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HQ 087638

October 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087638 JLJ


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.6080

Mr. Bruce D. Roberts
Miami International Forwarders
P.O. Box 523730
Miami, Flordia 33152-3730

RE: Classification of braided baseball caps

Dear Mr. Roberts:

In your letter of June 21, 1990, you requested a tariff classification ruling for a baseball cap imported from Hong Kong on behalf of your client Federal Textile Corporation. A sample cap and a commercial laboratory report were submitted with your request.


You refer to the submitted sample as "Style A." Style A is a red and white baseball-style cap an adjustable plastic headband in back.

There is a red braid across the front of the cap, between the visor and the crown of the cap. The braid measures approximately 9-1/2 inches in length and 1/16 inch in width. The braid appears to serve merely as ornamentation on the cap.

The independent laboratory report which you submitted indicates that the instant merchandise is composed of several components. By weight, the component breakdown is as follows:

Part Composition % By weight

1. Front Panel:

Top Polyester 5.8

Under Cotton 6.8

Sponge 8.1

2. Back Panel Mesh: Nylon 12.4

3. Peak:

Top Polyester 4.4

Under Cotton 6.8

Sponge 1.5

Plastic 22.8

4. Sweatband:

Woven tape Cotton 1.5

Sponge 1.3

Plastic tape 3.7

5. Pining Cotton 6.7

6. Button 1.6

7. Buckle 5.4

8. Sewing thread Polyester 1.2

The laboratory report summarizes the various components by percentage of weight of the cap as follows:

Total cotton content 31.8%

Total nylon content 12.4%

Total polyester content 11.4%

Other components content 44.4%


What is the classification of the instant cap under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)? Is the cap classifiable as "in part of braid" in Heading 6505, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise 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: Hats made up from textile fabric, are classifiable in Heading 6505, HTSUSA, according to the material from which they are fabricated. The instant cap is made of several materials provided under more than one subheading within Heading 6505, HTSUSA. Classification of the cap at the subheading level therefore, is not possible solely on the basis of GRI 1.

GRI 3, HTSUSA, provides for classification of goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. GRI 3 also applies to the subheading level since GRI 6, HTSUSA, provides that for legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of 2 headings is in accordance with the terms of those subheadings and the GRI's.

GRI 3(a) states that the most specific heading shall be preferred, but that if two or more headings refer to only part of the materials contained in merchandise, than those headings are to be regarded as equally specific.

GRI 3(b) states that goods which cannot be classified by GRI 3(a) shall be classified as if they consisted of the material which gives them their essential character. According to the Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, "...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."

Each of the major components of the cap--the back panels, the front panels and the peak--form an important part of the cap. The peak of the cap keeps sunlight out of the wearer's eyes. The red mesh back panels keep the wearer's head cool by providing ventilation, while the white foamed front panel shields that part of the wearer's head from sunlight. Accordingly, no one of the three components is deemed to impart the essential character to the instant cap.

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

Some of the components are made of mixed materials. To determine the classification of a component such as this, the principles of Section XI concerning mixtures of textile materials are applicable, according to Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(d).

Subheading Note 2 and Note 2(A) to Section XI state that goods that contain a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material. Subheading Note 2 also states that where appropriate, only the part which determines the classification under GRI 3 shall be taken into account.

If the cap was classified as if it consisted only of the man-made knit nylon fibers of the red mesh back panels, it would be classified under subheading 6505.90.60, HTSUSA. If the cap was classified as if it consisted only of the woven cotton of the peak, it would be classified under subheading 6505.90.20, HTSUSA. If the cap was classified as if it consisted only of the knit cotton of the front panel, it would be classified under subheading 6505.90.15, HTSUSA.

Since subheading 6505.90.60 occurs last numerically of those which merit consideration, the cap at issue would be classified in this subheading.

In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087060 of August 17, 1990, this office held that a similar cap with a braid was classified as "not in part of braid," therefore the instant cap is classified under the subheading for "not in part of braid," 6505.90.6080, HTSUSA.


The instant cap is classified under subheading 6505.90.6080, HTSUSA, which provides for hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted or made up from knitted or crocheted fabric, not in part of braid, other, other. The rate of duty is 14.1 percent ad valorem plus 39.7 cents per kilogram. The textile category is 659.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classifiction) and the retraint (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.

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. In as much as 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 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 vailable for inspection at your local Customs office.

Regarding your question about the proper fiber content marking under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, we suggest, since so many different components are involved in the manufactured of this cap,, that you consult the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) directly. The FTC's national office is located at Pennsylvania Avenue and 6th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.


John Durant, Director

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