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HQ 957874

April 24, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957874 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6304.92.0000

Mrs. Celine Foung
Arch Associates, Inc.
375 Executive Boulevard
Elmsford, NY 10523

RE: Revocation of HRL 957223, dated February 24, 1995; Heading 6304 vs. Heading 9404

Dear Mrs. Foung:

This is in reference to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957223, dated February 24, 1995, issued to you from this office. Customs has reexamined the analysis and subsequent conclusion and determined that the decision was in error.


The articles at issue are 100 percent woven cotton quilted articles which measure 48 X 56 inches. These articles contain an inner layer of polyester fiber. The front of the article depicts a winter scene created with applique work and embroidery. The back side of the article is plain and has a three inch wide sleeve along the top edge. Advertising material submitted for the articles states that it has the dual purpose of a wallhanging and a lap throw.

HRL 957223 classified the subject articles in subheading 9404.90.8505 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) which provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishings. The subject articles were initially classified in subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404.


Whether the subject article is classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishings, or under Heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other textile furnishings?


Classification of goods 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. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

As stated above, the subject articles are potentially classifiable under two distinct headings, Heading 6304, HTSUSA, or Heading 9404, HTSUSA.

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. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. The EN to Heading 9404, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

This heading covers:

(B) Articles of bedding and similar furnishing which are sprung or stuffed or internally fitted with any material (cotton, wool, horsehair, down, synthetic fibres, etc.), or are of cellular rubber or plastics * * *. For example:

(2) Quilts and bedspreads (including counterpanes, and also quilts for baby-carriages), eiderdowns and duvets (whether of down or any other filling), mattress-protectors (a kind of thin mattress placed between the mattress itself and the mattress support), bolsters, pillows, cushions, pouffes, etc.

The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, (1973), defines a quilt as "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." In order to determine if
the subject articles are classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, Customs must decide whether they are considered bedding for tariff classification purposes.

There is no provision in the nomenclature or the EN which specifies that articles that are potentially classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, must be able to cover a bed. However, it is Customs opinion, that implicit in an article being considered "bedding" is that it be capable of serving a primary function of covering a bed sufficiently so as to make such use practicable.

After conferring with numerous mattress and bed linen manufacturers in the United States, Customs has discovered 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"

Depending on the particular bedding manufacturer, the dimensions of crib quilts varied greatly.

Mattress Sizes

Crib 27" X 51"
27" X 54"
28" X 52"

The preceding discussion leads us to the question of whether the subject articles are quilts for tariff classification purposes. Through the submission of advertising material, you contend that the instant articles have the dual function of being utilized as wallhangings or lap throws. The subject articles are comprised of two layers of material with a layer of batting in between and decorative stitching sewn on their surface. The subject articles also contain a rod pocket or wide sleeve to facilitate hanging them on a wall. The rod pocket is a consideration in the tariff classification process, nevertheless, Customs views it as a convenience to the purchaser and not determinative of the classification. Thus, the instant articles meet the definitions for quilts provided in the lexicographic sources. However, the dimensions of the subject articles are 48" X 56". After viewing, these dimensions in light of the standard size mattresses and bedding listed, it is clear to Customs that the subject articles would not sufficiently cover any of the standard size mattresses. Either the subject articles would be too small to adequately cover the twin, full, queen, or king size mattresses or too large for the crib size mattresses. As the subject articles deviate significantly from the stated standard sizes for quilts and therefore would be incapable of adequately covering a bed, Customs is of the opinion that they are not classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other textile furnishing articles, excluding those of Heading 9404. The EN to Heading 6304, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

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, * * *.

In this instance, the subject article has the general appearance of a quilt. However, it also contains a rod pocket that the you claim is present to facilitate its use as a wall- hanging. The subject articles measures 48" X 56". The subject goods significantly deviate from all of the standard size quilts and would not sufficiently cover a standard size mattress. Such a deviation leads Customs to believe that the subject article is not a quilt for tariff classification purposes. Moreover, you have submitted advertising evidence that manifests your intent to market the merchandise at issue as items that cover a chair or decorative items for the wall. Accordingly, the subject wallhangings/throws are classifiable under Heading 6304, HTSUSA, as other textile furnishings.

Recently, in Headquarters Ruling Letter 957410, dated February 3, 1995, Customs determined that articles which had the general appearance of quilts but measured 50" X 50" and 50" X 60" were classifiable as other textile furnishing articles under Heading 6304, HTSUSA. These measurements significantly deviated from the domestic industry standard size quilts. Customs stated the following, in pertinent part:

It is important to note that except for the irregular dimensions, the aforementioned articles do have the general appearance and construction of a quilt. Therefore, if the subject articles were to meet the standard measurements for the crib, twin, full, queen, or king size quilts as recognized in domestic industry, they would be classified under Heading 9404, HTSUSA. Customs is aware that in certain limited instances, goods will be imported as quilts and veer slightly from the standard quilt sizes. Thus, Customs is reluctant to provide specific dimensions and a dividing line for goods that are potentially classifiable as quilts or bedding. Consequently, those goods with the general appearance of bedding which slightly deviate from the standard quilt sizes and could still adequately cover an entire bed so that use as a quilt is reasonable and likely, would also be classifiable under Heading 9404, HTSUSA.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087551, dated November 9, 1990, Customs was faced with the issue of the proper tariff classification of an article described therein as a "bed
throw". The article measured 46 inches by 60 inches and had fringe on all four sides. Customs determination was, as follows:

Both the sample articles (46 X 60) and the imported article (54 X 60) are too small to cover a bed; moreover, bed throws commonly have fringe on only three sides. Thus, Customs does not consider the instant article to be a bed throw but instead, views it as similar to a furniture throw or cover. In either case, however, the article is classifiable as a furnishing of heading 6304.

In HRL 957223, Customs classified the subject merchandise in Heading 9404, HTSUSA. Customs based its decision on prior cases where similar articles were classified in headings other than Heading 6304, HTSUSA. HRL 957223 states the following, in pertinent part:

Previously, Customs has ruled out classifying articles as wallhangings when a determination cannot be made with certainty that the article's principal or designated use will be as a wallhanging. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954196, dated September 15, 1993 (crib quilt classified under heading 9404, HTSUSA, notwithstanding asserted use as a wallhanging); HRL 951372, dated April 24, 1992 (textile item measuring 63 X 114 centimeters and printed with nature scene which can be used as a wallhanging but has several possible uses beyond the parameters of heading 6304, classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA); HRL 952389, dated November 5, 1992 (textile decoration measuring 16 X 34 inches with variety of uses other than as a wallhanging placed in heading 6307, HTSUSA). See also HRL 084034, dated April 24, 1989 (quilt with rod pocket classified in heading 9404, HTSUSA).

* * * By comparing this quilt to quilts previously classified in other rulings, we can also state that its size renders it suitable as a bedcover. For example, the quilts classified in
HRL's 954196 and 084034 and placed under heading
9404, HTSUSA, measured
42-1/2 and 52 inches square, respectively.
Arch Associates's 48 X 56 inch quilt has similar proportions and clearly could be used as an article of bedding.
Taking all of these factors together, it is apparent that this merchandise falls within the definition of a quilt.

As HRL 957410, dated February 3, 1995 and HRL 957223, dated February 24, 1995, were both issued in close proximity, it appears that Customs did not have occasion to fully review the facts and conclusion of the latter ruling. As a result, two rulings with similar facts were decided differently. However, when reviewing the analysis and cited rulings in HRL 957223, it is apparent that Customs failed to consider whether the subject article was capable of covering a bed adequately so that use as bed linen was practicable. The subject article
measures 48 X 56 inches and as a result would not adequately cover any of the cited standard size mattresses. Therefore, its size would not render it suitable as a bedcover.

It is important to note that the merchandise of the referenced HRL 954196, was described as a crib quilt, therefore, classification under Heading 9404, HTSUSA, was proper. After reexamining the analysis and conclusion of HRL 084034, Customs believes that it was decided in error and a proposed modification of HRL 084034 to reflect Custom's present position is pending. Cited HRL's 951372 and 952789 both concerned merchandise with the dimensions of 63 X 114 centimeters and 16 X 34 inches, respectively. HRL 957223 erroneously stated that HRL 951372 was classified under Heading 6307, HTSUSA, instead the merchandise was classified under Heading 5801, HTSUSA. In HRL 952789, Customs classified the merchandise under Heading 6307, HTSUSA, based on the fact that the merchandise had other uses beyond the purview of articles under Heading 6304, HTSUSA. All of the referenced rulings contain important facts distinguishable from the instant case and therefore, the classification of the subject merchandise cannot be premised on the analysis and conclusions applied in the cited rulings.


HRL 957223 is revoked.

The subject merchandise is properly classifiable in subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, which excludes those of heading 9404, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 7.1 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 369.

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 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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