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HQ 959271

OCTOBER 21, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959271 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7323.99.90

Ms. Mona Webster
Target Stores
33 South Sixth Street
P.O. Box 1392
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1392

RE: NY 817139 Revoked; Jawbreaker Hangers, Plastic and Steel Clothes Hangers of a Kind Used in the Household; Clothes Hangers Capable of Long Term Use; Articles Used in Commercial Establishments to Transport Clothes, Heading 7326, Articles of Iron or Steel

Dear Ms. Webster:

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, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 817139, December 29, 1995, was published on September 18, 1996, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 30, Number 37/38.


In NY 817139, issued to you on December 29, 1995, the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, held skirt and pants hangers from China, designated the "Jawbreaker" style 703P, were classifiable in subheading 7326.90.85, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other articles of iron or steel. A submitted photograph depicts an 11 inch-long clothes hanger, with double hook upper portion of steel, and plastic lower portion in a jaw-like configuration. Holding the double hooks apart causes the jaws of the lower portion to separate while joining the hooks closes the jaws around skirts and pants and similar garments that hang vertically. - 2 -

You maintain that these hangers, which are sold in sets of two, are of a kind sold at retail for repeated reuse in the home to hang or store clothes. As such, they are other household articles of the type provided for in HTS heading 7323.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7323 [o]ther household articles and parts thereof, of iron or steel

7323.99 Other:

7323.99.90 Other...3.4 percent ad valorem

7326 Other Articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:

7326.90.85 Other...4.6 percent ad valorem


Whether "Jawbreaker" skirt and pants hangers are household articles.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). - 3 -

NY 817139 held that "Jawbreaker" skirt and pants hangers, in part of plastic and in part of steel, were articles of iron or steel of heading 7326 because the steel component imparted the essential character to the whole. This was in accordance with GRI 3(b), HTSUS, which states, in relevant part, that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if consisting of the material or component which gives them their essential character. However, no consideration was given to heading 7323, which encompasses, among other things, household articles of iron or steel.

At the four-digit heading level, relevant heading 73.23 ENs at p. 1035 include under (A) TABLE, KITCHEN OR OTHER HOUSEHOLD ARTICLES AND PARTS THEREOF a wide range of iron or steel articles, not more specifically covered by other headings in the Nomenclature, used for table, kitchen or other household purposes, and include the same goods for use in hotels, restaurants, boarding houses, hospitals, canteens, barracks, etc. Clothes-hangers are among the articles specifically listed. In this context, therefore, household-type clothes hangers would not necessarily be characterized by their use in the home but, rather, by their physical characteristics, i.e., their suitability to hang/store clothes, their sturdy construction as an indication of long-term or repeated reuse, and possibly even being decorative. These features would serve to distinguish clothes hangers of a type used to transport clothes from dry cleaners and similar commercial establishments to the home, hotel, restaurant, etc. Such clothes hangers would normally be of flimsy construction, and of a type that is readily discarded or recycled.

The construction of the skirt and pants hanger in issue indicates to us that it is not intended as a one-time use item. Rather, its substantial construction and the manner in which it functions suggests it is of a type intended for repeated use to hang/store one's personal clothes, either at home, or in a hotel or boarding house during travel.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the "Jawbreaker" skirt and pants hanger, style 703P, is provided for in heading 7323. It is classifiable in subheading 7323.99.90, HTSUS. NY 817139, dated December 29, 1995, is revoked. - 4 -

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
Tariff Classification

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