not result in a new or different good.

This office believes that the screen-printing operations that occur in Guatemala or El Salvador qualify as acceptable operations under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS. The garments in condition as exported and returned to the United States have the same use when sold to consumers. The operations in Guatemala or El Salvador do not result in the loss of the good’s identity. Neither do they create a new article with a new and different commercial use. Therefore, the operations that occur in Guatemala or El Salvador constitute an acceptable alteration within the meaning of 9802.00.50, HTSUS, and the garments qualify for the special tariff treatment of that provision.

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 Bruce Kirschner at 646-733-3048.


Robert B. Swierupski, Director
National Commodity Specialist Division

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