Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of sterile disposable surgical gowns that may be offered to the U.S. government under undesignated government procurement contracts.

According to CBP, the surgical gowns are made from nonwoven synthetic spun-melt-spun textile material and plastic film made in the U.S. These components are transferred in rolls to the Dominican Republic where they are cut into component parts that are in turn assembled into two sleeve subassemblies and the gown body subassembly. The subassemblies are then returned to the U.S. for final assembly, consisting of principally attaching the sleeve subassemblies to the gown body subassembly and attaching the neck binding to the neck opening.

In ruling HQ H321354, CBP concludes that the country of origin of these gowns is the Dominican Republic, noting that when the components are exported to the U.S. they are clearly recognizable as an unfinished surgical gown and that the most important assembly processes are therefore done in the DR. However, CBP also urges the petitioners to review the 2020 court decision in Acetris Health LLC v. U.S. and consult with the relevant government procuring agency to determine whether the gowns qualify as a U.S.-made end product.

Any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of this determination by Aug. 26. CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. government. For more information on BAA requirements or restrictions, please contact Mark Segrist, Mark Tallo, or Josh Rodman.

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