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HQ 959064

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959064 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6204.43.4040

Mr. Ken August
Fun World
80 Voice Road
Carle Place, NY 11514

RE: Request for tariff classification of costumes from Taiwan

Dear Mr. August:

This letter is in response to your request for the tariff classification of two costumes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Two samples have been submitted with this request and are identified as follows: Blue princess costume (item #8712) and pink princess costume (item #8706). All items are produced from man-made textile materials (synthetic).

The blue princess costume (8712) is primarily constructed of blue satin woven fabric. The neck has a bias capping extending to a tie closure. The slit back is about 3 inches long and has also been finished with bias capping. This full length dress has been constructed of a separate skirt with gathering at the waist which has been sewn to the bodice with overlock stitching. Elastic has been sewn to the waistline to give additional shaping. A decorative lace panel has been sewn to the front of the bodice. Narrow white ribbon secures the right and left edges of the lace panel and the bias tape collar and waistline seam secure the top and bottom so that no raw edges are exposed. The full length sleeves are accented at the shoulder with matching lace trim that has been folded-over and incorporated into the armhole seam so that no raw edges are exposed. The sleeve itself is made-up of three separate panels beginning with the blue woven fabric at the shoulder, a matching lace panel has been attached midway down the sleeve, and the blue woven fabric extends from forearm to wrist with a shaped point at the cuff. Both the cuffs and hem have been completed with overlock stitching.

The pink princess costume (8706) is a full length dress constructed of pink satin woven fabric. The neckline features a lace insert in front with a white bias capping extending to a tie closure; the 2 inch back slit is also finished with white bias capping. The front of the waistline features a stylized "V" shape. A decorative lace panel has been sewn to the front of the bodice. Narrow white ribbon secures the right and left edges of the lace panel. A lace insert with decorative ruffle at the collar along with the waistline seam separately secure the top and bottom of the lace panel so that no raw edges are exposed. The full length sleeve is adorned at the shoulder with a flounce of lace which has been incorporated into the armhole seam and then tacked down with a straight stitch to attach it to the pink fabric. The cuff is pointed and adorned with lace so that no raw edges are exposed. The front hem of the skirt has a scalloped shape which is accentuated with gathers. Each gather is adorned with a fabric bow sewn to the hem. The hem has been finished with a sheer white netting with a raw edge.


Whether the costumes are festive articles of Chapter 95 or textile articles of fancy dress classifiable under Chapter 61 or 62.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, 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's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, includes articles which are for "Festive, carnival, or other entertainment." It must be noted, however, that Note 1(e), chapter 95, HTSUSA, excludes articles of "fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62" from chapter 95. The EN's to 9505, state, among other things, that the heading covers:

(A) Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, which in view of their intended use are generally made of non-durable material. They include:

(3) Articles of fancy dress, e.g., masks, false ears and noses, wigs, false beards and moustaches (not being articles of postiche - heading 67.04), and paper hats. However, the heading excludes fancy dress of textile materials, of chapter 61 or 62.

In interpreting the phrase "fancy dress, of textiles, of chapters 61 or 62," Customs initially took the view that fancy dress included "all" costumes regardless of quality, durability, or the nature of the item. However, Customs has reexamined its view regarding the scope of the term "fancy dress" as it relates to costumes. On November 15, 1994, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 957318, which referred to the settlement agreement of October 18, 1994, reached by the United States and Traveler Trading. In HQ 957318, Customs stated that it had agreed to classify as festive articles in subheading 9505.90.6090, HTSUSA, costumes of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as not being normal articles of apparel.

In view of the aforementioned, Customs must distinguish between costumes of Chapter 95 (festive articles), and costumes of Chapters 61 and 62 (articles of fancy dress). This can be accomplished by separately identifying characteristics in each article that would determine whether or not it is of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as a normal article of apparel. Specifically, HQ 957948 and 957952, both dated May 7, 1996, set forth in great detail certain styling and sewing features of costumes which exemplified the characteristics of "textile articles of fancy dress" under Chapters 61 and 62. Many of these garments featured zipper closures and abundant styling features such as a fitted bodice with darts, a clown suit with a fabric encased wire hoop to add fullness, petal shaped panels sewn into a waistline, and sheer/decorative panels sewn into the seams of costumes.

The subject costumes have strong styling features and are neither flimsy in construction nor lacking in durability. Each garment has been adorned with lace panels which have been incorporated into the seams of the costume and secured with ribbon so that no raw edges are present. The necklines and back openings have been finished with durable bias capping so that no raw edges exist in an area where the garment typically receives a great deal of wear. Although some of the ornamentation has raw edges, it is only present on lace or netting which are fabrics that resist runs/frays even with a raw edge. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that these garments are comparable to articles generally recognized as apparel in that they have been designed for multiple wear and cleaning. As such, it is our view that this garment is an article of fancy dress of Chapter 62 and therefore excluded from heading 9505, HTSUSA. See chapter 95, HTSUSA, Note 1(e).

Costumes packaged with accessories may be classified as sets by application of GRI 3(b) according to the item in the set from which the set derives its essential character. GRI 3(b) is applicable when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, and have been put up in sets for retail sale. GRI 3(b) states that the goods "shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character." With respect to the tiara to be packaged with the pink princess costume (8706), GRI 3(b) is applicable because the item has been retail packaged as an accessory with the garment and each item in the set is classifiable under a separate heading. Customs believes that the essential character of costumes with accessories is generally imparted by the costume; otherwise, you would merely have a collection of accessory items.


The items identified as pink princess costume with tiara (8706) and blue princess costume (8712), are classifiable in subheading 6204.43.4040, HTSUSA, which provides for "Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): Dresses: Of synthetic fibers: Other: Other: Other: Girls'." The applicable rate of duty is 16.7 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 636.

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

John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division 6 cc: AD NY Seaport 1 cc: NIS Alice Wong
1 cc: NIS Martin Weiss
1 cc: NIS Patricia Schiazzano
1 cc: NIS Angela De Gaetano
959064, Classification of costumes

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