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 > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0087620 - HQ 0087694 > HQ 0087650

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087650

October 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087650 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.7500

Ms. Lois DeLarra
Alrod International Inc.
880 Stanton Road
Burlingame, California 94010

RE: Classification of an inflatable travel pillow with cover

Dear Ms. DeLarra:

You inquired about the tariff classification of an inflatable travel pillow and cover imported from Hong Kong on behalf of your client, J. Jacobs Co. Inc. of San Francisco, California. A sample of the merchandise was submitted along with your letter.


The sample in question consists of an 11 inch by 15 inch inflatable "U" shaped travel pillow designed to fit around the neck. The plastic pillow, which fits inside a cover, is made of vinyl. The cover is made of 100 percent polyester brushed knit fabric. You state that the two parts will be packaged for retail sale as an entirety.


Are the two articles classified separately?

What is the classification of this inflatable pillow with cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


If the two parts (vinyl pillow and polyester cover) are imported in equal numbers in the same shipment, they may be classified as a composite article since they are clearly adapted one to the other and would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 2(b) states in part, that the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3.

GRI 3 states that, when goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) ...when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or sub- stances contained in mixed or composite goods...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.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of differ- ent components,...which cannot be clas- sified 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.

Inasmuch as the instant merchandise qualifies as a composite good with separable components, it must be classified accordingly.

If imported alone, the vinyl pillow component would be classified in Heading 3926, HTSUSA, under the tariff provision for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.

The polyester cover, if imported separately, would be classified in Heading 6307, HTSUSA, under the tariff provision for other made up articles of textile materials.

Applying GRI 3(a) to these headings, since each heading refers to only one of the components in the composite good, both headings are regarded as equally specific. Considering next the criteria under GRI 3(b), the merchandise must be classified as if it consisted of the component which gives the merchandise its essential character.

The Explanatory Notes of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, provide in part, at page 4, that:

(VIII) 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 good.

In the case of the instant merchandise, the role of the vinyl component in relation to the use of the goods is the most significant factor. Without the inflatable pillow inside it, the polyester cover, serves no purpose. The pillow is the essential part of the instant merchandise, since it is capable of functioning independently.

In accordance with GRI 3(b), we find that the vinyl inflatable pillow constitutes the essential character of the composite good.


The instant merchandise is classified in subheading 3926.90.7500, HTSUSA, by virtue of GRI 3(b), HTSUSA. This tariff provision is dutiable at the rate of 4.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: