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HQ 958250

November 2, 1995
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958250 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6505.90.8090

Karen Stauffer
JP Imports
POB 42747
Phoenix, AZ 85089

RE: Classification of a durable, reusable mask; Heading 6505; Heading 9505

Dear Ms. Stauffer:

This is in response to your inquiry of June 21, 1995, requesting a tariff classification for masks under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were submitted for examination.


The two submitted samples are man-made woven head masks which fit over the full head with shoelace ties in the back for closure. Plastic trim is used for adornment around the openings for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Both samples appear to be well constructed with finished seams located in the interior. One of the samples is marked with a size M label which indicates that the masks will be produced in various sizes.


Whether the subject merchandise are classifiable under Heading 6505, HTSUSA, as headgear or under Heading 9505, HTSUSA, as festive articles?


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.

On November 15, 1994, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957318 which referred to the settlement agreement of October 18, 1994, reached by the United States and Traveler Trading. In Traveler Trading Co. Inc. v. United States, Court No. 91-02-00084, Customs agreed to classify costumes imported by Traveler Trading in subheading 9505.90.6090, HTSUSA. The articles therein were costumes of a flimsy nature and construction, lacked durability, and were generally recognized as not normal articles of apparel. Customs also stated that provided other costumes imported in the future met the aforementioned description, they too, would be classifiable as festive articles under Heading 9505, HTSUSA.

In this instance, the subject masks are well-made, constructed of durable man-made fabric that could withstand normal washing, and contain interior seams that are finished. All of these characteristics are usually not found in flimsy costumes classifiable under Heading 9505, HTSUSA. Therefore, due to the fabric, construction, and finishing touches, Customs believes that the masks at issue are durable and reusable. Thus, classification under Heading 9505, is inappropriate. Consequently, the subject masks are classifiable under Heading 6505 HTSUSA, the provision for hats and other headgear.


Based on the foregoing, the subject masks are classifiable in subheading 6505.90.8090, HTSUSA, which provides for hats and other headgear, of man-made fiber, knitted or crocheted, not in part braid, other. The applicable rate of duty is 7.9 percent ad valorem plus 21.7 cents per kilogram. The textile restraint category is 659.

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 Report 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, 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
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

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