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HQ 950792

March 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950792 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.6030

District Director of Customs
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 0401-91-000103; infants' knit hats

Dear Sir:

This protest was filed against your decision in the liquidation of an entry involving the importation of infants' knit hats produced in Taiwan.


The merchandise at issue is infants' hats composed of an acrylic knit body, acrylic tie straps and ear coverings, and an acrylic pom-pom. This merchandise contains two braids. One is a blue elastic braid in the welt, running through the inside of the hat approximately 1 inch from the bottom; the other is a white braid tied to the pom-pom which holds it to the hat.

The entry covering the hats was liquidated under subheading 6505.90.6030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for hats and other headgear, of man made fibers, knitted or crocheted or made up from knitted or crocheted fabric, not in part of braid, for babies. The protestant claims that the hats should be classified under subheading 6505.90.5030, HTSUSA, which provides for hats and other headgear, of man made fibers, knitted or crocheted or made up from knitted or crocheted fabric, wholly or in part of braid, for babies.


Whether the hats at issue are classifiable as wholly or in part of braid in Heading 6505, 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.

General Note 7, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part the following concerning the term "in part of":

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.

There are two pieces of braid on this merchandise: a white one that attaches the pom-pom to the body and a blue one that is used in the welt. The amount of braid of both of these pieces is small. In addition, we do not believe that either braid affects the nature or salability of this article. For example, the elastic braid in the welt is concealed, and these hats can be worn without it; when the hat is worn without the tie straps, the fabric itself is constructed to stretch and recover its original shape without the additional elastic braid. Consequently this merchandise is not considered "wholly or in part of braid" for tariff classification purposes.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6505.90.6030, 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, for babies. The rate of duty is 39.7 cents per kilogram plus 14.1 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director

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