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HQ 957233

January 30, 1995

CLA-CO:R:C:T 957233 GG


TARIFF NO.: 6302.40.2020; 6304.91.0040; 9505.10.5020

Mr. J.M. Abrahams
The Phil Patterson Corp.
4521 Fleur Drive, Suite F
Des Moines, IA 50321-2730

RE: Classification of doilies, table linen, table covers, and Christmas stockings; reconsideration of NY 849399

Dear Mr. Abrahams:

This is in response to your request of September 23, 1994, for a ruling on the tariff classification of doilies and table linen made in Liechtenstein. Your client is Heritage Imports, Inc ("Heritage"). You also ask us to review New York Ruling Letter (NY) 849399, issued to Heritage on March 7, 1990.


The merchandise at issue is 100% polyester machine knit bobbinet jacquard doilies, table linen and covers, and Christmas stockings. They are universally referred to by the importer as "doilies". All have intricate floral patterns or ornamental designs. They resemble lace in appearance. Washing instructions indicate that they are machine or hand washable and may be placed, for a short time, in the dryer. The doilies will be imported in a finished condition or as uncut yardage. The uncut yardage will be separated into individual items in the United States by cutting with a "hot knife" along well-defined threads around the edges.

Twenty-five samples were submitted. They range from doilies eight inches in diameter to tablecloths of a size to cover a large dining table. Specifically, the samples include:

Style 3636 (Bouquet Design)

12" (30 cm) round doily
64" (163 cm) round tablecloth
36" x 36" (90 x 90 cm) table cover

Style 7015 (Heart and Flower Design)

15" x 44" (40 x 110 cm) runner
17" x 72" (43 x 184 cm) runner
36" (92 cm) round table cover

Style 3613 (Rose Design)

8" (20 cm) round doily
20" (50 cm) round table cover
30" (75 cm) round table cover
72" (184 cm) round tablecloth
8" x 14" (20 x 36 cm) oval table center
12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm) oval table center
12" x 24" (30 x 60 cm) oval table center
13" x 20" (33 x 51 cm) oval table center
15" x 33" (37 x 85 cm) oval table center
17" x 50" (43 x 130 cm) oval table center 52" x 72" (132 x 184 cm) oval tablecloth
60" x 86" (153 x 220 cm) oval tablecloth
59" x 108" (153 x 275 cm) oval tablecloth

Uncut yardage containing five 8" x 14" doilies

Style 7026 (Petite Rose Design)

12" x 28" (33 x 75 cm) runner
15" x 39" (40 x 100 cm) runner
15" x 48" (40 x 120 cm) runner
17" x 60" (43 x 150 cm) runner

Style 7066 (Holiday Stocking Design)

46 x 64 cm holiday stocking

The size of the doilies classified in NY 849399 was not specified, beyond the fact that they were manufactured in rolls 300 cm wide and would be imported in several shapes and sizes. The "doilies" in NY 849399 were classified in heading 6304 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). The importer claims that the correct classification is in heading 6302, HTSUSA.


How is the merchandise at issue properly classified?


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

The two competing headings, 6302 and 6304, fall within Chapter 63 of the HTSUSA. This chapter covers, in pertinent part, other made up textile articles. Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen. The items enumerated in Heading 6304, HTSUSA, are other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404. Heading 9404, a provision for mattress supports and other articles of bedding, is clearly inapplicable.

In determining the proper heading for the merchandise at issue, reference to the Explanatory Notes (EN) is helpful. EN 63.02, in describing the table linen covered by heading 6302, HTSUSA, states, in pertinent part, that

These articles are usually made of cotton or flax, but sometimes also of hemp, ramie or man-made fibers, etc.: they are normally of a kind suitable for laundering. They include:

(2) Table linen, e.g., table cloths, table mats and runners, tray cloths, table centers, serviettes, tea napkins, sachets for serviettes, doilies, drip mats.

It should be noted, however, that certain articles of the above descriptions (e.g., table centers made from lace, velvet or brocaded materials) are not regarded as articles of table linen; they are usually classified in heading 63.04.

Explanatory Note 63.04, in turn, states that [heading 6304] covers furnishing articles of textile materials, other than those of the preceding headings ... for use in the home ... includ[ing] table covers ... [and] mantelpiece runners.

In interpreting these provisions, Customs has previously determined that table linen which is more decorative than utilitarian in nature, by reason of being made of fine or delicate fabrics which are not suitable for repeated laundering, and which would neither withstand the wear and tear associated with dining nor provide the coverage necessary to protect the table or diner, are correctly classified under heading 6304, HTSUSA. See, for example, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 935486, dated October 6, 1993; HRL 950530, dated December 17, 1991. In those rulings, crocheted cotton or cotton/linen blend crocheted lace was placed in heading 6304. Applying the same rationale here, it is our opinion that the polyester fabric used in your client's merchandise, while indisputably decorative, is of a resiliency and density sufficient to serve a functional purpose. The fabric can be washed repeatedly and would provide some protection from a warm plate or serving dish. It closely resembles the knitted polyester jacquard lace-like fabric used to produce the table coverings discussed in HRL 956361, dated July 14, 1994. The runners, placemats and tablecloths of that ruling were placed in heading 6302, HTSUSA. Accordingly, Heritage's table covers that can be identified as table linen fall under that heading.

Most of the submitted samples meet the definition of table linen found in EN 63.02, set out above. However, several items clearly serve a different purpose. Most obviously, the unfinished Christmas stocking cannot be characterized as table linen. Rather, it is an article for Christmas festivities, falling under heading 9505, HTSUSA. EN 95.05 specifically includes Christmas stockings under that heading. The unfinished condition of the Christmas stocking at the time of entry will not affect its classification, because, pursuant to GRI 2(a), the essential character of the stocking is apparent notwithstanding the article's unfinished state. In addition, several of the "doilies" that are too large to be called table centers but too small to qualify as tablecloths, are not encompassed by the term "table linen". Specifically, the 36"x36" (90 x 90 cm) square, and the 30" (75 cm) and 36" (92 cm) round, table covers provide coverage more suitable for small end tables than for tables designed for dining. This conclusion is predicated on the size of standard tablecloths starting at 52 inches square or 60 inches in diameter. Therefore, they are classifiable as other furnishing articles under heading 6304, HTSUSA.

Chapter 63 is in Section XI of the HTSUSA. Section Note 7 states that the expression "made up" means, among other things, produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, tablecloths, scarf squares, blankets); or knitted or crocheted to shape, presented in the form of a number of items in the length. The doilies contained in the imported uncut yardage are both easily separated by cutting dividing threads with a hot tool and are knitted to shape in the form of a number of items in the length. Accordingly, the "doilies" contained in the uncut yardage are "made up" articles within the meaning of Chapter 63, and take the same classification as their corresponding articles that are separated prior to importation.

The ruling which you ask us to review, NY 849399, refers to the merchandise classified as "doilies", but does not specify their size or function. No additional information is contained in the ruling request that resulted in the issuance of NY 849399. Given the fact that the articles Heritage imports may fall under one of several headings, including the heading arrived at in NY 849399, we deem it inappropriate to modify or revoke that particular ruling absent more specific information on the exact nature of the items originally classified.


The articles that fall within the meaning of "table linen" are classifiable under subheading 6302.40.2020, HTSUSA, as bed linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: table linen, knitted or crocheted: other: other, dutiable at the rate of 7.6% ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 666.

The table coverings that measure 36" x 36" (90 x 90 cm) square, 30" (75 cm) round, and 36" (92 cm) round, are classifiable under subheading 6304.91.0040, HTSUSA, as other furnishing articles, exluding those of heading 9404: other: knitted or crocheted: of man-made fibers, dutiable at a rate of 10.9% ad valorem. This merchandise is subject to textile quota category 666.

The unfinished Christmas stocking is classifiable under subheading 9505.10.5020, HTSUSA, as a festive, carnival or other entertainment article, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof: articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: other: other: other, dutiable at a free rate of duty. This article is not subject to a textile quota category.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, 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, Commercial

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