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HQ 089998

August 15, 1991

CO:R:C:T 089998 SK


TARIFF NO: 6506.91.0600

Ms. Judith K. Matta
William F. Joffroy, Inc.
P.O. Box 21041
Phoenix, Arizona 85036

RE: Classification of textile cap with solar panel, motor and fan under 6506, HTSUSA; GRI 3(b); plastic component imparts essential character to cap

Dear Ms. Matta:

This is in response to your letter of June 9, 1991, requesting classification, on behalf of Eagle Connection Inc., of a textile cap with a solar-powered plastic fan attached. A sample was submitted for our examination.


The submitted sample is a baseball-style cap fitted with a solar panel and a solar-powered fan. The cap has a front panel and visor of knitted polyester. The four panels comprising the cap's crown consist of nylon mesh. The fan is located prominently in a plastic box mounted through a hole in the visor. The solar panel, measuring approximately 6.5 cm x 9.5 cm, is mounted on top of the cap's crown which allows the panel to be rotated toward the sun. Wires running through the inside of the cap connect the panel to the fan.


Whether the solar-powered fan cap is properly classifiable under heading 6505 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), or whether it is classifiable as other headgear under heading 6506, HTSUSA?


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 shall be in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in the order of their appearance.

The article at issue is made up of composite goods and there are both textile and plastic components to the cap. GRI 1 alone is not determinative of the article's classification because the cap potentially falls under two headings: heading 6505, HTSUSA, which provides for hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted . . . whether or not lined or trimmed, or heading 6506, HTSUSA, which encompasses other headgear, whether or not lined or trimmed.

Pursuant to GRI 2, goods comprised of more than one material, or which are prima facie classifiable under two provisions in the nomenclature, are to be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) mandates that of several applicable headings, the one that provides the most specific description shall be preferred. This rule is inapplicable here because headings 6505 and 6506, HTSUSA, are equally specific inasmuch as both pertain to headgear. GRI 3(b) provides that:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and 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.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

As described supra, the article at issue has a substantial plastic component which is an integral part of the cap. The plastic fan, motor and solar panel add not only to the cap's bulk, but also increase the cap's value. The cap's visor has been altered to accommodate the plastic housing for the motor and fan, which is joined to the solar panel by wiring concealed under an additional strip of fabric. The solar panel is prominently located on top of the cap and is attached in such a manner so as to make removal impossible without damaging the article. Clearly, the cap has been modified to the extent that the essential character of the article is imparted by the plastic components.

Moreover, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087539, dated September 20, 1990, Customs distinguished between the types of headgear provided for in heading 6505, HTSUSA, and those under heading 6506, HTSUSA. It was noted that the Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6505 itemized hats and headgear that were of a conventional nature. Headgear provided for in the EN to heading 6506 is of a decidedly more unusual nature and includes such items as safety headgear and hats and headgear of various materials including rubber, plastics, leather, fur, flowers or metal. Heading 6506 covers a more distinctive and unusual type of headgear and it is in this category that solar-powered fan caps are properly classified.

The essential character of the article at issue is imparted by its plastic components. It is our determination that the plastic fan and solar panel provide a distinctive look and function to the cap which remove it from the category of ordinary hats and headgear as provided for in heading 6505, HTSUSA.


The submitted sample is classifiable under subheading 6506.91.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for other headgear, whether or not lined or trimmed: other: of rubber or plastics ... other. The subject merchandise is dutiable at a rate of 2.4 percent ad valorem. The item is subject to quota restraints and visa requirements from China, and visa requirements from Hong Kong.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and 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.


John Durant, Director

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