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HQ 086261

April 18, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086261 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9050

Ms. Mona Webster
Import Customs Specialist
Target Stores
33 South Sixth Street
P.O. Box 1392
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440-1392

RE: Textile covered cardboard boxes; jewelry boxes; hat boxes

Dear Ms. Webster:

This letter is in response to your inquiry dated December 18, 1989, requesting tariff classification of textile covered paperboard boxes. Your letter and samples of the goods have been forwarded to us by our New York office for a classification ruling.


The goods at issue here are constructed of paperboard and textile material. The structure or frame of each item is paperboard. The surfaces are covered with a textile material identified as cotton and polyester. Some surfaces are also padded with foam. The textile material and/or foam are adhered to the paperboard by an adhesive. The items are described as:

Style 16195-A, (65 poly/35 cotton hexagonally shaped box measuring approximately 5 inches by 5+ inches wide). It consists of a bottom portion with removable lid, and is constructed of fabric covered cardboard.

Style 16203-1, (65 poly/35 cotton covered cardboard). It is rectangular shaped, measuring approximately 9 inches by 5 inches by 3 inches high. It consists of a bottom and a padded lid permanently connected by the outer fabric.

Style 16197-1, (100% nylon covered cardboard heart shaped box). It measures approximately 3+ inches by 4 inches by 2 inches high, and consists of a bottom and removable lid.

Style 16206, (65 poly/35 cotton covered cardboard round box). It consists of a removable padded lid and a bottom portion. The lid is trimmed with textile embroidery around the rim, and a flowered lace motif with plastic beads and textile ribbon decoration is sewn on top.

Your letter contains no information regarding the cost or weight breakdown of the component materials.


How are these goods classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) 1 through 5. The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. Then, if GRI 1 fails to classify the goods, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

In the instant case, we find no headings within the nomenclature whose terms would specifically include boxes such as these. Although you have referred to style 16195A as a hat box, and to the style 16203-1 as a jewelry box these items are not considered either hat boxes or jewelry boxes for classification purposes. First, the size of the sample box identified as 16195A is not, in our opinion, large enough to accommodate a hat for storage. This indicates to us that the subject box is not designed for use as a hat box. With regard to style 16203-1, the Explanatory Notes to heading 4292, HTSUSA, provide the following definition of "jewelry boxes":

The term "jewellry boxes" covers not only boxes specially designed for keeping jewellry but also other similar lidded containers of various dimensions (with or without hinges or fasteners) specially shaped or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewellry and normally lined with textile material, of the type in which articles of jewellry are often presented and sold and which are suitable for long-term use.

Style 16203-1 is clearly not "specially shaped or fitted" to contain pieces of jewelry. The sample box is more like those referred to as "trinket boxes." They may be used not only for loose articles of jewelry but also for keepsakes, stamps, cosmetics, or any other item, limited only by the size of the box.

Because we find no reference to these items by heading term or Legal Note, at either the Section or Chapter level, GRI 1 is inconclusive. The remaining GRI's, taken in order, are used.

Although your letter did not include breakdowns of the component materials used in constructing the boxes, it is obvious that the principal components are paperboard and textile material. These form an inseparable whole, and the item is therefore a composite good. Composite goods are classified by reference to GRI's 2 and 3. Under GRI 2, any reference to a material or an article made of a material includes goods made wholly or in part of that material. GRI's 3(a) & (b) hold that goods such as these which are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings are classified by determining which of the component materials provides the item with its essential character.

Two headings suggest themselves for classification purposes; each referring to one of the principal components. The first is heading 4823, HTSUSA, other articles of paper or paperboard, and the second is heading 6307, HTSUSA, other made up articles of textiles. Classification ordinarily depends on which material gives the product its essential character. In this case, however, we are of the opinion that no single component imparts the essential character to the sample articles. We reach this conclusion despite the absence of weight or cost data, based simply on the nature of the merchandise. Although paperboard is most likely predominant by weight and by bulk, we believe the textile to have greater value. The textile distinguishes these items from ordinary cardboard boxes, and greatly enhances the marketability of the item. However, it must rely upon the cardboard frame for support and rigidity.

Failing classification by GRI 3(b), GRI 3(c) states that, among eligible headings, classification shall occur under that which is last in numerical order among those under consideration. In this case, that would be subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up textile articles.


Each of the sample merchandise items is classified as a made up textile article of subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUSA. The duty rate on these goods will be 7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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