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HQ 085001

November 15, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085001 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 9404.90.8000, 6302.31.1060

James A. Geraghty, Esq.
Donohue & Donohue
Suite 111
26 Broadway
New York, New York 10004

RE: Tariff classification of down comforters and comforter covers

Dear Mr. Geraghty:

This ruling is in response to your letters of June 29, 1989, and September 6, 1989. We regret that you did not receive a copy of HRL 083990 of June 13, 1989, which should have accompanied HRL 084136, issued to you on June 19, 1989. We have enclosed a copy of HRL 083990.

In your letters, you requested clarification of the classi- fication of the comforters and comforter covers if imported together. In your initial letter of March 13, 1989, you expressed the opinion that the comforter covers should be classified under heading 9404.90.80, HTSUSA, whether imported with the comforters or imported separately. HRL 084136 adequately explains why this is not the case.

If the comforters and comforter covers are imported separately, they are separately classified as indicated in HRL 084136. The comforter covers are classified in subheading 6302.31.1060, HTSUSA, textile category 362, dutiable at 23.8 percent ad valorem. The comforters are classified in subheading 9404.90.8000, HTSUSA, textile category 362, dutiable at 5 percent ad valorem.

If the comforters and comforter covers are imported together, we must decide whether they meet the requirements for consideration as composite goods or goods put up in sets for retail sale. The Explan- atory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, provide:

For purposes of this Rule [3(b)], composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those 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.

The comforters and comforter covers clearly do not fall within the definition of composite goods given in the Explanatory Notes because they are normally offered for sale in separate parts.

In order to be classified as sets, the comforters and comforter covers must be classifiable in different headings (which they are); be put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity (which they do -- bedding); and be put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

Provided the comforters and comforter covers meet the last requirement listed above, they would be classifiable as sets. As sets, classification is based on the component in the set which imparts the essential character. In these sets, the role of the comforter in relation to the use of the goods is the more significant of the two components. Accordingly, it is the comforter which gives the set its essential character.

Therefore, comforters and comforter covers imported as sets are classified in subheading 9404.90.8000, HTSUSA, textile category 362, dutiable at 5 percent ad valorem.

All applicable visa and quota requirements apply for textile articles which are classified as parts of a set. Therefore, classification of the comforters and comforter covers as a set, when imported as such, does not effect the visa and quota requirements applicable to each separately.

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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