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HQ 958539

May 28, 1996



TARIFF NO.: 9401.90.50

John H. Qualey
Rogers & Brown
P.O. Box 20160
Charleston, SC 29413-0160

RE: Revocation of HRL 950309: Cushioned seat for infant walker, Graco Entertainer; HRL 089018; NYRL 815471; EN 94.01, 94.04

Dear Mr. Qualey:

This is in response to your letter, dated September 6, 1995, on behalf of Graco Children's Products (Graco), requesting the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of two imported parts of the Graco Entertainer play station; a cushioned seat and a musical module. According to your letter, the balance of the unit will be made and assembled in the U.S. A sample of the cushioned seat was submitted for our examination.

In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 815471 dated October 26, 1995, the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, advised Graco that the musical module was classifiable under subheading 8543.80.98, HTSUS, which provides for other electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in Chapter 85. This ruling letter will address the cushioned seat.

Additionally, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950309 dated December 4, 1991, Graco was advised that a cushioned seat for an infant walker was classifiable under subheading 9404. 90.20, HTSUS, as other pillows, cushions and similar furnishings. After review of HRL 950309, we now believe that the infant walker cushioned seat is classifiable under subheading 9401.90.50, HTSUS, as a seat part.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), notice of the proposed revocation of HRL 905309 was published on April 17, 1996, in the Customs Bulletin,Volume 30 Number 16. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The Graco Entertainer cushioned seat is made of a 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton shell with an inner layer of polyester fiberfill. The bottom of the item has two holes through which a child can place his/her legs. It attaches to the frame of the Entertainer by means of metal grommets.

The infant walker cushioned seat the subject of HRL 950309 is bucket-shaped and measures approximately 40 centimeters in height and 43 centimeters in width. It's outer layer is a woven polyester fabric with an inner layer of foam padding. The bottom has two holes through which a child's legs can protrude. The front and side rims have metal grommets which will be used to attach the seat to the walker frame. The rear rim has extra padding, to supply additional back and head support. Behind this additional padding is a flap with additional grommets. These grommets are used to attach this article to its frame.


Are the Graco Entertainer cushioned seat and infant walker cushioned seat classifiable as seats under heading 9401 or as a cushions under heading 9404?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in part, that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...." The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

9401.90.50 Seats (other than those of heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: Parts: Other: Other.

9404. 90.20 Mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eider downs, 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: Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings: Other.

Note 3(b) to Chapter 94, HTSUS, states that goods described in heading 9404, entered separately, are not to be classified in headings 9401, 9402 or 9403 as parts of goods. Therefore, we must determine whether the subject articles are "cushions" of heading 9404, which would disqualify them from classification under heading 9401, or whether they are "seats" or parts of "seats" of heading 9401.

In an effort to determine if the subject articles are considered "cushions" or "seats" for tariff purposes, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be consulted. The ENs, although not dispositive nor legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989). EN Gen 94, p. 1574-75, states, in pertinent part, that:

...Headings 94.01 to 94.03 cover articles of furniture of any material (wood, osier, bamboo, cane, plastics, base metals, glass, leather, stone, ceramics, etc.). Such furniture remains in these headings whether or not stuffed or covered..


This Chapter only covers parts, whether or not in the rough, of the goods of headings 94.01 to 94.03 and 94.05, when identifiable by their shape or other specific features as parts designed solely or principally for an article of those headings. They are classified in this Chapter when not more specifically covered elsewhere...

According to the general ENs, a seat remains classifiable as a piece of furniture even if it is stuffed or covered. Additionally, if a seat is one part of a larger piece of furniture it remains classifiable as furniture under a parts provision. EN 94.01, p. 1575-76, states in pertinent part, that:

...this heading covers all seats... for example: Lounge chairs, arm-chairs, folding chairs, deck chairs, infants' high chairs and children's seats designed to be hung on the back of other seats (including vehicle seats), grandfather chairs, benches, couches (including those with electrical heating), settees, sofas, ottomans and the like, stools (such as piano stools, draughtsmen's stools, typists' stools, and dual purpose stool-steps).


The heading also covers identifiable parts of chairs or other seats, such as backs, bottoms and armrests (whether or not upholstered with straw or cane, stuffed or sprung), and spiral springs assembled for seat upholstery.

Separately presented cushions and mattresses, sprung, stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics whether or not covered, are excluded (heading 94.04) even if they are clearly specialized as parts of upholstered seats (e.g., settees, couches, sofas). When these articles are combined with other parts of seats, however, they remain classified in this heading. They also remain in this heading when presented with the seats of which they form part.

EN 94.04, p. 1579-80, states, in pertinent part, that:

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 (whether or not covered with woven fabric, plastics, etc.). 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...

See the Explanatory Note to heading 94.01 concerning cushions or mattresses having the character of parts of seats.

In HRL 950309, we stated that the cushioned seat for the infant walker was essentially similar to the infant car seat cushion/cover ruled on in HRL 089018 dated August 9, 1991. Upon review of the infant car seat cushion/cover and cushioned seat for an infant walker, we have come to the conclusion that they are in fact different in form and function.

The car seat cover of HRL 089018 is shaped to function as a seat covering. The cushion is attached to a car seat by pulling the harness straps and buckle through pre-existing slits in the cushion, threading loops attached to the cushion through openings in the plastic seat and refastening them onto tabs, fitting the cushion over the sides of the seat and over the bottom front lip of the seat, securing the cushion to the seat by plastic side clips and a three-pronged plastic clip at the bottom and wrapping the elasticized top of the cushion around the top back lip of the seat. It does not function independently as the child's car seat.

The cushioned seat portion of the infant walker is bucket shaped and has two holes at the bottom through which a child's leg will protrude. The front and side rims have metal grommets which will be used to attach the seat to a frame. The cushioned seat for the infant walker actually creates the seat where the child will sit to use the walker.

Although the Entertainer and infant walker cushioned seats are stuffed or fitted and provide cushioning for a child, we believe their condition is advanced beyond that of a cushion. The articles are structurally necessary parts of both the Entertainer and infant walker. The cushioned seat creates the place in both the Entertainer and infant walker, where the child will sit. As such, the cushioned seat is an identifiable furniture part.

We recognize that the exemplars of EN 94.01 exclude from the heading specialized parts (such as cushions) of otherwise structurally complete seats. However, unlike an upholstered seat which may be used without its cushion, the Graco Entertainer and walker cannot be used without the subject cushioned seats.


The subject cushioned seats for the Graco Entertainer and infant walker are classifiable under subheading 9401.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for, seats (other than those of heading 9402), whether or not convertible into beds, and parts thereof: parts: other: other. The applicable rate of duty is 2.4 percent ad valorem. No textile category is currently assigned to merchandise classified under this subheading. HRL 950309 is revoked.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)].


John Durant, Director

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