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HQ 082043

April 5 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082043 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 6302.22.2020, 6302.22.2010

Mr. William B. Haynes
Executive Vice President
The Bibb Company
P.O. Box 4207
Macon, Georgia 31208

RE: Classification of waterbed sheets and pillow cases imported from Pakistan.

Dear Mr. Haynes:

Your inquiry of December 16, 1987, addressed to our New York office regarding the classification of waterbed sheets and matching pillow cases under the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), has been referred to this office. The HTSUSA became effective on January 1, 1989, and therefore, we are only issuing HTSUSA rulings on prospective merchandise. Samples were furnished for our review.


The sample contains one fitted sheet, a flat sheet and two pillow cases, all with a marshland design. The merchandise is made from a woven fabric which is not combed and, according to a Customs laboratory, is composed of sixty-five percent polyester and thirty-five percent cotton. The sample sheets are designed for a king size mattress and measure approximately seventy-two inches by eighty-four inches. The pillow cases measure approximately thirty-nine inches by twenty-one inches. The articles are packaged together and the package lists its contents.


Whether the merchandise is considered a "set" for classification purposes under the HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. The term "sets" is discussed in GRI 3(a). GRI 3(a) provides that when two or more headings each refer to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods. The term "heading" is not defined in the nomenclature, but it is clear it refers to the four digit level. In the instant case, we have sheets and pillow cases packaged together for retail sale that are classifiable in the same four digit heading. Heading 6302 provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen. Relying on GRI 3, no guidance is given as to how goods are to be classified together or separately below the four digit level.

GRI 6 provides that for legal purposes, classification of goods in the subheading of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes, and mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. GRI 6 thus incorporates GRIs 1 through 5 in classifying goods at the subheading level. Since GRI 6 uses the phrase "for legal purposes" the preceding GRIs are to be applied at the level neccessary for the final legal classification of the goods for tariff purposes. GRI 6 requires the use of GRI 3 at the eight digit level in the HTSUSA, since it is that level at which the classification of the merchandise is ultimately determined. Thus, in order to be classifiable as a "set", the components must be classifiable in at least two different subheadings.

With respect to the instant merchandise, at the heading level, we do not have "goods put up in sets for retail sale" within the meaning of GRI 3. Nor do we have sets at the subheading level because subheading 6302.22.20, provides for bed linen of man-made fibers, other. It is only between competing ten digit statistical annotations that a disparity arises. It is our opinion that GRI 6 is not applicable in determining whether a "set" exists where the classification differences exist only at the ten digit level. Therefore, the instant merchandise is not considered a "set" for classification purposes, and will be classified separately.

We note that it is Customs position that GRI 6 can apply at the ten digit level only where there is an existing question as
to which statistical annotation applies and where no other rule will resolve the matter. We note that GRI 6 would not apply where there are annotations providing for the reporting of the goods separately.


In view of the foregoing, the HTSUSA provision applicable to the waterbed sheets is subheading 6302.22.2020, which provides for bed linen, of man-made fibers, other, sheets, textile category 666, dutiable at the rate of 13 percent ad valorem.

The HTSUSA provision applicable to the waterbed pillow cases is subheading 6302.22.2010, which provides for bed linen, of man-made fibers, other, pillow cases, textile category 666, dutiable at the rate of 13 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation 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 requirements.


John Durant, Director

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