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HQ 950530

December 17, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950530 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6304.91.0020

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
555 Battery Street POB 2450
San Francisco, CA 94126

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 280991-101274; classification of 100% cotton crocheted lace runner; not table linen under 6302, HTSUSA; classification under other furnishing articles; 6304, HTSUSA

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed on behalf of L. Kee & Co., Inc., on July 22, 1991, against your decision regarding the classification of a 100% cotton crocheted lace runner. All entries were liquidated April 26, 1991.


The submitted sample is a 100% cotton crocheted lace runner. The runner measures approximately 16 inches by 72 inches. The crocheted design is such that it incorporates interstices that are over one inch in height and width.

This item was classified and liquidated under subheading 6304.91.0020, HTSUSA, which provides for other textile furnishings. The importer, L. Kee & Co., Inc., contests this classification and asserts that proper classification of this article is under subheading 6302.91.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for cotton crochet lace doilies and runners.


Is the submitted article properly classifiable under heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, or under heading 6302, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, table linen?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen, and kitchen linen. Upon initial reading of the Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6302, HTSUSA, it would appear that the subject merchandise is specifically provided for in this provision inasmuch as EN (2) describes runners as included within the definition of table linen. EN (2) reads as follows:

(2) Table Linen, e.g., table cloths, table mats and runners, tray cloths, table centres, serviettes, tea napkins, sachets for serviettes, doilies, drip mats.

It should be noted, however, that certain articles of the above descriptions (e.g., table centres made from lace, velvet or brocaded materials) are not regarded as articles of table linen; they are usually classified in heading 63.04.

It is apparent that the EN to heading 6302 exclude goods that are of a more decorative nature and comprised of finer fabrics. The articles listed as table linen all appear to be utilitarian or designed to protect either diner or furniture from food and liquid spillage or heat. Articles that are decorative in nature, and made from fabrics such as lace which is finer and more difficult to wash, are excluded from this provision. Thus, while heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for table runners, table centres consisting of fine fabrics are excluded. Table centres of lace, velvet and brocade serve a purely decorative function. Likewise, table runners comprised of 100% cotton crocheted lace are similarly decorative in nature and are not intended to guard from food and drink spillage as are most articles of table linen. Accordingly, the subject merchandise is more appropriately provided for in heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404. The EN to heading 6304, HTSUSA, include within its provisions the following:

. . . wall hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies (e.g., weddings or funerals); . . . cushion covers, loose covers for furniture, antimacassars; table covers ...; mantlepiece runners; curtain loops; valances ... .

These articles are clearly of a decorative nature. Although both headings 6302 and 6304, HTSUSA, provide for runners, the runners included in the latter provision are of limited functional use. As the subject merchandise is made from a crocheted lace, not designed to be used as table linen but rather to decorate the home, it is properly included within this provision of the Nomenclature.

The protestant asserts that classification of the subject merchandise should be under heading 6302, HTSUSA, as that was the classification accorded goods in New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 839350, dated April 18, 1989. The description of the subject merchandise in that ruling was limited and described the articles only as "doilies and placemats". From this description, it is apparent that classification of the placemats under heading 6302, HTSUSA, was correct as these articles are indeed table linen. However, with regard to the doilies, we are unable to determine if that merchandise was correctly classified under heading 6302, HTSUSA, without a more detailed description or the submission of samples to this office. Doilies are defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1977), as 1: a small napkin 2: a small often decorative mat. Therefore, classification of doilies may be proper under either headings 6302 or 6304, HTSUSA, according to the characteristics of the article in question. Accordingly, at least one of the subject articles of NYRL 839350 was distinguishable from the article presently at issue inasmuch as placemats are definitively table linen. The doilies, if not constructed from a fine decorative fabric unsuitable for use while dining, were also properly classifiable as table linen.


The subject merchandise is properly classifiable under subheading 6304.91.0020, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404. The applicable rate of duty is 11.5% ad valorem and the textile category is 369.

As the rate of duty under the classification indicated above is the same as the liquidated rate, you are instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be furnished to the protestant with the Form 19 notice of action.


John Durant, Director

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