CLA-2 CO:R:C:S 556010 KCC
Mr. J. F. Fritz
Norman Krieger, Inc.
P.O. Box 92599
Los Angeles, California 90009
RE: Textile-covered collapsible cardboard box; further
fabrication; assembly; cutting; sewing; 19 CFR 10.14(a); 19
CFR 10.16(a); 19 CFR 10.16(c)(2)
Dear Mr. Fritz:
This is in response to your letter of March 27, 1991, to the
Area Director, New York Seaport, on behalf of Barth and
Dreyfuss, requesting a ruling on the applicability of subheading
9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTSUS), to textile-covered collapsible cardboard boxes to be
imported from China. In DD 860986 dated March 21, 1991, Customs
responded to your request for classification of the same boxes
when created entirely from Chinese-origin materials. Your letter
and sample of the box were forwarded to this office for a reply.
As requested, your sample will be returned under separate cover.
Barth and Dreyfuss intends to create textile-covered
collapsible cardboard boxes in China. U.S.-origin 50% polyester
and 50% cotton blend fabric will be shipped to China in one of
two conditions: in bolt or cut into rectangular pieces. All
other components will be of Chinese-origin. In China, the
assembly operation will consist of the following:
1. cutting the U.S.-origin bolt fabric into rectangular
pieces (if necessary);
2. sewing the rectangular fabric pieces over the
3. sewing the ribbon into the fabric seams; and
4. packaging the boxes in a flat condition.
Upon completion of the foreign operations, the boxes will be
imported into the U.S.
Whether the textile-covered collapsible cardboard boxes
qualify for the partial duty exemption available under subheading
9802.00.80, HTSUS, when imported into the U.S.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty
[a]rticles assembled abroad in whole or in part of
fabricated components, the product of the United States,
which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly
without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their
physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape,
or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or
improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and
except by operations incidental to the assembly process,
such as cleaning, lubricating, and painting.
All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, must be
satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An
article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty
upon the full cost or value of the imported assembled article,
less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein,
upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section
10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).
Section 10.14(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.14(a)),
states in part that:
[t]he components must be in condition ready for assembly
without further fabrication at the time of their exportation
from the United States to qualify for the exemption.
Components will not loose their entitlement to the exemption
by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly
either before, during, or after their assembly with other
Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)),
provides that the assembly operation performed abroad may consist
of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such
as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing,
laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners.
We are of the opinion that the U.S.-origin fabric cut into
rectangular pieces in China will not be eligible for the duty
allowance available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Cutting
the U.S.-origin bolt fabric into rectangular pieces in China is
not an acceptable assembly operation or operation incidental to
assembly, but is a further fabrication of the fabric. The
cutting operation is not simply cutting a component to length,
but is similar to cutting fabric into a specific pattern shape.
See, 19 CFR 10.14, example 4 (uncut textile fabrics exported in
bolts from which wearing apparel components will be cut according
to a pattern are not regarded as fabricated components) and 19
However, the U.S.-origin fabric cut into rectangular pieces
in the U.S. prior to assembly in China is eligible for the duty
allowance under this tariff provision. Sewing two or more pieces
of cut fabric together, thereby enclosing the cardboard inside
the fabric, and sewing the ribbon into the fabric seams are
considered acceptable assembly operations pursuant to 19 CFR
10.16(a). Foreign packaging of the completed collapsed boxes is
permissible under 19 CFR 10.16(f).
From the information and sample presented, it is our opinion
that the imported textile-covered collapsible cardboard boxes may
be entered under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, with an allowance
in duty for the U.S.-origin fabric cut to rectangular pieces in
the U.S., upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19
The textile-covered collapsible cardboard boxes assembled
from U.S.-origin bolt fabric cut into rectangular pieces in China
are ineligible for the partial duty exemption available under
subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, and, therefore, are dutiable on
their full value.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division
cc: Asst Area Dir NIS