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HQ 958858

July 24, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958858 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.41.0010; 6405.20.9090; 6111.20.6040

Arthur K. Purcell, Esquire
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street, 34th Floor
New York, New York 10004

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 813593; "Gifts 4 Baby" Set; Infant's Shoes, Socks, Bib, and Stuffed Toy/Rattle, with Nursery Rhyme Theme; Not Set

Dear Mr. Purcell:

This letter is in response to your request of January 4, 1996, on behalf of your client, Gold, Inc., for reconsideration of NY 813593, issued September 22, 1995, which pertains to the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of "Gifts 4 Baby," a collection of four items for an infant, produced in China and Korea. A sample was submitted with your request. Subsequent to the request and submission, a conference was held with Headquarters personnel on May 6, 1997.


In NY 813593, the article's four components were classified in three separate subheadings. The bib and socks were classified in subheading 6111.20.6040, HTSUSA, textile category 239, the provision for "Babies' garments and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted: Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: Other," with a general column one duty rate (in 1995) of 8.6 (now 8.4) percent ad valorem. The shoes were classified in subheading 6405.20.9090, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other footwear: With uppers of textile materials: Other, Other: For other persons," -2-
with a general column one duty rate of 12.5 percent ad valorem. The rattle, contained within a stuffed toy lamb, was classified in subheading 9503.41.0010, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Toys representing animals or non-human creatures...: Stuffed toys...and accessories thereof, Stuffed toys," with a general column one duty rate of free.

The "Gifts 4 Baby" sample is one of three, four-piece collections available for sale, the components of which are decorated in relation to one of the following nursery rhyme themes: "Twinkle, twinkle little star," "Mary had a little lamb," or "The cow jumped over the moon." Each collection contains a pair of infant's shoes, a pair of infant's socks, an infant's bib, and one plush stuffed toy/rattle (a star, a lamb, or a cow).

In the sample currently available, the lace up shoes have uppers and applied outer soles that are constructed of woven, man-made fabric. The words "THE COW JUMPED OVER THE" and a yellow crescent moon, are embroidered on the vamp of the shoe. The socks, each of which incorporates a design of a cow above a moon, are composed of knit cotton fabric. The bib is constructed of knit cotton fabric with woven textile trim and tie ends. The bib is printed with a cow, a moon, and the words "the cow jumped over the moon." The stuffed toy/rattle represents a smiling cow with artificial fabric fur on its head and a textile cord tail. The components are put up together and imported in a retail package suitable for direct sale to consumers without repacking.


Whether the article should be classified as a set, or as individual, separately classifiable components.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the -3-
official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

As noted above, the article consists of four individual components. The article cannot be classified solely by reference to GRI 1 because the components are classifiable in different headings, i.e., headings 6111, 6405, and 9503, HTSUS.

In pertinent part, GRI 2(b) states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that the headings are regarded as equally specific when each heading refers to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale. Therefore, to determine whether the article might be classified under one provision, we look to GRI 3(b), which states in pertinent part that:
goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

With respect to whether the "Gifts 4 Baby" article constitutes goods put up in sets, we look to Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b), which indicates that for purposes of the rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

As previously noted, the subject goods meet criteria (a) and (c). With regard to criterion (b), it must be determined whether the items are put up together to carry out a specific activity. -4-

We note that three of the collection's four components are functional. Two of these - the socks and the shoes - are intended to clothe an infant. The bib is designed to protect the infant's clothing. The fourth component is nonfunctional and is designed principally to amuse.

You contend that the four components are used for the specific activity of dressing up a child to emulate a theme, much as a Halloween costume allows a person to emulate a theme or story for purposes of observing a festive occasion. You maintain that the stuffed toy component, although not worn, represents the central aspect of the unifying, nursery rhyme theme. You cite to numerous Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ), several concerning the classification of costumes. The two most pertinent rulings involve nonfunctional components intended to be held, that are thematically-linked with, and classified in the same provision as, components designed to be worn.

In HQ 951190, issued March 31, 1992, this office classified an article identified as "My Bundle Baby," which consisted of either one or two stuffed dolls (one or both of which could be held) packaged for retail sale with a toy baby carrier (designed to be worn). The carrier produced heartbeat sounds and kicking motions which enhanced a child's ability to play at being pregnant. The items packaged together were found to satisfy the criteria of Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b), and to constitute a set, with the essential character imparted by the doll(s). With respect to criterion (b), we found that the doll(s) and carrier enabled a user to carry out the specific activity of pretending to be pregnant, an aspect of playing with and transporting the doll(s).

Unlike the components of HQ 951190, the stuffed toy, shoes, socks, and bib are not put up together to carry out a specific activity such as maternal play acting. Although all the "Gifts 4 Baby" components display a unifying theme, they are put up together to meet separate needs and/or to carry out more than one activity.

In HQ 086913, issued August 3, 1990, this office classified several items, including the following two articles, as sets: 1) a "Fairy Princess" costume, composed of a dress with attached wings, a headband, and a wand with a star attached; and 2) a "Ballerina" costume composed of a leotard with attached tutu, a tiara, and a plastic wand with a star attached. You have not clearly asserted, nor do we find, that the components of "Gifts 4 -5-

Baby" constitute either a dress up set (a combination of cheap, flimsy articles of textile clothing and accessories, often accompanied by imitation jewelry, grooming products, etc.) or a costume. Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (1972), defines "costume" as "1. a) The style of dress, including accessories, typical of a certain country, period, profession, etc. b) a set of clothes in such a style, as worn in a play or at a masquerade 2. a set of outer clothes for some purpose or occasion, esp. one worn by a woman."

The components of the "Fairy Princess" and "Ballerina" costumes, each of which included a wand, were found to satisfy the criteria of Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) and were classified as sets. The costume components had been put up together for the specific activity of amusing oneself through portraying a role or making believe that one is someone or something different or distant from one's actual self, location, or role in life.

The cited rulings fail to support the apparent inference that a nursery rhyme theme, common to the four components of a retail package - two of which clothe, one of which accessorizes clothing, and one of which is a toy - can reduce multiple needs/ activities down to one particular need or specific activity for purposes of classifying the components as a set. We find that the components do not comprise a set, and that each must be separately classified.


The components comprising the "Gifts 4 Baby" article are separately classified under the specific subheadings below:

The toy rattle, contained within a stuffed toy lamb, is classified in subheading 9503.41.0010, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...representing animals or non-human creatures...: Stuffed toys." The general column one duty rate is free.

The infant shoes are classified in subheading 6405.20.9090, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other footwear: With uppers of textile materials: Other, Other: For other persons." The general column one duty rate is 12.5 percent ad valorem.

The infant bib and infant socks are classified in subheading 6111.20.6040, HTSUSA, textile category 239, the provision for -6-

"Babies' garments and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted: Of cotton." The general column one duty rate is 8.4 percent ad valorem.

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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

NY 813593, issued September 22, 1995, is hereby affirmed.


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