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HQ 954472

September 16, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954472 SK


TARIFF NO.'s: 6304.92.0000; 6304.99.3500

K. Harmon
Trade Advisory Group
21839 S. Avalon Blvd., ste. 55
Carson, CA 90745

RE: Classification of cotton and linen corporals and purificators; articles used during religious ceremonies; EN to heading 6304, HTSUSA; not similar to articles of table and kitchen linen of heading 6302, HTSUSA; not classifiable as regalia under heading 9810, HTSUSA; U.S. Note 1 to Subchapter X.

Dear Mr. Harmon:

This is in response to your inquiry of May 26, 1993, on behalf of The Autom Company, in which you requested a binding classification ruling for a corporal and a purificator to be made in either China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau. Cotton and linen samples of the merchandise at issue were submitted to this office for review and will be returned to you under separate cover.


The samples submitted are cotton and linen versions of two cloths used during religious ceremonies. The cotton corporal measures approximately 16 1/2 inches square and possesses hemmed edges and a slightly raised embroidered cross. The linen corporal measures approximately 15 1/2 x 16 inches and features hemmed edges made with hemstitching (a decorative drawnwork). The linen corporal also has a raised embroidered cross.

Both the cotton and the linen purificators measure approximately 12 x 18 inches and have raised crosses at their centers. The purificators are hemmed and the linen purificator also features hemstitching.

A corporal is a cloth upon which the sacramental elements (chalice containing wine and the hosts) are placed and consecrated during the celebration of the Eucharist. It is
carried to the alter in a burse (a small square case that is carried on top of the chalice). It is also placed on the alter before the tabernacle when the Blessed Sacrament is placed in the Monstrance at Benediction or when the tabernacle is opened to transfer hosts. A corporal is also used as a cloth liner for baskets or other containers that hold the hosts when multiple celebrants serve the Mass.

A purificator is a cloth used to dry and clean the chalice after the celebration of the Eucharist. It is usually kept folded. It is also used as an adjunct to bringing Holy Communion to the sick.


What is the proper classification for a corporal and a purificator used in religious ceremonies?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 9810, HTSUSA, provides for "[A]rticles imported for the use of an institution established solely for religious purposes." Specifically included within subheading 9810.00.15, HTSUSA, are "regalia... hand-woven fabrics, to be used by the institution in making religious vestments for its own use or sale." U.S. Note 1 to Section X states that "... the articles covered by this subchapter must be exclusively for the use of the institutions involved, and not for distribution, sale or other commercial use within 5 years after being entered." As the articles at issue are intended for commercial uses, they do not qualify for classification within this heading of the Nomenclature.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for "[B]ed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen." While the corporal and purificator are used in a similar manner to these articles, they are only ceremonial versions of the articles in heading 6302, HTSUSA.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for "[O]ther furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404." The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6304 include, "... wall hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies (e.g. weddings or funerals);... . " As the cloths at issue are used solely in
religious services, and serve a ceremonial function, they qualify as "textile furnishings for ceremonies" and are properly classifiable within heading 6304, HTSUSA.


The cotton corporal and purificator are classifiable under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for "[O]ther furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Other: Not knitted or crocheted, of cotton..., dutiable at a rate of 7.2 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 369.

The linen corporal and purificator are classifiable under subheading 6304.99.3500, HTSUSA, which provides for "[O]ther furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Other: Not knitted or crocheted, of other textile materials: Other: Of vegetable fibers (except cotton): Other..., dutiable at a rate of 12.8 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 899.

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 your client 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 nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact his local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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