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HQ 957546

June 2, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957546 jb


TARIFF NO.: 9404.90.8505

Mr. John M. Peterson, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10004

RE: Reconsideration of NY 803300; classification of quilted wall hanging; rod pocket does not bestow principal use; HQ 957619; heading 9404, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Peterson:

This is in response to your letter, dated January 17, 1995, on behalf of your client, Red Calliope & Associates, regarding a request for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 803300, dated November 14, 1994. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


In NY 803300 our New York office classified a quilted wall hanging in heading 9404, HTSUSA, in the provision for quilts. You contend that classification of that merchandise as a quilt is in error and that the merchandise is properly classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article.

The merchandise at issue consists of what you refer to as "an infant's wall hanging", measuring 43 inches in length by 32 inches in width. The outer shell of the merchandise is made from 100 percent cotton woven fabrics and the filling is composed of 100 percent polyester filling. It features a pieced patchwork design on the face side, and the central design consists of six panels that have a patchwork rocking horse appliqued to each panel. Quilt stitching goes through all three fabric layers and the edges of the quilt create a scalloped effect. There is a two inch wide seam sleeve or rod pocket on the back along one edge.

In support of the claim that the subject merchandise is properly classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article, you state:

1. HQ 084034, dated April 24, 1989, properly classified a 52 inch square quilt with a rod pocket in heading 9404, HTSUSA, as a quilt;

2. similarly, in HQ 954196, dated September 15, 1993, the merchandise was properly classified in heading 9404, HTSUSA, as a quilt because it did not have any features of a wall hanging;

3. a number of rulings addressing merchandise similar to the subject merchandise were classified in heading 6304, HTSUSA:
a. HQ 088103, dated January 25, 1991 b. HQ 089084, dated June 13, 1991 c. NY 893038, dated December 16, 1993

4. HQ 951372, dated April 24, 1992 (which you erroneously cite as HQ 951370);

5. by virtue of its design and construction, the subject merchandise is not a quilt but a wall hanging;

6. the subject merchandise is unlike a quilt because the layer of fiberfill is too thin to provide warmth.


Whether the subject merchandise is properly classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article or in heading 9404, HTSUSA, as a quilt?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

The two plausible classifications for the merchandise at issue are heading 6304, HTSUSA, and heading 9404, HTSUSA. Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 6304, HTSUSA, state:

This heading covers furnishing articles of textile materials, other than those of the preceding headings or of heading 94.04, for use in home, public buildings, theatres, churches, etc., and similar articles used in ships, rai lway carriages, aircraft, trailer caravans, motor-cars, etc.

These articles include wall hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies (e.g. weddings or funerals); mosquito nets; bedspreads (but not including bed coverings of heading 94.04); cushion covers; loose covers for furniture, antimacassars; table covers (other than those having the characteristics of floor coverings- see Note 1 to Chapter 57); mantlepiece runners; curtain loops; valances (other than those of heading 63.03).

Heading 9404, HTSUSA, provides for mattress supports, articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered. As defined in The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, (1973), a quilt is "usually a bed covering of two thicknesses of material with wool, cotton, or down batting in between for warmth." Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, (1984), defines a quilt as "a bed covering consisting of two layers of fabric with a layer of batting or feathers between and stitched firmly together, usually in a decorative pattern". It defines bedding as "bedclothes, which are coverings, such as sheets and blankets, used on a bed." Webster's New World Dictionary, (1988), defines bedding as "mattresses and bedclothes".

You believe the fact that in HQ 084034, a 52 inch square quilt with a rod pocket was classified as a quilt in heading 9404, HTSUSA, evidences that its large size is indicative that the merchandise was designed as adult size bedding. In contrast, by virtue of its comparatively small size, the merchandise at issue should be classified as an other furnishing, i.e., a wall hanging, and not a quilt. Though there are no size specifications listed in the terms of the headings or the EN as regards quilts or wall hangings, in HQ 957619, dated May 10, 1995, after conferring with numerous mattress and bed linen manufacturers, Customs determined that there are standard commercial sizes for mattresses and bed coverings. The standard sizes are as follows:

Mattress Sizes Quilts and Bedspread Sizes

Twin 39" X 75" 66" X 86"
Full 54" X 75" 81" X 86"
Queen 60" X 80" 86" X 86"
King 78" X 80" 100" X 90"

Customs also checked with various manufacturers of crib mattresses and received the following varied dimensions:

Mattress Sizes

Crib 27" X 51"
27" X 54"
28" X 54"

Conspicuously absent from HQ 957619 is any mention of standard commercial sizes for crib bedding. The reason for this is that although "standard bedding sizes" exist for adult size bedding, the same is not true for crib size bedding. In fact, in a recent survey taken by Customs of bed linen manufacturers and major department stores in which bed linen are sold, we were advised that the commercial reality of crib size bedding is that there are no "standard" sizes. Crib size bedding comes in a variety of measurements.

In HQ 954196, addressing a crib quilt measuring 42-1/2 inches square, Customs rejected the importer's claim that the merchandise at issue was a wall hanging and ruled instead, that the merchandise was classifiable as a quilt. Though the ruling did state that the merchandise did not exhibit characteristics of a wall hanging such as the presence of loops or a rod pocket, the ruling also stated that:

Usually a wall hanging has limited use and can only be used as its name indicates. As in this case, when a determination cannot be made with certainty that the article's principle use or designated use will be a wall hanging, the item cannot be so classified... (Emphasis added).

The instant merchandise is not limited to use as a wall hanging, and given its measurements, may easily be used as a quilt. The fact that the instant merchandise has a rod pocket does not bestow principal or designated use. Furthermore, in the absence of the pocket, the item would be classified as a quilt as would any carriage sized, crib sized, throw sized and bed sized quilt.

In those rulings which you state address merchandise similar to the merchandise at issue, clear distinctions can be made. In HQ 088103, the merchandise at issue was a multiple use furnishing that could be classified in three plausible headings, i.e., as a duvet cover in heading 6302, HTSUSA, as a sofa cover in heading 6304, HTSUSA, and as a wall hanging in heading 6304, HTSUSA. Consequently, as no principal use could be established, classification was based on GRI 3(c), the heading which occurred last in numerical order among those headings which merited equal consideration.

In HQ 089084, and similarly in NY 893038, the merchandise at issue was classified in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as other furnishing articles. By their very design, classification in heading 9404, HTSUSA, in the provision for quilts was precluded. In the former ruling the merchandise consisted of hanging Christmas decorations measuring 10 inches in diameter; the latter merchandise consisted of a 22 inch by 30 inch angel-shaped wall hanging. These items were obviously ill-suited to serve as quilts. They were not functional but purely decorative.

Finally, the item in HQ 951372 is distinguishable from the merchandise at issue. The item is HQ 951372 was a woven pile fabric claimed to be a wall hanging by the importer. In making a determination that the item was in fact properly classifiable in heading 5801, HTSUSA, as a woven pile fabric and not as a wall hanging, Customs considered several factors. The item did not have any wall hanging features, it was not considered an unfinished hanging, it was susceptible to numerous uses and was not considered "made up", negating any possibility of classification in chapter 63, HTSUSA.

This office is of the opinion that the principal use of quilts cannot be determined with any accuracy. Quilts are used for a number of purposes such as bed coverings, throws and wall hangings, regardless of whether they have rod pockets. The subject merchandise is included in heading 9404, HTSUSA, as "articles of bedding and similar furnishing". This group includes, among other things, quilts and comforters. The use of quilts is not limited to beds, but includes cribs, prams or carriages, chairs or couches. Classification as a quilt is proper so long as the following criteria can be attributed to the merchandise:

1. the item is comprised of three layers, one of which is a filling; 2. the item is held together with stitching; 3. the item adheres to the standard commercial bedding sizes as regards adult size bedding or, as in the case of crib size bedding, may come in a variety of sizes.

Unlike the merchandise in the rulings to which you refer, the merchandise at issue is neither too small, nor is it designed in an unusual shape, nor is it ill-suited to serve as a quilt. Your belief that the fiberfill layer is too thin to provide warmth is unwarranted; nowhere in the terms of the headings or the legal notes to the HTSUSA is warmth a prerequisite to classification in heading 9404, HTSUSA. In our opinion the subject merchandise, comprised of three layers, held together by stitching and measuring 43 inches in length by 32 inches in width, is perfectly suited to serve as a quilt. The presence of a rod pocket is a convenience to the purchaser and is not determinative of the classification. Accordingly, the subject merchandise was correctly classified in NY 803300 as a quilt.


The subject merchandise is classifiable in subheading 9404.90.8505, HTSUSA, which provides for mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered: other: other: quilts, eiderdowns, comforters and similar articles; with outer shell of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 14.3 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 362.

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, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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