United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 955750 - HQ 955963 > HQ 955956

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 955956

June 16, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955956 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6302.91.0045

Mamie Pollock
District Director of Customs
200 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1601-94-100051; towels

Dear Ms. Pollock:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed by Anderson Shipping Company, Inc., on behalf of Kismet Home Textiles, Ltd., against the classification of certain towels from India.


The subject merchandise consists of plain woven towels that measure 20 to 22 inches in width and 24 to 32 inches in length. All of the towels are printed with various motifs, including black and white stripes or designs representing various fruits.

The protest concerns the notice of redelivery against entries of the subject towels. The towels were entered under subheading 6302.91.0050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for toilet linen and kitchen linen, other, of cotton, other, towels, other, other (textile category 369-O). The towels were reclassified under subheading 6302.91.0045, which provides for dish towels (textile category 369-D). The protestant claims that the subject towels are too wide to be considered dish towels in accordance with the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, November 23, 1988.


Whether the subject towels are classifiable as dish towels under the HTSUSA?


The Textile Guidelines state the following at page 2:

Dish towels (category 369) and hand towels (category 363) fall within the same size range, 15 to 18 inches wide and 24 to 32 inches long, and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other. With one exception, dish towels always have a design printed on them or woven or knit into them. The design may be in the form of pictures of fruit, kitchen utensils, chickens, etc., or may be checks, stripes, or similar patterns. The dish towels that usually do not have a design are light weight, plain woven, nonpile cotton towels that may be similar to, but readily distinguishable from, shop towels which are made from a much coarser fabric. These towels may be longer than the other dish towels.

Despite the width being 20 to 22 inches wide, the subject towels are classifiable as dish towels. The Textile Guidelines are a guide, not the determining factor. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088092, dated October 25, 1990, we stated the following:

It should be borne in mind that the guidelines are just that, guides to ascertaining the common or commercial designation of a textile article. C.I.E. 13/88 is not an immutable document. It must be applied in a reasonably prudent manner in order for the results obtained from its application to be meaningful.

The subject towels are constructed of material typical of dish towels. Also, they contain designs, such as those depicting fruit and stripes, that readily identify this merchandise as dish towels. To strictly apply the Textile Guidelines would result in misclassification of the merchandise. In addition, Customs has previously held that towels that have the characteristics and construction of dish towels are classifiable as such despite having dimensions larger than those contained in the Textile Guidelines. (See e.g., HRL 087918 of December 10, 1990, and HRL 087992 of December 28, 1990.) Consequently, the subject merchandise is classifiable as dish towels.


The subject merchandise is classified under subheading 6302.91.0045, HTSUSA, which provides for toilet linen and kitchen linen, other, of cotton, other, towels, other, dish. The rate of duty is 10.5 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 369-D.

The protest should be denied in full.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by our office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: