United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0086586 - HQ 0086676 > HQ 0086638

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 086638

June 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086638 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9050

Ms. Carol A. Garrity
Garrett-Hewitt International, Inc.
901 No. Broadway
Suite 16
No. White Plains, N.Y. 10603

RE: Textile covered picture frame

Dear Ms. Garrity:

This ruling is in response to your letter, dated January 17, 1990, concerning the tariff classification of a textile covered picture frame under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample of the article was submitted along with your request.


The sample article is a rectangular shaped picture frame measuring approximately 5 inches wide by 6 inches tall. The frame is composed of a cardboard base covered with a textile fabric. A textile lace trim is sewn around the border of the frame. Based on the importer's submission, the breakdown of the constituent material of the frame in terms of weight and value is the following:

Weight Value
cardboard: 28 grams 17% textile: 4 grams 13% sponge: 2 grams pvc sheet: 1 gram (value of the sponge and pvc sheet is labor: * 60%

The sample textile covered frames will be imported from Taiwan.


Whether the article is classifiable under subheading 4823.90.6500, HTSUSA, as other articles of coated paperboard or under subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, as other made up textile articles.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (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 GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

In the instant case, we find no headings within the nomenclature whose terms would specifically include frames such as these. In addition, the frames are not covered by any Legal Notes, at either the Section or Chapter level. GRI 1 is, therefore, inconclusive, and the remaining GRI's, taken in order, are used.

Included with your letter were the value breakdowns and weight of the component materials used in constructing the frame. We have eliminated from consideration those headings which classify goods made up of the foam and other minor components, since they constitute a relatively insignificant portion of the frame. The two remaining components, the paperboard and textile, form an inseparable whole, and the item is, therefore, composite goods.

Composite goods are classified by reference to GRI's 2 and 3. 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. GRI 2(b), HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part that "[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI

GRI 3, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part:

When, by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Since the paperboard material and the textile fall under separate headings in the tariff schedule which describe only a portion of the materials in the entire picture frame, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific under GRI 3(a). Therefore, GRI 3(a) fails in establishing classification, and GRI 3(b) becomes applicable.

GRI 3(b) states in pertinent part:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Two headings suggest themselves for classification purposes; each referring to one of the principal components. The first is Heading 4823, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of paper or paperboard, and the second is Heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles of textiles. Classification under GRI 3(b) depends on which material gives the product its essential character. In this case, however, we are of the opinion that no single component imparts the essential character to the sample frame. None of the factors, either as a group or individually, substantiates a finding of essential character of paperboard or of textiles. Although paperboard is predominant by weight and by bulk, it is the textile portion which distinguishes this article from ordinary picture frames. Furthermore, the textile portion greatly enhances the marketability of the article; however, it is the cardboard frame which provides support and rigidity to the frame.

When, as in the instant case, the component which gives the goods at issue their essential character cannot be determined, classification is ascertained by utilizing GRI 3(c). GRI 3(c) provides:

(c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

In this case, the heading which occurs last in numerical order is 6307, HTSUSA. Accordingly, the textile covered picture frame is properly classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for Other made up articles: Other: Other: Other.


Based on the foregoing analysis, the sample textile covered picture frame is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA. Articles classified under this subheading are subject to a general tariff rate of 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: