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HQ 085148

November 9, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085148 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9050

Mr. Alan R. Klestadt
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Tariff classification of trunk shaped boxes Your ref: 89-0289-5(262)I

Dear Mr. Klestadt:

This letter is in response to your inquiry dated July 10, 1989, requesting tariff classification of trunk shaped, textile covered cardboard boxes. Your letter and a sample of the goods have been forwarded to us by our New York office for a classification ruling.


The sample submitted with your request is a trunk shaped box, approximately 6 inches high, 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep. It has 2 parts, a lower portion and a lid, both of which are constructed of cardboard (or paperboard) covered with foam padding and a man-made satin textile material. The lid is attached to the bottom by two ribbons of undetermined textile material which act as hinges. The foam and textile are adhered to the cardboard by an adhesive. The covered cardboard is formed into the shape of the box, and then secured at the seams by glue. The top and edges of the box are decorated with a lace trim of unidentified textile material. The top of the box is also decorated with flowers and ribbon, both of an unidentified textile material.


What is the proper classification for these goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (hereinafter "HTSUSA") is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (hereinafter "GRI(s)") 1 through 5. The systematic detail of the Harmonized System is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. Then, if GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may be applied, taken in order.

In the instant case, we find no headings within the nomenclature whose terms would specifically include boxes such as these. In addition, they are not addressed by any Legal Notes, at either the Section or Chapter level. Because GRI 1 is, therefore, inconclusive, the boxes must be classified by determining essential character on the basis of component materials, as explained below. Included with your letter was a breakdown by value of the box component materials. It indicates that 42% of the box value is cardboard, 30% is textile material, 7% is foam padding, and 14% is textile trim. We have eliminated from consideration the "material-related" headings which classify goods made up of the foam and glue components, since they constitute a relatively insignificant portion of the merchandise. Two headings, then, suggest themselves for classification purposes. The first is heading 4823, HTSUSA, other articles of paper or paperboard, and the second is heading 6307, HTSUSA, other made up articles of textiles.

As noted above, neither heading 4823 nor 6307, HTSUSA, by their terms or relevant Legal Notes, includes paperboard boxes of this type. Since classification cannot be made by GRI 1, the remaining GRIs, taken in order, are used. Under GRI 2, any reference to a material or an article made of a material includes goods made wholly or in part of that material. GRIs 3(a) & (b) hold that goods such as these which are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings are classified by determining which of the component materials provides the goods with its essential character. The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) indicate that there are no hard and fast rules for determining essential character. Each case involves an individual evaluation of such factors as weight, value, bulk, marketability, etc. In this case, the sample box is a composite good which should be classifiable as a product of either textile or paper, depending upon which material gives the product its essential character.

In this case, however, we are of the opinion that the classification of these boxes cannot be determined by essential character. None of the factors, either as a group or individually, provide sufficient support for essential character of paperboard or of textiles. Although paperboard is apparently predominant by weight, by bulk, and by value, it is the textile which distinguishes this box from ordinary cardboard boxes. The textile greatly enhances the marketability of the item, but also relies upon the cardboard frame for support and rigidity.

Failing classification by GRI 3(b), GRI 3(c) states that, among eligible headings, classification shall occur under that which is last in numerical order among those under consideration. In this case, that subheading would be 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, Other made up articles: Other: Other: Other.


The sample merchandise is classified as a made up textile article of subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, and as such is dutiable at a tariff rate of 7% ad valorem. The textile category is 363.

Because of the changeable nature of the statistical annotation, i.e., the ninth and tenth digits of the tariff number, and the textile restraint categories, you should contact your local Customs office before importing this merchandise to determine the current status of and import restraints or requirements.

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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