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HQ 083623

October 23, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083623 CMR 832504


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.3070

Ms. Ruth Oren
Prestige Advertising, Incorporated
66 Concord Street
North Reading, Massachusetts 01864

RE: Classification of a dog costume under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)

Dear Ms. Oren:

This ruling is in response to your letter of September 23, 1988, requesting the classification of a dog costume under the HTSUSA.


The dog costume consists of a large head covered with plush knit fabric, a plush knit fabric body suit, and large hand mitts and large feet made of the same plush knit fabric. The head is made with foam stuffing to give it shape and has plastic eyes and mesh at the nose so the wearer can see and breathe. The feet also have foam stuffing to give them shape and have rubber soles. The mitts and feet have hook and loop fasteners to adjust the fit.

The plush knit fabric used to make the costume is 32.7 percent acrylic and 67.3 percent polyester. The costume is made in Taiwan. It is to be worn for promotional purposes.


Is the dog costume classified as a toy in Chapter 95, or is it considered fancy dress classified in Section XI by application of exclusion Note 1(e) of Chapter 95?


Under the HTSUSA, toys are classified in Chapter 95. However, Note 1(e) excludes articles of "fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62" from classification within Chapter 95.

Fancy dress is defined in Mary Brooks Picken's The Fashion Dictionary (1973) as:

Costume representing a nation, class, calling, etc., as worn to costume ball or masquerade party. (Page 134)

Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, at 822 (1965) defines fancy dress as:
a costume (as for a masquerade or party) departing from currently conventional style and usu. representing a fictional or historical character, an animal, the fancy of the wearer, or a particular occupation . . .

Costume is defined in Mary Brooks Picken's The Fashion Dictionary as:

1. Complete dress or apparel, including all outer garments and accessories worn at one time. Also, dress in general; but incorrectly used for a dress. Compare DRESSES. 2. Type of dress for wear to fancy dress ball. See FANCY DRESS. 3. Type of dress characteristic of any country, period, class, or calling. (Bold added) (Page 90)

From the same source, we find the following terms and definitions:
apparel: Clothing of all sorts; * * * (Page 6)
clothing: Any wearing apparel. For types, see SPORTS CLOTHES and DRESSES. (Page 70)
garment: Any article of apparel, chiefly one made of fabric. (Page 160)

Under the topic heading "Dress and Dresses" is the directive "Also see FANCY DRESS." (Page 109)

In Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, at 118 (1984), apparel is defined as: "1. Clothing. 2. Something that covers or adorns." Costume is defined as: "1. A prevalent style of dress, including clothing, accessories, and hairdos. 2. A style of dress typical of a particular time, country, or people, often worn in a play or at a festival. 3. A set of clothes appropriate for a particular occasion or season."

From the above definitions, it appears that the terms apparel, clothing, and garment are interchangeable. It also appears clear that fancy dress is a costume and that a costume is apparel or clothing of a particular type.

The Note 1(e) exclusion includes all fancy dress of textile materials and appears to leave no room for differentiating between costumes based on their construction, utilitarian value, and use.

In October 1983, the Nomenclature Committee of the Customs Cooperation Council, at the request of the Australian Administration, considered the classification of children's "Spiderman" and "Hulk" suits; a cowboy suit composed of a waistcoat and chaps with holster, of textile material; a cowboy suit composed of a waistcoat and trousers incorporating a simulated belt with holster, of textile material; and an Indian girl costume consisting of a dress, a headband and simulated braids, of textile material. The classification issue then, as in this case, was whether the costumes were classifiable as toys in Chapter 97 (now known as Chapter 95), or as textile articles of Section XI. The Committee decided the costumes were fancy dress, classifiable in Section XI by application of exclusion Note 1(e) to Chapter 97 (now Chapter 95). Annex F/5 to Doc. 30.550 E (NC/51/Oct. 83).

Although not bound by this decision of the Nomenclature Committee, Customs believes it illustrates the intent of the Note 1(e) exclusion to Chapter 95, and the meaning of fancy dress as it is used in that exclusion. In accordance with the Committee's decision and Note 1(e) to Chapter 95, costumes of textile materials are classifiable in Section XI.

Note 13 of Section XI provides:

Unless the context otherwise requires, textile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own headings even if put up in sets for retail sale.

Note 13 of Section XI requires that textile garments of differ- ent headings be separately classified, thus preventing classification of costumes consisting of two or more garments as sets. If a set cannot exist by application of Note 13, the articles which may be packaged with the garments must also be classified separately. How- ever, costumes consisting of single garments with accessories do not fall into the purview of Headnote 13. Therefore, single garments with accessories may be classifiable as sets by application of General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) according to the item in the set from which the set derives its essential character. Customs believes that the essential character of costumes consisting of single garments with accessories is generally imparted by the garment since without the garment you would merely have a collection of accessory items.

Hats and headpieces are generally classified in Chapter 65 of the HTSUSA. However, Chapter 65, Note 1(c), excludes "doll" hats, other toy hats or carnival articles of Chapter 95. Chapter 95, Note 1(e) excludes sports clothing or fancy dress, of textiles, of Chapter

61 or 62. While costume hats and headpieces could be considered to fall within the meaning of fancy dress of textiles, they would not be classified in Chapter 61 or 62, but in Chapter 65; therefore, the exclusionary note does not apply.

The dog costume at issue is made of six pieces or components. Composite goods are defined in the Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, as "not only those [goods] in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts."

We believe the dog costume meets the definition of composite goods. All of the components of the dog costume are adapted to each other, are mutually complementary and form a dog costume that would not normally be sold separately in parts.

As a composite good, classification of the dog costume is determined by that component which gives the costume its essential character. The Explanatory Notes address the issue of essential character under GRI 3(b) as follows:

(VIII) 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.

The body suit is the component of the dog costume which has the greatest visible surface area. It is the component which unites the other pieces together to form the whole. While each component is necessary to have a complete costume, the body suit, due to its size and function, is the component which we believe gives the costume its essential character. By application of Note 1(e) to Chapter 95, the body suit portion of the dog costume, as an article of fancy dress, cannot be classified in Chapter 95. Therefore, the head, hands and feet are classifiable with the body suit in Chapter 61.


The dog costume is classifiable in the provision for other garments, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers, other, other, subheading 6114.30.3070, HTSUSA, textile category 659, dutiable at 16.1 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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