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HQ 952195

December 3, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952195 CC


TARIFF NO.: 9605.00.0000; 5508.10.0000

Sandra B. Peveler
New World Imports, Inc.
1710 Hayes Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

RE: Classification; sewing kits; mending kits, without outer cases; used for travel; sewing kits classifiable in Heading 9605; mending kits classifiable in Heading 5508

Dear Ms. Peveler:

This letter is in response to your inquiry, requesting the tariff classification of sewing kits and mending kits. Samples were submitted for examination.


Two types of merchandise were submitted. The first type is sewing kits, which consist of thread of different colors, buttons, needles, and safety pins, enclosed in a plastic bag and placed into a hard plastic case or matchbook. The thread is 100 percent polyester and is spun from staple fibers. These kits are given to hotel guests for their use while traveling. They are commonly packaged with the hotel logo affixed on the top of the container.

The second type of merchandise is designated by you as "mending kits insides (guts)." This merchandise is similar to the first type except that it does not have the hard plastic case or matchbook case. You state that the "guts" are sent to the customer to be placed in such cases or in very small, round tins, which are put in hotel rooms.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 9605 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 9605, HTSUSA, provides for travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, states at page 1604, that this heading covers certain travel sets consisting of articles individually falling in different headings of the Nomenclature or consisting of different articles of the same heading. This heading includes:

(ii) Sewing kits, presented in a case of leather, fabric or plastics, containing, e.g., scissors, a measuring tape, a needle threader, sewing needles and sewing thread, safety pins, a thimble, buttons and press- studs.

The first type of merchandise, the sewing kits, consists of thread, needles, buttons, and safety pins. The sewing kits are presented in cases and are used for travel. Consequently, they meet the requirements of the Explanatory Notes for classification in Heading 9605.

The second type of merchandise, the guts, is not presented in cases. Consequently, this merchandise does not meet the requirements of the Explanatory Notes for classification in Heading 9605. These goods are classifiable in different headings. GRI 3(b) provides that 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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, at page 4, "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.

This merchandise consists of articles classifiable in different headings and which are put up together to carry out a specific activity, sewing. In addition, according to your submissions, this merchandise is sold to the customer in its condition as imported, meeting requirement (c). Consequently, this merchandise meets the requirements for classification as goods put up in sets for retail sale. The thread provides the essential character; therefore, this merchandise is classifiable in Heading 5508, which provides for sewing thread of man-made staple fibers, whether or not put up for retail sale, of synthetic staple fibers.


The sewing kits are classified under subheading 9605.00.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning (other than manicure and pedicure sets of Heading 8214). The rate of duty is 8.1 percent ad valorem.

The mending kits without the outer cases are classified under subheading 5508.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for sewing thread of man-made staple fibers, whether or not put up for retail sale, of synthetic staple fibers. The rate of duty is 13 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 200.

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
Commercial Rulings Division

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