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HQ 084894

September 5, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084894 CMR 841606


TARIFF NO.: 3924.10.5000

Ms. Regina Robertson
Hallmark Cards, Inc.
P.O. Box 419580 - Drop 376
Kansas City, MO. 64141-6580

RE: Classification of napkin ring set

Dear Ms. Robertson:

This ruling is in response to your letter of May 18, 1989, requesting the classification of a napkin ring set manufactured in Taiwan. The sets will be imported through the port of Kansas City.


The napkin ring set submitted for review consists of four 100 percent cotton napkins and four napkin rings of fiberglass reinforced plastic.


Is the napkin ring set classifiable as a set under GRI 3(b), or are the goods separately classified?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), 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, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]."

GRI 3 provides for goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. The napkins are classifiable in heading 6302, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and
kitchen linen. The napkin rings are classifiable in heading 3924, HTSUSA, which provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics. Applying GRI 3(a), we must treat the headings as equally specific as they refer to part only of the goods to be classified.

Under GRI 3(b), goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified using GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives the set its essential character. The napkin ring set qualifies for consideration as "goods put up in a set for retail sale" within the meaning of GRI 3. It consists of at least two different articles which are classifiable in different headings (the napkins and the napkin rings), put up together to meet a particular need, and put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

Since the napkin ring set qualifies as a set within the meaning of GRI 3, we must decide which component imparts the essential character of the set. Various factors may be used to make that determination, i.e., the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. We believe that the napkin rings are the components which impart the essential character to this set. Each component in the set serves a functional and decorative role. The napkin rings, however, give the set that unique quality that makes the set distinctive and sparks the interest of the consumer. Therefore, the napkin ring set is classifiable under the provision applicable to the plastic napkin rings.


The napkin ring set at issue is classifiable under the provision for other tableware in subheading 3924.10.5000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 3.4 percent ad valorem.

Textile articles contained in sets classifiable under GRI 3 are still subject to visa requirements. The napkins in the napkin ring set fall in textile category 369.

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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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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