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HQ 087961

January 24, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 087961 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000

Steven S. Weiser, Esq.
Paul A. Horowitz, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Presence of foam padding in infant's car seat cover does not render it similar to a cushion such that it would be classifiable as an article of bedding or similar furnishing. HRLs 085375 and 085885.

Dear Messrs. Weiser and Horowitz:

This is reply to your letter dated September 13, 1990, on behalf of your client Cosco, Inc., concerning the classification of an infant's car seat cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A meeting was held at Customs Headquarters on January 15, 1991 to discuss this issue, following which, you made an additional submission in a letter dated January 16, 1991. In addition, you have enquired as to whether the seat cushion is eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). A sample was included with your ruling request.


The article in question is an infant's car seat cushion, model no. 02-719. The back panel, back "collar" and seat panel of the article are made from 100 percent polyester quilted fabric backed by polyester filler and lined with 100 percent polypropylene fabric. The seat panel covers a seat cushion made from 100 percent polyurethane foam, the back of which is covered by a layer of polypropylene fabric. The seat cushion is designed for infants who weigh 17 pounds or less and whose height is 26 inches or less and is intended to protect them from shocks that may occur when traveling by automobile.

The cushion is assembled in Mexico from U.S. material which is imported into Mexico from unmarked bolts fabric measuring either 58 inches in width by 100 yards in length or 58 inches in width by 500 yards in length. In addition, the foam cushion and all thread used in sewing the cushion are of U.S. origin.


Whether the car seat cushion in question is classifiable as an other furnishing article or as an article of bedding.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 9404, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085885 dated January 23, 1990, an infant's car seat cover similar to that now at issue was classified in subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, on the grounds that seat covers were neither similar to nor of the same type as the kind of articles named in the heading. Nevertheless, you contend that the article in question cannot be considered a seat or cushion cover of heading 6304 due to the existence of a foam pad sewn beneath the seat panel, and thus distinguish it from the merchandise which was the subject of HRL 085885. Moreover, you maintain that the car seat cover qualifies as a cushion in that it functions as a support or shock absorber for an infant occupying the car seat itself and should therefore be classified in heading 9404.

In contrast, heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404. The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not legally binding, constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. EN 63.04, 865, provides:

This heading covers furnishing articles of textile materials, other than those of the preceding headings or of heading 9404, for use in the home, public buildings, theatres, churches, etc., and similar articles used in ships, railway carriages, aircraft, trailer caravans, motor cars, etc.

Among the exemplars cited by EN 63.04 as being embraced by heading 6304 are cushion covers and loose covers for furniture. In HRL 085375 dated November 8, 1989, Customs held that a ruffled chair cover was classifiable in heading 6304 notwithstanding the fact that it contained a polyurethane cushion. The cushion, which was imported with the seat cover but attached to it after importation, was deemed to be but an incidental feature of the article which was primarily a cover for an infant's automobile seat.

In your letter of January 16, 1991, you cited three rulings which you maintain supports your position, specifically, HRL 080873 dated April 21, 1988, HRL 087213 dated September 18, 1990, and New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 848110 dated January 4, 1990. HRL 080873 involved the classification of an article under the Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), consequently Customs does not consider it to be valid precedent under the HTSUSA. HRL 087213 concerned the classification of orthopedic back support cushions. There the choice was between heading 9404, HTSUSA (cushions), and heading 9021, HTSUSA (orthopedic appliances). Since the cushions in question were excluded from heading 9021 they were perforce classified in heading 9404. In NYRL 848110, the article at issue was a seat cushion which was separable into the cushion itself (a foam pad) and the cushion shell. The parts together comprised an article known as a "cushion" and, as a result, the whole was classified as a cushion of heading 9404. On this basis the merchandise is distinguishable from the instant seat cover in that while both the parts and the whole of the former comprised a cushion, the foam pad of the latter is merely a feature of a seat cover whose presence does not transform the nature of the article itself. Thus Customs does not view the rulings you cite as constituting support for your contention that the Cosco article should be classified as a cushion.

The principal function of the Cosco article is to cover the model no. 02-719 car seat. Consequently, it is Customs' opinion that the seat cover in question, despite the existence of a foam cushion, is ejusdem generis with the cushion covers and loose furniture covers for furniture described by EN 63.04.


The car seat cover/cushion is classifiable in subheading 6304.93.0000, HTSUSA, under the provision for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404, other, not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers, and is dutiable at the rate of 10.6 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 666.

Articles classifiable in this subheading are not eligible for GSP treatment.

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, 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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


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