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HQ 956064

May 31, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956064 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9615.11.30

Ms. Kim Komissarenko
Heyman Corporation
6045 West Howard Street
Niles, Illinois 60714

RE: "Baby B'gosh Bath Set;" Washcloth, Brush, Comb, Sponge, and Bag; GRI 3(c) Set

Dear Ms. Komissarenko:

This letter is in response to your inquiry concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a bath time gift collection for newborns, to be imported from China and Hong Kong. A sample was submitted with your inquiry.


The sample article to be imported, identified by style no. 3606, consists of a terry washcloth (80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester), a small hairbrush, a small plastic comb, a sponge, and a transparent vinyl bag, all packaged together for retail sale. The washcloth, brush, and comb are made in Hong Kong. The sponge and vinyl bag are products of China.


Whether the article should be classified as a set, or as individual, separately classifiable components.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods
are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

As noted above, the article consists of five individual components. The article cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1 because the components are classifiable in different headings. The brush is classifiable in heading 9603, HTSUS. The comb is classifiable in heading 9615, HTSUS. The washcloth is classifiable in heading 6302, HTSUS. The sponge is classifiable in heading 0509, HTSUS. The bag is classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS.

In pertinent part, GRI 2(b) states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that the headings are regarded as equally specific when each heading refers to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale. Therefore, to determine under which provision the article will be classified, we look to GRI 3(b), which states in pertinent part that:
goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

With respect, initially, to whether the "Baby B'gosh" article comprises goods put up in sets, we look to Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b), which indicates that for purposes of the rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means 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 (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

As previously noted, the subject goods meet criteria (a) and (c). With regard to criterion (b), we must determine whether the products are put up together to carry out a specific activity. Four of the components function to clean and groom a baby, while the vinyl bag serves to collect and store all the items. We find that the articles accomplish a specific activity and thus comprise a set.

In order to determine the essential character of the set, we next view Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b), which provides the following guidance:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Each of the components plays an equally important role in the set, with no item standing apart from the others when viewed in light of the factors noted above. No one component provides the set with its essential character. We thus look to GRI 3(c) which states:

When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Applying GRI 3(c), the "Baby B'gosh Bath Set" is properly classified in heading 9615, HTSUS, the heading occurring last of those that equally merit consideration. The correct subheading is 9615.11.30, HTSUS, the provision for "Combs...and parts thereof: Combs, hair-slides and the like: Of hard rubber or plastics: Combs: Valued over 4 dollars and 50 cents per gross: Other."


The "Baby B'gosh Bath Set," identified by style no. 3606, is classified in subheading 9615.11.30, HTSUS, the provision for "Combs...and parts thereof: Combs, hair-slides and the like:

Of hard rubber or plastics: Combs: Valued over 4 dollars and 50 cents per gross: Other." The applicable duty rate is 28.8 cents per gross plus 4.6 percent ad valorem.

Even though the washcloth is included as a constituent part of this set for classification purposes, it must be reported separately for quota/visa purposes under subheading 6302.60.0030, HTSUSA, textile category 369. Based upon international bilateral textile agreements, products of Hong Kong require a Hong Kong export license (visa).

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

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