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HQ 952586

July 29, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952586 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6217.10.0030

John F. Cowen
Phillip T. Cowen
Customshouse Brokers
1918 E. Elizabeth
Brownsville, Texas 78520

RE: Revocation of HRL 087364 of August 20, 1990; classification of a blank emblem with merrow stitched edges

Dear Mr. Cowen:

On August 28, 1990, Headquarters Ruling Letter 087364 was issued to you. In that ruling, Customs classified a blank emblem with merrow stitched edging as an embroidered emblem under heading 5810, HTSUSA. Upon further review, we find that the classification decision in that ruling was in error.


The article at issue is a blank emblem made of 100 percent polyester twill ground fabric with a polyurethane adhesive film backing. The fabric is cut into 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch pieces, which are merrow stitched along all four edges with polyester yarn. The goods are then imported into the United States where they are printed or embroidered. The finished emblems are used on all types of products, including, clothing, handbags, luggage, bowling bags, etc.

Upon review, Customs has found that the classification in HRL 087364 is in error due to an improper interpretation of the term "embroidery" under heading 5810.


Whether the merrow stitching along the edges of the emblem is considered embroidery?

Is the emblem classifiable as embroidery in the piece, heading 5810, or an other made up clothing accessory? -2-


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Heading 5810, HTSUSA, provides for embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs. In HRL 087364, Customs cited the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, and interpreted the following statement describing a type of embroidery classified in heading 5810 to include the good at issue:

This [embroidery with the ground retained after embroidery] is embroidery in which the embroidery thread does not usually cover the whole of the ground fabric, but appears in the form of patterns on the surface or around the edges. The stitches used are varied and include running stitch, chain stitch, back or lock-stitch, herring-bone stitch, point de poste, seed-stitch, loop-stitch, buttonhole stitch.

After a review of this matter, we believe this earlier interpretation was in error. The merrow stitching along the edge of the emblem is, in our view, more akin to a hemming than to embroidery. It does not form a pattern around the edges, but merely a finishing. Therefore, it is not proper to view it as embroidery, and the emblem does not belong in heading 5810, HTSUSA.

Heading 5807, HTSUSA, provides for labels, badges and similar articles of textile materials in the piece, in strips or cut to shape or size, not embroidered. This provision would appear to describe the emblem at issue, except for the exclusionary language in the Explanatory Note. The heading "does not include labels, badges and similar articles, which have been embroidered (heading 58.10) or made up otherwise than by cutting to shape or size (heading 61.17, 62.17 or 63.07)." [underline added].

Note 7, Section XI of the tariff defines "made up" as, among other things:

(c) Hemmed or with rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe at any of the edges, but excluding fabrics the cut edges of which have been prevented from unravelling by whipping or by other simple means. -3-

The merrow stitching along the edges of the emblem is clearly a step beyond merely cutting to shape or size and thus the emblem is excluded from heading 5807, HTSUSA. As stated earlier, Customs views the stitching as akin to hemming, thus the emblem would meet the definition of made up in Note 7, Section XI.

In HRL 086134 of January 22, 1990, Customs classified a similar badge/emblem in heading 6217, HTSUSA, as a clothing accessory. Heading 6217 provides for other made up clothing accessories and parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212. The Explanatory Notes for heading 6217 state, in part, that the heading covers made up textile clothing accessories, other than knitted or crocheted, not specified or included in other headings of Chapter 62 or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The Explanatory Notes list some of the goods classifiable within heading 6217. Among those items listed are labels, badges, emblems, "flashes" and the like made up otherwise than by cutting to shape or size. This description fits the emblem at issue precisely.

In your letter of May 18, 1990, you stated that the emblems, represented by the sample, will be sold as blank emblems to other companies that will either embroider, silk screen print, or adhere names or logos on them. You then state that the emblems are then placed on all types of products such as clothing, handbags, luggage, bowling bags, etc.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) of the HTSUSA states that:

[i]n the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires--a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use.

Customs believes that while these emblems may be used on various articles, they belong to a class of goods, i.e., emblems which are principally used on apparel articles. Therefore, following Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), the emblem is classified based on the principal use of its class, i.e., as a clothing accessory.

The Explanatory Notes, while not legally binding on Customs, may be utilized as guidance in determining the scope of the headings at the international level. Thus, based on HRL 086134 -4-
and the language of the Explanatory Notes, the emblem at issue is properly classifiable as an other made up clothing accessory in heading 6217, HTSUSA.


The emblem at issue was improperly classified in HRL 087364 of August 28, 1990. It is properly classified as an other made up clothing accessory, of man-made fibers in subheading 6217.10.0030, HTSUSA, textile category 659, dutiable at 15.5 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking HRL 087364, effective with the date of this letter. If after your review of this ruling letter, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of HRL 087364 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 087364 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 087364 will no longer be valid and this revocation of HRL 087364 will be in effect. A copy of this ruling should accompany your entry documents for future importations of this merchandise.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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