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HQ 089086

May 22, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089086 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6117.80.0010

Louis S. Shoichet, Esq.
Tompkins & Davidson
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of a knitted terry headband; not a hair-slide or the like of Heading 9615; classifiable as a clothing accessory of Heading 6117

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This letter is in response to your inquiries, on behalf of Goody Products, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of a knitted headband from Thailand. A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, designated by you as Style no. 2563- "a terry-knit stretchband," is a 100 percent cotton, knitted, terry headband. The headband measures approximately 7 inches in length and 2 inches in width. Two parallel rows of decorative stitching run continuously around the exterior of the headband. The headband has a circular, movable "knot" of identical fabric measuring approximately 3 centimeters in diameter. The knot tightly wraps around a section of the headband providing a crimped appearance, which you describe as a "turban effect."


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 6117 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), Heading 6505, HTSUSA, or Heading 9615, 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 determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6505, HTSUSA, provides for hats and other headgear. Headgear is defined by The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, the Unabridged Edition (1983) as "any covering for the head, esp. a hat, cap, bonnet, etc." The headband at issue would not meet the definition of headgear, nor is it similar to any of the articles in the list of exemplars to Heading 6505 contained in the Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level. Consequently this merchandise is not classifiable in Heading 6505.

Heading 9615, HTSUSA, provides for combs, hair-slides and the like, hairpins, curling pins, curling grips, hair-curlers, and the like, other than those of Heading 8516, and parts thereof. The Explanatory Notes state that this heading covers the following:

(1) toilet combs of all kinds, including combs for animals.

(2) dress combs of all kinds, whether for personal adornment or for keeping the hair in place.

(3) hair-slides and the like for holding the hair in place or for ornamental purposes.

These articles are usually made of plastics, ivory, bone, horn, tortoise-shell, metal, etc.

(4) hairpins.

(5) curling pins, curling grips, hair-curlers and the like, other than those of Heading 85.16, whether or not having coverings or fittings of textile, rubber or other materials.

These articles are usually made of base metal or plastics.

Your submissions show that the submitted merchandise is worn behind the ears with the headband's knot on top of the wearer's head; thus, you state that it is not a sweatband, which is worn on the forehead. You contend that the submitted merchandise is not classifiable as a clothing accessory in Heading 6117. The submitted headband is designed to keep the wearer's hair in place and for ornamental purposes; therefore, you argue that this merchandise is classifiable in Heading 9615, HTSUSA. Heading 9615 is a use provision and therefore the submitted headband may not be excluded because it is a textile article. In addition, you have submitted information, including advertising material, showing that this merchandise will be marketed and sold as a decorative hair accessory.

Headbands are not specifically listed in Heading 9615 of the tariff schedule, nor are they listed in the Explanatory Notes to Heading 9615. The closest exemplar in the Explanatory Notes to Heading 9615 is (3), which lists hair-slides and the like for holding the hair in place or for ornamental purposes. You contend that the submitted band is used to hold the hair in place and for ornamental purposes and therefore is classifiable in Heading 9615.

We searched several reference books for a definition of hair-slides, but none was listed. Assuming that the term hair- slides is a British term, we contacted H.M. Customs and Excise (UK Customs) for a definition of this term. Although they had no dictionary definition, they stated that a hair-slide can be used for holding the hair in place or solely for decorative purposes and is generally of rigid or semi-rigid construction. It is curved to fit the contour of the head, toothed, likely to be made of plastics, metal, bone, tortoise-shell, etc., and is retained on the head and slid into position. UK Customs commented that the language and the like, contained just after the term hair-slide in the Explanatory Notes to Heading 9615, indicates articles that are similar to combs and hair-slides in function and construction. Therefore they would be articles of rigid or semi-rigid construction that could be functional or decorative.

Although the information supplied by UK Customs is not binding, we believe it is a reasonable conclusion when taken in conjunction with the language of the Harmonized System and the Explanatory Notes. The term slide implies that the surface of the article must be smooth and therefore would need to be of rigid or semi-rigid construction. The language "hair-slides and the like are usually made of plastics, ivory, bone, horn, tortoise-shell, metal, etc." contained in the Explanatory Notes is consistent with this type of article. We would agree that the language and the like also indicates articles of rigid or semi- rigid construction.

However, we are not of the opinion that all articles used to hold the hair in place or for decorative purposes are classifiable in Heading 9615. For example, scarves, as well as sweatbands, can be worn on the head for these purposes, yet these articles are classifiable in Heading 6117.

Although the submitted headband is designed for holding the hair in place and for ornamental purposes, it is not made of rigid or semi-rigid material, nor is it contoured. The submitted headband is incongruous with the articles of Heading 9615 and consequently is not classifiable in that provision of the tariff.

Heading 6117, HTSUSA provides for other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted. Accessory is not defined in the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (1986) defines accessory as "any of various articles of apparel (as a scarf, belt, or piece of jewelry) that accent or otherwise complete one's costume." This merchandise provides decoration to complement clothing. It meets the definition of clothing accessory and is therefore classifiable in Heading 6117.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6117.80.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted, other accessories, of cotton. The rate of duty is 15.5 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 359.

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

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.


John Durant, Director

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