Mr. John A. Schoenig
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
399 Park Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10022-4877
RE: Classification and country of origin determination for a men’s knit garment; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(4), most important assembly or manufacturing operation
Dear Mr. Schoenig:
This is in reply to a letter dated August 19, 2005, on behalf of Macau Textile Limited and Michael Kors (USA) Inc., requesting a classification and country of origin determination for a men’s knit garment that will be imported into the United States. As requested, your sample will be returned.
The submitted sample is a man’s pullover garment constructed from 100 percent cotton, jersey and intarsia knit fabric that measures 13 stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. The garment has a rib knit V-neckline; long sleeves with rib knit cuffs; and a rib knit bottom.
The manufacturing operations are as follows:
- The front panel is knit to shape with a rib knit self-start bottom, self-finished sides, full fashion marks at the armholes, and clear and continuous lines of demarcation at the neckline.
- The back panel is knit to shape with a rib knit self-start bottom, self-finished sides, full fashion marks at the armholes and at the shoulder seams and partial lines of demarcation at the neckline.
- The sleeves are knit to shape with rib knit self-start cuffs, self-finished sides, and full fashion marks at the armholes.
- The neckband is knit
- The components are linked into a finished garment
- The garment is finished and packed for export to the United States
What are the classification and country of origin of the subject merchandise?
The applicable subheading for the pullover will be 6110.20.2065, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS), which provides for: sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: other: other: other: men's. The general rate of duty is 16.5 percent ad valorem.
The garment falls within textile category designation 338. Quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information as to whether quota and visa requirements apply to this merchandise, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” available at our web site at www.cpb.gov. In addition, you will find current information on textile import quotas, textile safeguard actions and related issues at the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel, at otexa.ita.doc.gov.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN - LAW AND ANALYSIS:
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.
Paragraph (c)(1) states that "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." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.
Paragraph (c)(2) states: "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each of the foreign materials incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section:"
Paragraph (e) states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section":
HTSUS Tariff shift and/or other requirements
6101-6117 (3) If the good is knit to shape, a change to heading 6101 through 6117 from any heading outside that group, provided that the knit-to-shape components are knit in a single country, territory or insular possession.
The subject merchandise is classifiable as a men’s pullover in heading 6110, HTSUS. Section 102.21 (e) requires a tariff shift to headings 6101 through 6117 from any heading outside that group. In this case, a tariff shift to heading 6110, HTSUS, occurs in China, but from components that are classifiable in heading 6117, HTSUS. As heading 6117, HTSUS, is excepted by Section 102.21 (c)(2), the tariff shift is not applicable.
Section 102.21(c)(3) applies where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) and where the merchandise consists of either a good that was knit to shape or (with the exception for goods of certain specifically enumerated headings), was wholly assembled in a single country, territory, or insular possession.
Section 102.21 (c)(3)(i) provides the following:
“If the good was knit to shape, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was knit; ...”
Section 102.21 (b) states that:
(3) KNIT TO SHAPE: The term “knit to shape” applies to any good of which 50 percent or more of the exterior surface area is formed by major parts that have been knitted or crocheted directly to the shape used in the good, with no consideration being given to patch pockets, appliques, or the like. Minor cutting, trimming, or sewing of those major parts will not affect the determination of whether a good is “knit to shape”.
(4) MAJOR PARTS: The term “major parts” means integral components of a good but does not include collars, cuffs, waistbands, plackets, pockets, linings, paddings, trim, accessories, or similar parts.
In this instance, the subject garment is comprised of knit to shape panels that have not been knit in a single country, territory or insular possession. Accordingly, Section 102.21 (c)(3) is inapplicable.
Section 102.21 (c)(4) provides the first multi-country rule. Section 102.21 (c) (4) states that;
“Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c) (1), (2) or (3) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the most important assembly or manufacturing process occurred.”
In the case of the subject merchandise, the knitting to shape of the back panel and the two sleeve panels in Macau constitutes the most important assembly or manufacturing process for this garment. Accordingly, the country of origin of the garment is Macau.
The country of origin of the garment is Macau. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of Macau are not subject to visa requirements or quota restraints.
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 sections 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 Mary Ryan at 646-733-3271.
Robert B. Swierupski