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HQ 083125

February 5, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083125 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.0050

Steven S. Weiser
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Women's Belts

Dear Mr. Weiser:

This is in reply to your letter of October 5, 1988, on behalf of your client, Liz Claiborne Accessories, Inc., requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for women's belts. Three samples were submitted for inspection.


Style no. 2892 is a belt 1 1/4 inch wide, with a 1/2 inch wide leather trim sewn along the length of the outside center of the textile base. Approximately 3/8 inch of textile material, linen, is visible beyond this leather strip. The buckle is covered with the same leather material as the trim. The inner side of the belt is lined with polyvinyl chloride ("PVC").

Style no. 2894 is a 1 1/2 inch wide belt, with two 1/2 inch leather strips trimming the outer textile portion of linen. The buckle as well as the 7 inch area on which the belt holes are placed is also covered with leather. The inner part of the belt is lined with PVC.

Style no. 2897 measures 2 inches wide with 1/4 inch leather trim along the edges of the linen base. The round buckle is leather, as is the 7 inch portion on which the belt holes are placed. The inner belt is lined with PVC.


Whether textile belts trimmed in leather are classifiable as other made up clothing accessories of textile under heading 6217, HTSUSA, or as leather clothing accessories under heading 4203, HTSUSA or as plastics and articles thereof under heading 3926?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Since the subject merchandise is composed of textile, leather and PVC, the goods are, prima facie, classifiable under three headings. Therefore, the subject merchandise qualifies as a composite good under GRI 3.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials "...which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character..." According to the Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), the essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the roles of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. However, the belts at issue here are such that each component arguably prevails, dependent upon which factor is applied in the determination. Each of the constituent materials serve an equally important role in relation to the use of the goods. Therefore, determination of essential character is inconclusive under either heading 6217, HTSUSA, clothing accessories of textile, or heading 4203, HTSUSA, leather clothing accessories or heading 3926, HTSUSA, plastics and articles thereof.

Failing classification by GRI 3(b), GRI 3(c) states that, among eligible headings, classification shall occur under that which is last in numerical order among those which merit equal consideration. In this case, that subheading would be 6217.10.0050, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212 (brassieres, girdles, corsets and the like): accessories, other, other.


The merchandise at issue, style nos. 2892, 2894 and 2897, are classified as other made up clothing accessories of subheading 6217.10.0050, HTSUSA, and as such are dutiable at a rate of 15.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 859.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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