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HQ 952527

December 11, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952527 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.8945

C-Air Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
Kevin Maher
153-66 Rockaway Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11434

RE: Classification of a pillow shell; GRI 2(a); Headings 9404, 6304, and 6307.

Dear Mr. Maher:

This letter is in response to your inquiry requesting a tariff classification concerning a pillow shell under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, Style Number 1121, is a pillow shell made from a 100 percent cotton woven fabric. The shell will be imported into the United States, where it will then be stuffed with polyfill through a 5 inch slit in the center section. The pillow shell consists of two pieces of fabric sewn together at their edges to form a 14 3/4 inch square center section. This center section is surrounded by a 3 inch fabric ruffle that is sewn into the edge seam. Also, the submitted sample contains a tag that states that the "shell was made in Taiwan, and filled and finished in the U.S.A." However, the importer states that the imported merchandise will be manufactured in China.


Whether the article in question is classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, as articles of bedding or similar items, or Heading 6304, HTSUSA, as other furnishing articles, or Heading 6307, which provides for other made up articles?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with the subsequent GRI's taken in order.

The merchandise in question can not be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1; thus, we will refer to GRI 2, the next applicable provision.

GRI 2(a) states, in pertinent part:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

The article in question is potentially classifiable under three distinct headings. One such heading is Heading 9404, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishings fitted with springs, stuffed, or internally fitted with any material. The instant article is not classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, because in its imported condition, it is not stuffed or fitted with any material.

Another possible heading is Heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of Heading 9404, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN state that Heading 6304, HTSUSA, includes among other items, textile furnishings, cushion covers, and loose covers for furniture. Pursuant to GRI 2(a), the article in question, an unfinished pillow shell, is not classifiable under Heading 6304, HTSUSA, since classification of an unfinished good is based on it having the essential character of the finished good. The pillow shell, in its finished state, would not have the essential character of a finished article provided for under Heading 6304, HTSUSA. Rather in its finished state, the sample item would be properly classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, as a stuffed pillow. This position was stated in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084718 of July 31, 1989. Accordingly, the unfinished pillows shells at issue therein were not classifiable under Heading 6304, HTSUSA.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, the only other alternative heading, is a basket provision for made up textile articles not provided for elsewhere in the tariff. The issue of proper classification for unfinished pillow shells was confronted in HRL 084046 of May 11, 1989, and we determined that the goods were classifiable under Heading 6307, HTSUSA. Therefore, the instant article, which is a made up textile article, not classifiable within any other heading in the tariff, is classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUSA, as an other made up article.


Based on the foregoing, the article in question is classifiable in subheading 6307.90.8945, HTSUSA, which provides for among other things, other made up articles, other, pillow shells, of cotton. The article falls within textile category 369 and the applicable rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

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.

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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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