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HQ 954886

November 16, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954886 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6104; 6114

Director, International Trade Affairs
32 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

RE: Revocation of HRL 083229 of January 24, 1989; Classification of children's dress-up sets containing apparel-type articles; dress-up sets v. costumes v. fancy dress; dress-up sets having the completeness of a costume are to be considered costumes and classified as costumes

Dear Mr. Ranier:

On January 24, 1989, this office issued a ruling, HRL 083229, to Hasbro regarding the classification of certain children's dress-up sets. A sample was submitted for review and was stated to be representative of a line of various articles packaged and sold under the name "Getting Pretty". It has come to our attention that an inconsistency exists in the classification of certain articles, known as dress-up sets, and costumes. For that reason, we have reviewed this area. The dress-up sets of particular concern to Customs are the sets which are in essence boxed costumes. The ruling issued to Hasbro appears to have involved some dress-up sets which were basically costumes. For that reason, Customs is issuing this modification of HRL 083229 to Hasbro in regard to those sets.


The sample that was submitted in HRL 083229 was described therein as a packaged set known as the "Starlet". The set included:
an extremely short knit strapless dress, of sorts, with iridescent ruffles, two elasticized iridescent sleeve puffs, a string of beads, a pair of clip-on earrings, and a toy plastic microphone. -2-

In your letter requesting a ruling, you described the dress- up sets and discussed a distinction between the sets and costumes. In your letter of March 8, 1988, the sets are described as containing "imitations of adult wearing apparel made of textile materials" and "additional toy accessories such as a toy microphone, a toy scepter, and also toy jewelry such as a necklace, a bracelet and earrings." The sets were designed for girls, ages 3 to 6 and the size ranges were from 3 to 6x. In this letter, you stated that your product did not consist of costumes. This appears based on your belief that "costumes are always associated with holidays or special occasions and [your] sets, and the marketing of them, are not set forth in this manner." You stated that your product was designed for year round play by children playing grown- up.

A letter in the file (from a director for soft toy engineering at Hasbro to another company) apparently submitted to Customs to support your classification position, refers to the dress-up sets as "kid sized, role playing sets". In the letter, a statement referencing similar products currently on the market refers to these similar products as "similar costume dress up outfits". [Emphasis added.]


Are dress up sets consisting of a textile article, or articles, which form a costume, classifiable as toys of Chapter 95, or classifiable as costumes, i.e., fancy dress, excluded from Chapter 95?


Customs has issued numerous rulings on the classification of textile costumes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. Based upon Note 1(e) of Chapter 95 which excludes fancy dress of textiles of Chapters 61 or 62, Customs has excluded textile costumes from classification within Chapter 95. The exclusion is based upon Customs understanding of the meanings of the terms fancy dress, costume, and apparel. See for example, HRL 087291 of December 4, 1990, HRL 082984 of October 23, 1989 and 084601 of September 8, 1989.

From the letters in the file which have been referenced, it is clear that your company was aware that at least some of the dress up sets at issue may be viewed as costumes. Customs erred in accepting the argument that packaging and marketing for year -3-
round use for playing grown-up or dress-up, in and of itself, caused what would otherwise be viewed as a costume to become something else, i.e., a toy. Whether a costume is marketed for use during a holiday, such as Halloween, or for a special occasion, such as a costume party, or for year round use, it is still a costume.

When a dress up set (such as the one described in HRL 083229, the Starlet) contains fancy dress of textile and has the completeness of a costume, it will be considered a costume regardless of how it is packaged. In other words, dress up sets which consist of fancy dress of textile (such as a short knit strapless dress or a tunic or a skirt) and other items which taken together as a whole create a costume will be classified in the same manner and following the same analysis as costumes previously ruled upon by Customs.

Most dress up sets consist principally of toy items packaged on occasion with an item of textile, such as a piece of fabric. These sets do not form costumes nor is the textile item generally recognizable as fancy dress. These sets will continue to be classified as toys. This office has been advised by the National Import Specialist for toys that the majority of dress up sets fall within this latter description and, in fact, the bulk of products known and marketed as dress up sets do not contain any item of textile.

In the case of the dress up set described in HRL 083229, Customs believes it is more properly viewed as a costume and as such, subject to Note 1(e) of Chapter 95, which states that Chapter 95 does not cover "sports clothing or fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62." As the items packaged with the dress serve as accessories to the dress and to complete the costume, we believe the dress and accompanying items are classifiable together as a set under General Rule of Interpretation 3(b). Following GRI 3(b), the set is classifiable by that component which imparts the essential character. We believe the essential character is conferred by the dress as it is the greatest bulk and is central to the costume bringing the other items together to create the costume.


In order to ensure uniformity of classification and treatment, per 19 CFR 177.9(d), Customs is revoking HRL 083229 of January 24, 1989, effective with the date of this letter, to accord with the above analysis. As a result of this revocation, the sample at issue in HRL 083229, i.e., the Starlet dress up set, is classifiable in the appropriate provision of Chapter 61 for the knit strapless dress. Without a sample to review or information regarding the fiber content of the dress, Customs -4-
cannot state which heading in Chapter 61, 6104, HTSUSA, which covers knit dresses or 6114, HTSUSA, which covers other knit garments, is appropriate for the dress.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of HRL 083229 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 083229 (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, this revocation of HRL 083229 will be in effect. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and may apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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