United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089000 - HQ 0089204 > HQ 0089076

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089076

July 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089076 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.6090

District Director of Customs
477 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48266

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review on Protest No. 3805-1-100013; hat and mitten set

Dear Sir:

This protest was filed against your decisions in the liquidation of various entries involving the importation of knit hat and mitten sets.


The girls' hat and mittens at issue are each made of knit acrylic yarns and have the same colors and design. The hat has a thin elasticized braid inserted inside its lower edge. The hat and mittens are imported on a hanger ready for sale as a set to consumers.

The entries covering the hat and mitten sets were liquidated under subheading 6505.90.6080 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The protestant claims that the hat and mittens should be separately classified; the hat should be classified under subheading 6505.90.5060, HTSUSA, and the mittens should be classified under subheading 6116.92.2010, HTSUSA.


Whether the hat and mittens are classifiable separately or as a set?


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.

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. According to the Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, "goods put up in sets for retail sale" refers to goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

The hat and mitten set meet all of the criteria for classification as a set. The hat and mittens are classifiable in different headings, they both provide warmth to the wearer in a cold environment, and they are put up on a hanger ready for sale to the ultimate purchaser.

Since the hat and mittens are considered a set for classification purposes, they are classified as consisting only of the article that imparts their essential character. We do not believe that either of these articles imparts the essential character to this set. Therefore GRI 3(c) is applicable, which provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. Since the provision for hats, Heading 6505, occurs last, the merchandise at issue is classifiable in this heading.

Because the merchandise is classifiable in Heading 6505 as a hat of man-made fibers, we must determine if it is classifiable as "in part of braid." General Note 7 provides in pertinent part the following:

Definitions. For the purposes of the tariff schedule, unless the context otherwise requires--


(e) The terms "wholly of", "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:


(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). The Customs Service has determined in application of the de minimis rule to "in part of braid" that if the quantity of braid in the sample submitted served a useful purpose or affected the nature of the article or increased the salability of the article, it would be considered in part of braid. The amount of braid is small and cannot be seen, and we do not believe that the braid affects the nature of this article. Therefore, this merchandise is classifiable as "not in part of braid."


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6505.90.6090 (previously 6505.90.6080), HTSUSA, 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, not in part of braid, other, other, other. The rate of duty is 39.7 per kilogram plus 14.1 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 659.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action to be sent to the protestant.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: