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HQ 087592

February 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087592 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 6304.92.0000

M. Barry Levy
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt
67 Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Infant car seat cover, head rest, carrier and stroller covers

Dear Mr. Levy:

This is in reference to your letters dated July 6, 1990, requesting the classification of an infant car seat cover, an infant head rest/chair pad, a carrier cover and stroller cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In light of the similarity of facts and issues in the requests, they have been consolidated for our response.


All of the items at issue are made of 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester woven fabric, with 100 polyester fiber fill. The car seat cover measures approximately 24 by 32 inches and has a ruffle and strap openings. The infant head rest/chair pad measures approximately 10 by 21 inches and has a U shaped padded section at one end and strap openings. The stroller pad measures approximately 12 by 32 inches and has a ruffle and four sets of tie strings to secure the cover to a stroller. The carrier cover measures approximately 18 by 24 inches, and has a ruffle and strap openings. You state in your letter that you believe that these items are classifiable in Heading 9404, HTSUSA, which provides for bedding articles such as quilts.

On January 29, 1991, a conference was held at Customs Headquarters, at which time you suggested an alternative classification of Heading 6307, HTSUSA, which covers other made up textile articles.


What is the proper classification of the merchandise at issue under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles. Heading 9404, HTSUSA, provides for mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishings.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 9404 list various articles of bedding and similar furnishings such as mattresses, quilts, sleeping bags, pillows and cushions as examples of items classifiable in that heading. Although the list is not meant to be exhaustive, the covers here in question are not the same kind or class of items enumerated to justify classification in Heading 9404. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085885, dated January 23, 1990, which classified an infant car seat cover under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, and HRL 087961 of January 24, 1991, which classified infant car seat covers under subheading 6304.93.000, HTSUSA.

You presented several Headquarters rulings in support of your position. We note, however, that HRL 081847 of July 6, 1988, concerns a Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) ruling. TSUS rulings are not considered dispositive, especially in cases like this, where the definition of furnishings set forth in Headnote 1 to Subpart C, Part 5, Schedule 3, TSUS, was abolished upon the inception of the HTSUSA. HRL 080959 of July 8, 1988, which you cite, actually supports the classification of the instant merchandise in Heading 6304, HTSUSA, because it classifies an infant's seat pad in that heading. Finally, HRL 081832 of October 5, 1989, is distinguishable because it covers a component of a baby head support, not the final product.

At the conference on January 29,1991, counsel argued that Heading 6307, which provides for other made up textile articles, was the correct classification if Heading 9404 did not apply. Heading 6307 is a basket provision. As stated in the Explanatory Notes for Heading 6307, "This heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI...." Inasmuch as the instant merchandise is more specifically provided for in Heading 6304, Heading 6307 does not apply.

In light of the fact that the covers are made up of different components, the outside cover and inner fill material, provided for under separate headings, the appropriate subheading cannot be determined solely on the basis of GRI 1. GRI 3 provides guidance for the classification of goods which are classifiable under two or more headings. According to GRI 3(b), composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA may be consulted for guidance as to the correct international interpretation of the various HTSUSA provisions. The Explanatory Notes state that "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.

We must next determine whether the outside cover or fill material gives these items their essential character in order to classify the goods under GRI 3(b). Although the fill material makes the items in question more comfortable, the outside covers are indispensable to the design and function of the items, i.e., to cover an infant car seat, stroller, carrier or head rest. The covers therefore give the items their essential character. Each of the items at issue is classifiable according to fabric of the outer cover, which as previously determined, is in chief weight of cotton.


The products in question are classified under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, as other furnishing articles, excluding those of Heading 9404, other, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, with a duty rate of 7.2 percent ad valorem and subject to textile category 369.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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, we suggest that 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

Your samples are being returned to you, as requested.


John Durant, Director

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