CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951080 CRS
Anthony K. Mallgren, Esq.
Mallgren & Associates, P.C.
3600 South Yosemite Drive
Denver, CO 80237
RE: Cassette tape and compact disk carrying cases; country of
origin; quota; marking; 19 CFR 12.130; 19 U.S.C. 1304; 19 CFR
Dear Mr. Mallgren:
This is in reply to your letter dated January 13, 1992, on
behalf of your client, Hai Yang, in which you requested a ruling
on the tariff classification and country of origin for quota and
marking purposes of certain cassette tape and compact disk cases.
Samples of the merchandise at issue, assembled and unassembled,
The merchandise in question consists of five types of
cassette and compact disk carrying cases, identified as CL-15,
CP-30, CL-60, CD-15 and CD-30. The sample cases have an outer
surface of man-made textiles.
The carrying cases will be assembled in the Philippines or
the Peoples's Republic of China from parts cut in the Republic of
Korea. All of the component parts will be made in South Korea,
including the polyurethane foam, zippers, thread and nylon fabric
and webbing. The materials will be cut to shape in South Korea
and then sent either to the Philippines or to China where they
will be assembled into finished cases. For example, the assembly
operation for style CP-30 consists of stitching together four
pieces of nylon fabric, two pieces of polyurethane foam, and
adding zippers, a carrying handle and labels. Over 70 percent of
the value of the carrying cases will derive from operations
performed in South Korea.
At the importer's (Case Logic, Inc.) U.S. plant, a plastic
separator tray will be inserted into the bags. The bags will
then be repackaged in clear plastic for shipment throughout the
U.S. and for export. A paper wrapper bearing a picture of the
article and stating its country of origin will be visible through
the plastic wrapper.
The issues presented are: (1) whether the instant carrying
cases are similar to certain enumerated articles such that they
are classifiable in heading 4202, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of
the United States Annotated (HTSUSA); and (2) whether for quota
and marking purposes the cases are considered articles of Korea
or of the Philippines or China.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for camera
cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases and similar articles.
The instant carrying cases have an outer surface of textiles and
are similar to musical instrument and camera cases. Accordingly,
they are classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA, specifically,in
subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, which provides for articles with an
outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials.
Country of Origin
Pursuant to section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR
12.130), a textile or textile product which consists of materials
produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign
territory or country shall be a product of that foreign territory
or country where it last underwent a substantial transformation.
A textile or textile product will be considered to have undergone
a substantial transformation if it has been transformed by means
of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new
and different article of commerce.
The following factors are considered in determining whether
merchandise has been substantially transformed: the physical
change in the merchandise; the time involved in the manufacturing
or processing operations; the complexity of the operations; the
level or degree of skill and/or technology required; and the
value added to the article. 19 CFR 12.130(d)(2).
However, an article usually will not be considered a product
of a particular foreign country merely by having undergone simple
combining operations. 19 CFR 12.130(e)(2). In this instance,
approximately four cut pieces of fabric are assembled to form the
outer shell of a carry bag, and are combined with assorted pieces
of other materials, e.g., webbing, polyurethane foam, to complete
the finished article. Customs generally considers the assembly
of cut pieces to be a substantial transformation. T.D. 85-38; 19
Cust. Bull. 58, 70; 50 Fed. Reg. 8712, 8715. However, when the
assembly operation is a relatively simple one, Customs will rule
on the particular factual situation. See, e.g., Headquarters
Ruling Letter (HRL) 083641 dated May 15, 1990; HRL 081155 dated
February 3, 1988. You contend that the assembly of the bags is a
simple combining operation and state that over 70 percent of the
value of the bags is attributable to work performed in the
Philippines. Furthermore, we are advised by the National Import
Specialist responsible for this line of merchandise that the
instant assembly operation is relatively simple. Accordingly, in
Customs' view, the bags in question have not been substantially
transformed by the assembly operation in the Philippines.
The five carrying cases in question are classifiable in
subheading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA, under the provision for trunks,
suitcases...camera cases, musical instrument cases...and similar
articles: other: with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of
textile materials: other: other: with outer surface of textile
materials: other: of man-made fibers. They are dutiable at the
rate of 20 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile category
The designated textile and apparel category may be
subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements
applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since
part categories are the result of international bilateral
agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and
changes, to obtain the most current information available, we
suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status
Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal
issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for
inspection at your local Customs office.
Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation
(the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the
restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local
Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to
determine the current status of any import restraints or
The country of origin for quota and marking purposes of the
instant carrying bags is the Republic of Korea.
The holding in this ruling applies only to the specific
factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling
request. This position is set forth in section 177.9(b)(1),
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(b)(1)), which states that a
ruling letter is issued on the assumption that the information
furnished in connection with the ruling request and incorporated
in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by
implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.
Should it subsequently be 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 there is a change in the facts previously
furnished, the country of origin determination may be affected.
In such a case, it is recommended that a new ruling request be
submitted in accordance with section 177.2, Customs Regulations
(19 CFR 177.2).
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division