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HQ 083281

January 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G DRR 083281


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9050

Ms. Beth C. Brotman
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Ironing board covers

Dear Ms. Brotman:

This is in reference to your letters dated March 4, 1988, and March 7, 1988, on behalf of Magla Products, requesting the classification of coated ironing board and pad combinations under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue is represented by two samples. Style 607 is described in your letter as a coated ironing board cover and foam pad which are sewn together at their edges with a narrow cotton binding. There is a string threaded through the binding which can be used to tighten the cover around an ironing board. You state that the cover is 100 percent cotton, coated with silicone, a plastics material. The pad is said to be 100 percent polyurethane foam.

Style 609 consists of a coated ironing board cover and foam pad which are sewn together at five points. You state that the cover is 100 percent cotton, coated with teflon, a plastics material. You state that this style also has a narrow cotton binding at the edge, with a string which can be used to tighten the cover. The pad is 100 percent polyurethane foam, with a coated textile pocket at one end and a foam pocket at the other, designed to secure the pad and cover to an ironing board.

You believe that both styles are classifiable under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUSA, as household articles of plastic, other, other, with a duty rate of 3.4 percent ad valorem, and eligible for duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), as imports from Mexico.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUSA, or subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA.


Classification under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Heading 3924, HTSUSA, provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics. Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns.

In light of the fact that the cover and pad are made up of different elements, textile and plastic, not specifically provided for, it cannot be classified according to GRI 1. According to GRI 3(b), mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA may be consulted for guidance as to the correct international interpretation of the various HTSUSA provisions. The Explanatory Notes state that "the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Having determined that the pad and cover are a composite good, we must next determine the essential character in order to classify the item under GRI 3(b). Both elements are necessary to the design and function and therefore neither the pad or cover can be said to give the combination its essential character. Accordingly, classification of the item at issue is determined by GRI 3(c). The pad and cover are therefore classifiable under whichever heading appears last in the tariff. The two competing applicable provisions are Heading 3924, HTSUSA, and Heading 6307, HTSUSA.


The covers and pads of both styles 607 and 609 are classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, with a duty rate of 7 percent ad valorem. However, if the merchandise qualifies as a product of Mexico, it would be entitled to duty free treatment under the GSP.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, the importer should contact the 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, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

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