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NY N022415

January 25, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0012; 9802.00.50

Mr. Tom Gould
Zisser Group
3807 W. Sierra Highway, #4617
Acton, CA 93510

RE: The tariff classification and eligibility for partial duty exemption under subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS, for certain men’s T-shirts.

Dear Mr. Gould:

In your letter dated December 26, 2007, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Fortune Fashion Industries, Inc., concerning the eligibility under 9802.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for certain men’s T-shirts that will be imported into the United States.

You state that your client proposes to send finished foreign made T-shirts from the United States to Mexico for the addition of various labels pursuant to customer requirements. You state that the garments that are sent to Mexico will be individually marked by means of sewn-in fabric labels or other marking in accordance with U.S. Customs and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) marking requirements. The labels that will be added in Mexico will include adhesive stickers placed directly on the garment or paper, plastic or other hangtags affixed to the garment showing sizing, price, trademarks, bar codes, and other optional information. You state that none of the added marking will be in conflict with U.S. Customs or FTC requirements. You have provided a sample of the garments as they will leave the United States and a sample of the garments with additional labels attached. As requested, your samples will be returned.

The samples submitted, Styles 1WAL0337BE1 and 1WAL1482AQ.5, are men’s T-shirts constructed from 100% cotton, finely knit jersey fabric. The garments have rib knit crew necklines; short, hemmed sleeves; screen print designs on the center chest; and straight, hemmed bottoms.

The applicable subheading for Styles 1WAL0337BE1 and 1WAL1482AQ.5 will be 6109.10.0012, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted: of cotton: men’s or boys’: other T-shirts: men’s. The rate of duty is 16.5% 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. Articles returned to the United States after having been repaired or altered in Mexico, whether or not pursuant to a warranty, may be eligible for duty free treatment provided that the documentary requirements of Section 181.64, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 181.64), which implements Article 307 of NAFTA, are satisfied.

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. The operations performed in Mexico do not create a new or commercially different article. The garments are shipped to Mexico solely to have labels added before being returned to the United States. In prior rulings, Customs has held that marking or affixing a label to a product constitutes an alteration within the meaning of subheading 9802.00.50, HTSUS. Consequently, 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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