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NY N019809

November 28, 2007



Michelle Welsh
Drinker Biddle Gardner Carton
191 North Wacker Drive, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60606-1698

RE: Country of origin determination for suture materials; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(1); wholly obtained or produced in a single country

Dear Ms. Welsh:

This is in reply to your letter dated Nov. 8, 2007, on behalf of Surgical Devices, a unit of Tyco Healthcare Group LP (d/b/a Covidien), of Mansfield, Mass., requesting a country of origin determination for suture materials which will be imported into the United States.


The subject merchandise consists of polyester yarns used as suture material.

The manufacturing operations for the suture material are as follows: polymerization of US-origin chemicals, extrusion of the filaments, braiding them into polyester yarn, and winding the suture material (yarn) onto spools all take place in the United States. The spools are sent to the Dominican Republic where the yarn is cut to length, wound into a retainer, and placed into bags for transport back to the US.


What is the country of origin of the subject merchandise?


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at 19 U.S.C. 3592), enacted on December 8, 1994, provided rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996.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.

Section 102.21(c)(1) states: "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." Because the United States is where the suture material was wholly obtained or produced, the country of origin of the polyester suture material is the United States. The cutting, finishing and packaging operations in the Dominican Republic do not support a change in tariff classification necessary for the country of origin to be considered the Dominican Republic. Sections 102.15 and 102.17 of the Customs Regulations noted.


The country of origin of the polyester suture material is the United States.

If a good is determined to be an article of U.S. origin, it is not subject to the country of origin marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. ยง1304. Whether an article may be marked with the phrase "Made in the USA" or similar words denoting U.S. origin is an issue under the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We suggest that you contact the FTC Division of Enforcement, 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508, on the propriety of proposed markings indicating that an article is made in the U.S.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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