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 0087878 - HQ 0087958 > HQ 0087920

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087920

December 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087920 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 9615.11.1000; 9615.19.6010

Mr. Michael Veny
Vice President
Abe M. Knipper, Inc.
60 Sheridan Blvd.
Inwood, NY 11696

RE: Headband and Ponytail Holder Ensembles

Dear Mr. Veny:

This is in response to your letter of August 20, 1990, on behalf of Edward Jay Accessories, requesting the classification of plastic headband and textile ponytail holder ensembles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were provided for our inspection.


The ensembles at issue are representative of styles BS4049 and BS4099. Each ensemble, imported in a clear plastic pouch, contains four plastic headbands with two rows of short comb teeth on the inside of the band and six textile and elastic ponytail holders.


Whether either of the ensembles qualifies as a "set" under the HTSUSA, and, if not, how must their classification be resolved.


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 is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b), however, indicates that in order to qualify as a "set," goods must consist of
at least two different articles prima facie classifiable under different headings, contain products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and be put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to the user without repacking.

While the subject combinations contain articles put up together to meet a particular need in a manner suitable for the direct sale to the user, their contents are not classifiable under two different headings; headbands and ponytail holders are both classifiable in heading 9615, HTSUSA. Accordingly, neither one of the subject combinations qualifies as a "set" under the HTSUSA. The headbands and the ponytail holders, therefore, must be classified separately.

Heading 9615, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[c]ombs, hair-slides and the like." The Explanatory Note to heading 9615 indicates that that heading includes, among other things, dress combs of all kinds, whether for personal adornment or for keeping the hair in place, and hair-slides and the like for holding the hair in place or for ornamental purposes. According to the note, these articles are usually made of plastics, ivory, bone, horn, tortoise-shell, metal, etc.

The headbands are best described as combs and are classifiable in heading 9615. The ponytail holders are best described as hair-slides and are classifiable in heading 9615. This is so, notwithstanding the fact that the ponytail holders are made of a material other than those deemed characteristic of hair-slides and the like; the Explanatory Note to heading 9615 does not exclude articles of textile from that heading.


The headbands are classifiable in subheading 9615.11.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for combs, hair-slides and the like: of hard rubber or plastics: combs: valued not over $4.50 per gross. The applicable rate of duty is 14.4 cents per gross plus 2 percent ad valorem.

The ponytail holders are classifiable in subheading 9615.19.6010, HTSUSA, which provides for combs, hair-slides and the like: other (than hard rubber or plastics): other (than combs), of textile materials. The applicable rate of duty is 11 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: