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HQ 955034

October 5, 1993

CLA-2-CO:R:C:F 955034 K


TARIFF No.: 3926.90.9590

Mr. Peter D. Alberdi
A.J. Arango, Inc.
501 East Jackson Street
Tampa, Florida 33602

RE: Classification of "Cool Body Bandana", a Cooling Scarf

Dear Mr. Alberdi:

This is in response to your request of August 30, 1993, for a classification ruling for merchandise referred to as "Cool Body Bandana" from Mexico. The literature submitted with the sample indicates that it was made in America. For purposes of this ruling, we assume that the sample is identical to the merchandise intended for importation.


The sample is blue colored material approximately 2 inches in width and 35 inches in length and may be imported in other colors. We assume the material consists of cotton and polyester. Sewn inside the material is a small quantity of polymer crystals which absorbs water, expanding to 100 times in size. The directions instruct the user to soak the material in cool drinking water for 30-45 minutes. When in use, the water evaporates and the expanded saturated crystals get cold. Thus, when the material is worn around a person's neck, it keeps the body cool. According to the literature provided, it lasts 2 days without needing water and is reusable for years.

With refrigeration, the "Cool Body Bandana" may be used as a cold pack and by microwaving it for 30-45 seconds, it may be used as a hot pack.


The issue is whether the classification of the "Cool Body Bandana" is governed by rule 3(b), General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), based on the essential character of the merchandise.


The GRI set forth the manner in which merchandise is classified under the HTSUS. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI, taken in order.

The "Cool Body Bandana" when saturated with water, is designed to be worn around the neck like a scarf to keep the body cool. When not saturated with water, it looks like a scarf or a headband. Scarves are classifiable under heading 6214 and headbands are classifiable as other wearing apparel accessories under heading 6217. A scarf is defined by Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1972), as "a long or broad piece of cloth worn about the neck, head, or shoulders for warmth or decoration". The "Cool Body Bandana", saturated with water and heavy and bulky, is not worn for warmth or decoration and it is not an accessory to wearing apparel. We conclude that the product is not a scarf or headband. The polymer crystals are articles of Chapter 39. Accordingly, the "Cool Body Bandana" cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1.

GRI 2(b) requires that "the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3". GRI 3(b) provides that mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, which cannot be classified in accordance with the preceding GRI, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable. We conclude that GRI 3(b) governs the classification of the merchandise described above.

The product is not designed or marketed as wearing apparel and it is not worn for warmth or decoration. The product is designed and marketed as a product to keep the body cool. The polymer crystals, when saturated with water, are the means of keeping the body cool. Accordingly, polymer crystals impart the essential character of the product. The polymer crystals are classified under subheading 3926.90.9590, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901-3914.

This ruling follows Headquarters Ruling Letter 954476, dated October 1, 1993, covering similar merchandise.


The classification of the product "Cool Bandana Body", containing polymer crystals as described above, that is designed
and marketed as a product to keep the body cool by wrapping the product around a person's neck, is classifiable by virtue of GRI 3(b), HTSUS, under subheading 3926.90.9590, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics and articles of headings 3901-3914, HTSUS, with duty at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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