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HQ 088410

April 18, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088410 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.6000

Ms. Barbara Willey, Import/Export Manager Applause Inc.
6101 Variel Avenue
Woodland Hills, California 91367

RE: Classification of infants' two piece Halloween costumes consisting of hats and bibs; festive articles

Dear Ms. Willey:

In your letter of Novemember 18, 1990, you requested a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for two piece infants' Halloween costumes imported from Thailand. You submitted a sample witch costume and descriptive literature.


The two piece infants' costumes consist of a bonnet or hat and a bib. There are six styles of costume: witch, pumpkin, ghost, bunny, kitty, and puppy. The costumes are similarly constructed and made of 100 percent polyester tricot. They are designed to be worn on Halloween. Each costume will be packaged to be sold as a two piece set.

The witch's costume was submitted as a sample. It consists of a pointed black witch's hat with a purple hood permanently attached. A velco-type closure beneath the chin holds the cap on the baby's head. The second article consists of a purple bib with appliques of a star and a broom. Both pieces are made of knit fabric.


What is the correct HTSUSA classification of these infants' costumes?


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order.

The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state in the section regarding GRI 3 that "goods put up in sets for retail sale" are defined as goods which consist of at least two different articles which are prima facie classifiable in different headings, which consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and which are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging.

The instant costumes consist of hats, which are classified in Heading 6505, and bibs, which are classified in Heading 6111. They are put up together to be Halloween costumes and meet the definition of "goods put up in sets for retail."

GRI 3 (b), HTSUSA, states that:

...goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character....

The instant sets cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 3 (a) because they consist of items referred to in two different headings. GRI 3 (a) requires that both headings must be regarded as equally specific. The sets must therefore be classified according to GRI 3 (b) on the basis of essential character.

The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3 (b) advise that the factor which determines essential character will vary between different types of goods. It may be determined by the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value or by the role of the constituent item in relation to the use of the goods.

In the case of the instant costumes, an examination of the sample costume and the descriptive literature submitted shows that the role of the hat is far greater than the role of the bib in determining the identity of the costumes. The witch's hat, the rabbit's ears, the kitten's ears, and the dog's ears all identify the costumes for the viewer. The role of the bib is clearly secondary to the role of the hat in the costumes, therefore the hat constitutes the essential character of the set.

The remaining question is whether the costumes are classified in Heading 6505 as hats or in Heading 9505 as festive or carnival articles.
Hats and headgear are generally classified in Chapter 65 of the HTSUSA. However, Chapter 65, Note 1 (c), excludes doll's hats, other toy hats, or carnival articles of Chapter 95. The instant sets may be defined for tariff purposes as festive or carnival articles of fancy dress. While Chapter 95, Note 1 (e), excludes fancy dress of textiles of Chapters 61 or 62, these headpieces are not classifiable in Chapters 61 or 62 and, therefore, are not excluded from Chapter 95. Accordingly, having been excluded from Chapter 65, the hat and bib costumes are therefore classified under the provision for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles: other: other, in subheading 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA. See Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter 085696 of NOvember 30, 1989, in which a similar issue was decided in favor of Chapter 95.


The infants' costumes at issue, consisting of hats and bibs, are classified under the provision for other festive or carnival articles in subheading 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 3.1 percent ad valorem. Goods originating in Thailand which ar classified in this subheading and which meet the requirements of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), may enter the United States free of duty under the GSP.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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