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HQ 951526

August 14, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951526 CC


TARIFF NO.: 9404.90.1000

John M. Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
39 Broadway
New York, NY 10006

RE: Classification of an infant seat cushion; classifiable in Heading 9404

Dear Mr. Peterson:

This letter is in response to your inquiry, on behalf of Gold, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of an infant seat cushion from China. A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, which is designated by you as an infant seat cover, is designed to be placed over various seats for infants and very young children. When placed in a molded plastic or metal-framed seat, the submitted merchandise helps cushion a baby or infant, providing greater support and comfort, and absorbing shocks. It measures 50 centimeters in width and 75 centimeters in length.

This merchandise is constructed of two segments. The top semicircular segment, which has a ruffled top edge, is designed to cushion the infant's head and neck area. The backside of this segment has a woven pocket-flap which will extend over the top of the chair and will hold the cushion to the back of the seat. The bottom segment of the cushion features seams which bend the cushion in the seat area, so that it more closely conforms to the shape of a seat. The bottom of the cushion forms separate sections, one for each of the baby's legs, permitting seat restraints to be drawn through the cushion and fashioned around the baby. Where the segments meet, the item is sharply indented, leaving a 9 centimeter wide "bridge" connecting the two sections. Along the indentations which separate this top section from the bottom section, there are 4 hook-and-loop fasteners which further connect the two sections and allow the cushion to be adjusted to fit the seat.

The inner layer of the cushion contains polyester fiberfill. The side of the cushion in contact with the child is of knitted, terry fabric. The side of the cushion in contact with the chair is of woven fabric. According to your submissions, both the knitted and woven sides of this item are made from a blend of 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester fabric.


Whether the submitted merchandise is classifiable in Heading 9404 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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 9404 provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishing fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, at page 1580, state that Heading 9404 covers the following articles:

(B) Articles of bedding and similar furnishing which are sprung or stuffed or internally fitted with any material (cotton, wool, horsehair, down, synthetic fibers, etc.), or are of cellular rubber or plastics (whether or not covered with woven fabric, plastics, etc.). For example:


(2) Quilts and bedspreads (including counterpanes, and also quilts for baby-carriages), eiderdowns and duvets (whether of down or any other filling), mattress-protectors (a kind of thin mattress placed between the mattress itself and the mattress support), bolsters, pillows, cushions, pouffes, etc.

The merchandise at issue is stuffed with a fiber filling. It is essentially a cushion, which is an article specifically listed as being classifiable in Heading 9404. In addition, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089018, dated August 9, 1991, we ruled that an infant car seat cushion/cover is classifiable in Heading 9404. Therefore the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 9404.

The inner layer of this merchandise is made of polyester; both sides of the outer shell are made of a blend of 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester fabric. 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. The outer shell provides comfort for the user and decoration and gives this merchandise its distinctiveness; the outer shell, therefore, imparts the essential character to this merchandise. Consequently, it is classifiable as if consisting only of the outer shell.

Additional U.S Rule of Interpretation 1(d) states that the principles of Section XI regarding mixtures of two or more textile materials shall apply to the classification of goods in any provision in which a textile material is named. Note 2(A) and subheading Note 2(A) to Section XI provide that goods of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material. Since cotton predominates by weight in the outer shell, this merchandise is classifiable under subheading 9404.90.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for pillows, cushions and similar furnishings, of cotton.


The submitted merchandise is classified under subheading 9404.90.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered, other, pillows, cushions and similar furnishings, of cotton. The rate of duty is 6 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 369.

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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