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HQ 083532


August 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083532 DSN

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6302.00.0030, 6302.00.0020, 6302.51.4000, 6302.51.2000

Ralph H. Sheppard, Esquire
Adduci, Mastriani, Meeks & Schill
551 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10176

RE: Classification of placemats and napkins

Dear Mr. Sheppard:

This ruling letter is in reference to your inquiry of November 16, 1988, on behalf of Win-Tex Products, Inc., regarding classification of placemats and napkins under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for placemats and napkins produced in Taiwan and China. Samples were submitted for examination.

FACTS:

Four samples were provided. Style number 9006 is a 100 percent cotton woven placemat with a one-inch fringe. It measures approximately 13 inches by 18 inches. Style 9007 is a 100 percent cotton woven napkin which measures approximately 18 inches by 18 inches. These articles are being imported separately.

Two samples bearing style number 3080 were submitted. Each contains four napkins and four placemats. One style produced in Taiwan is a print fabric composed of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton. The other style, produced in China, is a solid color and is composed of 55 percent polyester and 45 percent cotton. These placemats and napkins are packaged together and are sold as sets at retail.

ISSUE:

Whether the samples at issue are classified as a "set" or as separate articles.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

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. In order to have a "set" under GRI 3, the set must contain goods which are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings. The term "heading" is not defined in the nomenclature, but it is clear it refers to the four digit level. In the instant case, styles 9006 and 9007 are not packaged together and are imported separately, so therefore, are not considered a set for tariff classification purposes. However, both style numbers 3080 are packaged together for retail sale, so we have to determine whether they are classified as a set.

The placemats and napkins are classifiable in the same four digit heading. Heading 6302, HTSUSA, 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 subheadings 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 GRI's 1 through 5 in classifying goods at the subheading level. Since GRI 6 uses the phrase "for legal purposes" the preceding GRI's are to be applied at the level necessary 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 placemats and napkins, at the heading level, we do not have "goods put up in sets for retail sale" within the meaning of GRI 3. At the eight digit subheading level, we do not have articles classifiable under two different subheadings. The placemats and napkins fall under subheading

6302.53.00, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, other table linen, of man-made fibers. 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, style numbers 3080 are 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.

HOLDING:

The placemats of styles 3080 are classified under subheading 6302.53.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, other table linen, of man-made fibers, other, textile category 666, and dutiable at the rate of 12.8 percent ad valorem.

The napkins of styles 3080 are classified under subheading 6302.53.0020, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, other table linen, of man-made fibers, tablecloths and napkins, other, textile category 666, and dutiable at the rate of 12.8 percent ad valorem.

The placemats of style 9006 are classified under subheading 6302.51.4000, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, other table linen, of cotton, other, textile category 369, and dutiable at the rate of 7.2 percent ad valorem.

The napkins of style 9007 are classified under subheading 6302.51.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen, other table linen, of cotton, tablecloths and napkins, other, plain woven, textile category 369, and dutiable at the rate of 5.5 percent ad valorem.

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.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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