United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 NY Rulings > NY 816983 - NY 817476 > NY 817200

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY 817200

December 27, 1995

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:WA:353 817200


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.3070

Ms. Judy Campbell
W.Y. Moberly, Inc.
Port of Sweetgrass, Montana 59484

RE: The tariff classification of a " Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes from Canada

Dear Ms. Campbell:

In your letter dated November 17, 1995, received in or office on November 30, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of About Face Mascots Ltd. Samples were submitted and will be returned per your request.

The submitted samples include a foot of a bear which is stated to be made from foam which is covered with synthetic fur and has a rubber sole. Samples of the other parts of the bear mascot costume, i.e. the body, head and gloves were not submitted but, according to your information will also be covered with synthetic fur. Upon examination, the outer surface of foot is made up on knitted pile fabric, which you state is synthetic or man-made textile.

The bear mascot costume is made up of several parts; head, body, gloves, feet and vest. According to your information supplied, such as representative photographs of the type of mascot costumes made by About Face Mascots Ltd, the make up of the mascot includes:

HEAD - The shape of the head is made of closed cell foam which is covered in a synthetic fur. Inside the head there is a permanently mounted 3 1/2 inch (computer type) fan. The fan's power is a 12 volt, 1.2 amp. Rechargeable battery. A charger for the battery is also supplied at the time of purchase. The purpose of the fan is to keep the head of the wearer cool when wearing the mascot suit.

BODY - The shape of the body is made from open cell foam which is covered in synthetic fur.

GLOVES -The gloves are made from synthetic fur.

FEET - The feet are made from regular foam which is covered in synthetic fur and have rubber soles.

ICE VEST - The vest is a sleeveless jacket to be worn by the person inside the mascot costume The vest is made out of an oxford fabric. The vest has four pockets, each of which will contain a refreezeable gel pack. The purpose of the vest is to keep the body of the wearer cool when wearing the mascot costume.

It is your belief that the "Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes should be classified in Chapter 95 based upon Customs ruling HRL 957592 which stated that "costumes which are of a flimsy nature and construction, which lack durability, and which are generally recognized as not normal articles of apparel should not be excluded from classification within Chapter 95...."

Under the HTSUSA, toys are classified in Chapter 95. However, Note 1(e) excludes articles of "fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62" from classification within Chapter 95. Fancy dress is defined in Webster's Third New Dictionary, Unabridged, at 822(1965) as: "a costume(as for a masquerarde or party) departing for currently conventional style and usually representing a fictional or historical character, an animal, the fancy of the wearer, or a particular occupation...."

Costume is defined in Marry Brooks Pickens The fashion Dictionary as; " Complete dress or apparel, including all outer garments and accessories worn at one time. Also, dress in general: but incorrectly used for a dress."

From the same source, we find the following terms and definitions:
apparel: Clothing of all sorts; * * * (Page 6) clothing: Any wearing apparel.(Page 70)
Garment: Any article of apparel, chiefly one made of fabric. (Page 160) Under the topic heading "Dress and Dresses" is the directive "Also see Fancy Dress." (Page 109)

In Websters II New Riverside University Dictionary, at 118(1984), apparel is defined as: "1. Clothing. 2. Something that covers and adorns." Costume is defined as: "1. A prevalent style of dress, including clothing, accessories, and hairdos. 2. A style of dress typical of a particular time, country, or people, often worn in a play or at a festival. 3. A set of clothes appropriate for a particular occasion or season."

From the above definitions, it appears that the terms apparel, clothing, and garment are interchangeable. It also appears that fancy dress is a costume and that a costume is apparel or clothing of a particular type. The Note 1(e) exclusion includes all fancy dress of textile materials and appears to leave no room for differentiating between costumes based on their construction, utilitarian value, and use.

In October, 1983, The Nomenclature Committee of the Customs Cooperation Council regarding the classification of "Spiderman and Hulk" suits, a cowboy suit and an Indian girls, all of textile materials, decided that the costumes were fancy dress classifiable in Section XI by application of the exclusion Note 1(e) to Chapter 95.

Although not bound by this decision of the Nomenclature Committee, Customs believes it illustrates the intent of the Note 1(e) exclusion to chapter 95, and the meaning of fancy dress as it issued in that exclusion. In accordance with the Committee's decision and Note 1(e) to Chapter 95, costumes of textile materials are classified in Section XI.

The "Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes are made up of various components, i.e. head, body, feet, vest, etc. Composite goods are defined in the Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level , as "not only those [goods] in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted to one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts."

We believe the "Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes meets the definition of composite goods. All the components of the mascot costumes are adapted to each other, are mutually complementary and form a costume that would not normally be sold separately in parts.

As a composite goods, the classification of the mascot is determined by that component which gives the suit its essential character. The Explanatory Notes address the issue of essential character under GRI 3(b) as follows:

"The factor which determines essential character will vary between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods."

The body of the mascot costume is its major component. It is the most costly and has the greatest visible surface. While each component is necessary to have a complete costume, the body due to its bulk and value, is the component which we believe gives the costume its essential character. By application of Note 1(e) to Chapter 95, the body portion of the mascot, as an article of fancy dress, cannot be classified in Chapter 95. Therefore the head, feet, vest, etc. are classifiable with the body of the mascot in Chapter 61.

The "Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes are not of flimsy construction and nature and are durable. Even though they are not generally recognized as normal article of apparel, they must satisfy all these requirements to qualify for inclusion for classification within Chapter 95 by operation of Note 1(e). Only those costumes of the type that are of a flimsy nature and construction, which lack durability and which are generally recognized as not normal articles of apparel should not be excluded from classification in Chapter 95.

The applicable subheading for the "Performer Friendly Mascot" costumes will be 6114.30.3070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Other garments, knitted or crocheted: of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Women's or girls'. The rate of duty will 4.8 percent ad valorem. The rate for 1996 will be 3.2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Roger J. Silvestri

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: