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HQ 083135

February 16, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083135 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.0030

Donna L. Shira, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 80 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Classification of Oversized Comic Ties; Modification of HRL 083654 and NYRLs 833914, 834167, 834169 and 834273

Dear Ms. Shira:

This is in reply to your letter to our New York office dated October 17, 1988, on behalf of your client Imagineering Inc., in which you requested a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were submitted with your request.


The articles in question are two oversized costume ties imported from China, one representing a bow tie, the other a straight tie. Both ties are made from foam-backed woven polyester, have large polka dots and an elastic loop which secures the item around the wearer's neck. The bow tie measures 13 inches by 7 inches; the straight tie is 33 inches in length by 6 inches in width. The articles are marketed with a tag bearing the legend "Comic Tie! A Delightful Accent for Clowns, Comedians and Other Crazies."


Whether the ties are classifiable as festive articles of heading 9505, HTSUSA, as ties of heading 6215, HTSUSA, or as other made up clothing accessories of heading 6217, HTSUSA.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is to be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, covers festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles. However, Note 1(e), Chapter 95, HTSUSA, states that fancy dress of textile materials of chapters 61 and 62 are not covered by Chapter 95.

Whether the instant articles are included within heading 9505 therefore depends on whether they are "fancy dress" within the meaning of that term. Fancy dress is defined in Mary Brooks Picken's, The Fashion Dictionary at 134 (3rd ed. 1973) as a "costume representing a nation, class, calling etc., as worn to a costume ball or masquerade party."

It is our opinion that the articles in question would be worn as part of a clown or other costume; indeed, the descriptive legend contained on the packaging suggests as much. As a result, we consider the ties to be articles of fancy dress and consequently, excluded from consideration as a festive article by virtue of Note 1(e), Chapter 95.

Heading 6215, HTSUSA, covers ties, bow ties and cravats. According to the Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, heading 6215 covers ties "of the kinds generally worn by men." Ties of this nature are usually knotted by the wearer as a four-in-hand or in a bow. Alternatively, they may be already done up, in which case they are commonly secured to the collar by means of a metal or plastic clasp. In either event, whether to- be-tied or ready-made, ties generally worn by men (or women) conform to a certain standard of what constitutes acceptable dress. This can be seen from the meaning of the word "generally," the first two definitions of which are given in Webster's New World Dictionary (Third College Edition 1988), at 561, as:

1) to or by most people; widely; popularly; extensively [a generally accepted usage];

2) in most instances; usually; as a rule.

Thus a tie generally worn by men is one which would be acceptable for conventional wear, i.e., of a kind customarily worn as an accessory to traditional wearing apparel such as a suit or sport coat.

However, the articles in question are not ties of the kinds generally worn by men. The ties at issue are oversized. For example, the straight tie is 6 inches wide, whereas commonly worn straight ties are generally 3-3 inches wide. In addition, the ties are made from coarse, roughly sewn material, unsuitable for a dress tie. Furthermore, the comic ties are not tied around the wearer's neck but instead are secured by means of a thin elastic band. The fact that the ties in question are not knotted by the wearer but are held in place by other means (e.g.,a clip) does not preclude them from being classified in heading 6215, indeed, the Explanatory Notes make specific provision for such ties. Nevertheless, ready-made ties are designed to resemble regular ties in all respects save that they need not actually be tied.

Consequently, since the ties at issue would not be worn in lieu of normal dress ties, e.g., with a suit, and thus are not ties of the kinds generally worn by men, but instead, are comic or "imitation" ties, they are not ties for the purposes of heading 6215, HTSUSA.

Heading 6217, HTSUSA, provides for other made up clothing accessories and parts of garments or of clothing accessories. According to the Explanatory Notes:

[t]his heading covers other made up textile accessories, other than knitted or crocheted, not specified or included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Nomenclature.

The articles in question, although employed for comic purposes (e.g., by "Clowns, Comedians and Other Crazies"), are nevertheless articles of wearing apparel (not knitted or crocheted) and therefore within the scope of Chapter 62. However, as they are not ties of the kinds generally worn by men, they are not covered by heading 6215.

Ties, comic or otherwise, are a form of accessory worn to complement one's costume. Ties of the kind generally worn by men are worn with suits, etc., while comic ties are designed to complement or accent the outfit of a clown or comedian. Since the latter are not classifiable in heading 6215, it is Customs' view that "imitation" ties are classifiable in heading 6217.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084239 dated July 28, 1989, it was held that a flimsily constructed "imitation" cape was classifiable, not under the eo nomine provision for capes of heading 6202, HTSUSA, but rather in heading 6211, HTSUSA, under the provision for other garments. Similarly, an imitation tie is classifiable as an other made up textile accessory.


The comic oversized ties at issue are classifiable in subheading 6217.10.0030, under the provision for other made up clothing accessories, of man-made fibers, and are dutiable at a rate of 15.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 659.

HRL 083654 and New York Ruling Letters 833914, 834167, 834169 and 834273 are hereby modified in conformity with the foregoing pursuant to section 177.9(d)(2) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR. 177.9(d)(2)).

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) 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.


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