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HQ 088094

January 25, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088094 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000

Mr. James Schoonover
Straw & Lace
P.O. Box 898
815 Jersey Street
Baldwin City, Kansas 66006

RE: Hanging window decorations constructed of steel ring surrounded by polyester lace and embroidery are other furnishing articles.

Dear Mr. Schoonover:

This is in reply to your letter of October 11, 1990, concerning the tariff classification of window decorations, produced in Taiwan and West Germany, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of two types of window decorations. The first consists of a steel wire ring, ranging from 15cm to 25cm, with a polyester knit material stretched over the ring and forming the background for the appliques to be attached. Bonded to the background are machine lace or embroidery stitch appliques, some with a woven backing, also of polyester. The second sample consists of a steel wire ring, 30cm in diameter, with a polyester lace decoration stretched around it.


Whether the decorations are considered of metal or of textile under the HTSUSA?


Heading 7326 provides for other articles of iron or steel. Heading 6304, HTSUSA, and other headings of Section XI, provide for, inter alia, textile articles. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ...

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs, taken in order.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) [goods of more than one material or substance] or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) [which requires that goods be classified, if possible, under the more specific of the competing provisions], shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. Explanatory Note (IX) to GRI 3 provides:

For the purposes of [GRI 3(b)], composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted to one another and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Explanatory Note (X) to GRI 3 provides, in pertinent part:

For the purposes of [GRI 3(b)], the term
"goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings.

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking ....

[C]lassification [of sets and of composite goods] is made according to the component, or components taken together, which can be regarded as conferring on the set as a whole its essential character.

The factors which determine essential character of an article will vary from case to case. It may be the nature of the materials or the components, its bulk, quantity, weight, value, or the role a material plays in relation to the use of the goods.

In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure or condition of an article.

It is our opinion that the textile portion of the window decorations imparts the essential character. The metal ring merely aids the decoration in keeping its shape, while the textile confers upon the merchandise its aesthetic qualities. Classification under Section XI, HTSUSA, is therefore correct.

Heading 5804, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, lace in the piece, in strips or in motifs. Heading 5810 provides for similar items of embroidery. The Explanatory Notes to these headings, however, state that the headings do not cover made up articles of lace or embroidery; these are classified according to their character, generally in Chapter 62 or 63. As the instant samples are completed articles, they are not classifiable in headings 5804 or 5810.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles. The EN to this heading includes therein furnishing articles of textiles, including wall hangings. It is our opinion, therefore, that the instant samples are appropriately classifiable in this heading.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6304.93.0000, HTSUSA, textile category 666, as other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404, other, not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 10.6 percent ad valorem.

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 negotiations 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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


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