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 956976 - HQ 957063 > HQ 956986

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956986

December 5, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956986 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.2060

David Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway, 43rd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10036-8901

RE: Classification of baseball style cap with detachable frameless sunglasses; composite good; GRI 3(b); essential character imparted by textile cap; subheading 6505.90.2060, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Eisen:

This is in response to your letter of August 2, 1994, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., in which you request a binding classification ruling for a textile baseball style cap with attached frameless sunglasses. A sample was submitted for Customs' examination and will be returned to you under separate cover.


The merchandise at issue is an adjustable baseball style cap with removable frameless sunglasses. The cap is made of 100 percent cotton with a 100 percent polyester fabric lining. Attached to the underside of the peak is a pair of unframed, one-piece sunglasses made from plastic. The fold-down sunglasses snap into a plastic fitting on the peak of the cap and may be removed completely.


What is the proper classification for the subject article?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

The article at issue is a composite good inasmuch as it is comprised of different components, each of which is separately classifiable under the tariff schedule, which have been joined together to form a whole. Items classified together as a composite goods are classified as if they consisted entirely of the component which gives them their "essential character." See GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(b) provides:

"Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and 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."

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states:

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.

With regard to the cap/sunglasses combination at issue, it is the cap which imparts the essential character to the set. The cap is functional unto itself, even without the sunglasses, and is likely to provide the consumer with the motivation to purchase. An individual looking for a cap may be further enticed by the presence of the sunglasses, however it is unlikely that the converse would be true inasmuch as the sunglasses are virtually useless without the cap. We further note that although no cost breakdowns were provided for the components, it is probable that the cap contributes significantly more to the value of the article than do the sunglasses.

Based on the foregoing, this composite good is classifiable as a cap within heading 6505, HTSUSA.


The cap/sunglasses composite good is classifiable under subheading 6505.90.2060, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, "hats and other headgear: other: of cotton, flax or both: not knitted: headwear of cotton... other... ," dutiable at a rate of 8 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category is 359.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 the importer 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 updated weekly and is available for inspection at the 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, the importer should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: