Mr. Won Tag Lee
Sam Sol, S.A.
KM 37.5 Carretera Interamericana
RE: The tariff classification and status under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), of men’s suit-type jackets from Guatemala.
Dear Mr. Lee:
The submitted sample is a men’s suit-type jacket constructed from 100% worsted wool woven fabric. You state that the average fiber diameter of the wool yarn is 21.5 microns. The garment is constructed from six panels sewn together lengthwise and features a notched collar with lapels; a full front opening with two button closures; long sleeves with four buttons at the vented cuff; a full lining of 100% filament polyester woven twill fabric; a button hole on the lapel; a welt pocket on the left chest; two inset pockets with flaps below the waist; inner welt pockets on the right and left front panels; an inner welt pocket on the lower left front panel; two rear vents; and a straight bottom with curved front panels.
The applicable subheading for the garment will be 6203.31.9020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for men’s or boys’ suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, . . . suit-type jackets and blazers: of wool or fine animal hair: other: other. The duty rate is 17.5% ad valorem.
You have described the manufacturing and assembly of the garment as follows:
The woven fabric for the suit-type jacket is composed of 100% worsted wool. The fabric is produced in Mexico.
The woven fabric for the lining is composed of 100% filament polyester fabric. The fabric is manufactured in Korea.
The fabric for the pocketing is composed of 100% filament polyester. The fabric is manufactured in China
All fabric will be shipped to Guatemala. In Guatemala, the fabric will be cut, sewn and assembled.
The sewing thread used to assemble the garments will be produced in Honduras.
The garments will be shipped directly from Guatemala to the U.S.
General Note (GN) 29, HTSUS, sets forth the criteria for determining whether a good is originating under the DR-CAFTA. GN 29(b), HTSUS, (19 U.S.C. § 1202) states, in pertinent part, that
For the purposes of this note, subject to the provisions of subdivisions (c), (d), (m) and (n) thereof, a good imported into the customs territory of the United States is eligible for treatment as an originating good under the terms of this note if—
(i)the good is a good wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement;
(ii) the good was produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement, and—
(A) each of the nonoriginating materials used in the production of the good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification specified in subdivision (n) of this note; or
(B) the good otherwise satisfies any applicable regional value content or other requirements specified in subdivision (n) of this note;
and the good satisfies all other applicable requirements of this note; or
(iii) the good was produced entirely in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement exclusively from originating materials.
As the good contain nonoriginating materials, the goods would have to undergo an applicable change in tariff classification in order to meet the requirements of GN 29(b)(ii)(A).
GN 29 (n), Chapter 62, Chapter rule 2 states:
For purposes of determining whether a good of this chapter is originating, the rule applicable to that good shall only apply to the component that determines the tariff classification of the good and such component must satisfy the tariff change requirements set out in that rule for that good.
The component that determines the classification for the garments is the woven wool fabric which is non-originating.
For goods classified in heading 6203, GN 29/62.12 requires:
A change to heading 6203.31 through 6203.33 from any other chapter, except from headings 5111 through 5113, 5204 and 5212, 5310 through 5311, chapter 54, headings 5508 through 5516, 5801 through 5802 or 6001 through 6006, provided that:
the good is cut or knit to shape or both, and sewn or otherwise assembled in the territory of one or more of the parties.
Any visible lining material contained in the apparel article must satisfy the requirements of chapter rule 1 to chapter 62.
The wool woven fabric classified in heading 5112, HTSUS, does not meet the terms of the tariff shift.
GN 29(n), Chapter 62, Chapter rule 1 states:
Except for fabrics classified in tariff items 5408.22.10, 5408.23.11, 5408.23.21 and 5408.24.10, the fabrics identified in the following subheadings and headings, when used as visible lining material in certain men's and women's suits, suit-type jackets, skirts, overcoats, carcoats, anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles, must be both formed from yarn and finished in the territory of one more parties to the Agreement:
5111 through 5112, 5208.31 through 5208.59, 5209.31 through 5209.59, 5210.31 through 5210.59, 5211.31 through 5211.59, 5212.13 through 5212.15, 5212.23 through 5212.25, 5407.42 through 5407.44, 5407.52 through 5407.54, 5407.61, 5407.72 through 5407.74, 5407.82 through 5407.84, 5407.92 through 5407.94, 5408.22 through 5408.24,5408.32 through 5408.34, 5512.19, 5512.29, 5512.99, 5513.21 through 5513.49, 5514.21 through 5515.99, 5516.12 through 5516.14, 5516.22 through 5516.24, 5516.32 through 5516.34, 5516.42 through 5516.44, 5516.92 through 5516.94, 6001.10, 6001.92, 6005.31 through 6005.44 or 6006.10 through 6006.44.
The non-originating lining fabric classified in subheading 5407.61, HTSUS, does not meet requirements of Chapter rule 1.
GN 29(n), Chapter 62, Chapter rule 4 states:
Notwithstanding chapter rule 2 to this chapter, a good of this chapter containing sewing thread of headings 5204, 5401 and 5508 shall be considered originating only if such sewing thread is both formed from yarns and finished in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement.
The sewing thread used to assemble the garment will be formed and finished in one of the parties to the Agreement.
GN 29(n), Chapter 62, Chapter rule 5 states in pertinent part:
Notwithstanding chapter rule 2, a good of this chapter other than-
men’s and boys’ and women’s and girls’ suits, trousers, suit-type jackets and blazers, vests and women’s and girls’ skirts of wool fabric, of subheadings 6203.11, 6203.31, 6203.41, 6204.51, 6204.61, 6211.39,m or 6211.41, provided that such goods are not made of carded wool or fabric or made from wool yarn having an average fiber diameter of less than or equal to 18.5 microns,
that contains a pocket or pockets shall be considered originating only if the pocket bag fabric has been formed and finished in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement for yarns wholly formed in the territory of one or more of the parties to the Agreement.
The fabric for the pocketing material is manufactured in China. As a result, the garment does not meet the requirements of Chapter rule 5.
Based on the facts provided, the suit-type jacket does not qualify for DR-CAFTA preferential treatment, because it does not meet the requirements of HTSUS General Note 29(b)(ii)(A). The merchandise will not be entitled to a free rate of duty under the DR-CAFTA.
Your letter also inquires as to whether or not the merchandise may be subject to a reduced rate of duty based upon the Tariff Preference Levels (TPL) established in subheading 9822.05.13, HTSUS.
Subheading 9822.05.13, HTSUS, provides:
Goods specified in U.S. Note 21(c) to this subchapter.
Chapter 98, subchapter XXII of the HTSUS U.S. Note 21(c) to that chapter states:
The limit of subdivision (b) of this note shall not apply to the following goods made from wool fabric: men’s and boys’ and women’s and girls’ suits, trousers, suit-type jackets and blazers and vests and women’s and girls’ skirts, provided that such goods are not make (sic) of carded wool fabric or made from wool yarn having an average fiber diameter of not over 18.5 microns.
The suit-type jacket does not fall within the description of U.S. Note 20(c). The garments contain wool with an average fiber diameter of 21.5 microns. This exceeds the allowable amount. The garments are not eligible for TPL status under this U.S. Note. The merchandise will not be entitled to a free rate of duty under the DR-CAFTA.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
If you have any questions regarding the classification, contact National Import Specialist Mary Ryan at (646) 733-3271. If you have any questions regarding eligibility for preferential treatment under DR-CAFTA, contact National Import Specialist Rosemarie Hayward at (646) 733-3064.
Thomas J. Russo