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HQ 089043

July 22, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089043 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.5090; 6505.90.6090; 6505.90.7090; 6505.90.8090

Leisa Rich
Skin Covers
182 Ridout St. S.
London, Ontario, Canada
N6C 3X9

RE: Handmade hats; classifiable heading 6505

Dear Ms. Rich:

This is in reference to your letter of March 27, 1991, requesting classification of handmade hats under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue are handmade hats, made of various materials combined in unique ways to create one-of-a-kind headwear. You state that these hats will consist predominantly of man-made materials, such as polyester, poly-satin, poly-silk, velveteen, etc. Some natural fabrics such as cotton will also be used. In addition, old jewelry parts, buttons, trim, lace, etc. will adorn some of the designs. A postcard advertisement of two of the hats manufactured by Skin Covers depicts a cloche and a toque. A trim of what appears to be braid surrounds the bottom rim of the toque.


What is the appropriate classification of individually handmade hats under the HTSUSA.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification will be determined by the terms of the headings, and any relevant section or chapter notes.


Heading 6505 provides for hats of various materials. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that the heading includes hat shapes made by sewing (but not by sewing or otherwise assembling plaits or strips), whether or not lined or trimmed, and:

1) hats, whether or not trimmed with ribbons, hat pins, buckles, artificial flowers, foliage or fruit, feathers or other trimming of any material. (However, headgear of feathers or artificial flowers is excluded, and classified under heading 65.06)

2) berets (other than those made directly from felt plateaux - heading 65.03), bonnets, skull caps and the like. These are usually made directly by knitting or crocheting, and are frequently fulled. .

6) headgear made up from woven fabric, lace, net fabric, etc.

Since the hats at issue are constructed with the materials and in the manners described above, classification of such headwear is appropriate under heading 6505, HTSUSA.

However, a further distinction exists at the subheading level with regard to whether a hat is "wholly or in part of braid" or not in part of braid." In lieu of the fact that the submitted photograph depicts at least one hat which appears to have a trim of braid, the following must be considered: General Note 7 provides that, for the purposes of the tariff schedule, and unless the context otherwise requires,

(e) the terms "wholly", "in part of" and "containing", when used between the description of an article and a material (e.g. woven fabrics, wholly of cotton"), have the following meanings:

(i) "wholly of" means that the goods are, except for negligible or insignificant quantities of some other material or materials, composed completely of the named material;

(ii)"in part of" or "containing" mean that the goods contain a significant quantity of the named material.

With regard to the application of the quantitative concepts specified above, it is intended that the de minimis rule apply.


The de minimis rule states that an ingredient or component of an article may be ignored for classification purposes depending upon "whether or not the amount used has really changed or affected the nature of the article and, of course, its salability." Varsity Watch Company v. United States, 34 CCPA 155, C.A.D. 359 (1947). A determination of whether some of your merchandise is considered in part of braid must be based on inspection of the actual goods.


Assuming all of the headwear to be imported is of man-made fibers, or in chief weight of man-made fibers, the present merchandise is classified as follows: if of knit materials, and wholly or in part of braid, the merchandise is classified in subheading 6505.90.5090, which provides for hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted, or made up from lace, felt or other textile fabric, in the piece (but not in strips), whether or not lined or trimmed; other: of man-made fibers: knitted or crocheted or made up from knitted or crocheted fabric: wholly or in part of braid, other, textile category 659. Articles which meet the definition "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States - Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If this merchandise constitutes "goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem; otherwise, the general rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.

If of knit material and not in part of braid, the merchandise will be classified under subheading 6505.90.6090, HTSUSA, textile category 659, duty assessed at 27.7 cents per kilogram and 9.8 percent ad valorem. The general rate of duty is 39.7 cents per kg and 14.1 percent ad valorem.

If of woven material and wholly or in part of braid, the merchandise will be classified under subheading 6505.90.7090, HTSUSA, textile category 659, dutiable at the rate of 5 percent ad valorem. The general rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.

If of woven material and not in part of braid, classification is under subheading 6505.90.8090, HTSUSA, textile category 659, dutiable at the rate of 15.4 cents per kilogram and 5.6 percent ad valorem. The general rate is 22 cents per kg and 8 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 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 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 applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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