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 B86901 - NY B86964 > NY B86910

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY B86910

August 7, 1997

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:WA:353 B86910


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030; 6114.30.3070; 6211.43.0091

Ms. Meredith Covey
The GAP, Inc.
Two Harrison
San Francisco, CA 94105

RE: The tariff classification of three costumes from China

Dear Ms. Covey:

In your letter dated June 19, 1997 you requested a classification ruling. Samples were submitted for examination and will be returned per your request.

The submitted samples consist of Style 353060, Witch costume which is comprised of a cape, witches hat and a spider finger puppet. The cape is said to be made of 100% woven nylon, has a velcro closure and is lined with fabric of a contrasting color, also of 100% woven nyon. The cape has finished edges and a elasticized collar enclosed in a fabric channel. The hat is said to be made up of 100% woven nylon outer shell over a crown and brim of polyester felt with an elastic chin strap. The spider finger puppet has a body of 100% knit nylon, legs of polyester felt, plastic eyes and a "pouch" on its side to place one's finger. Style 353117, Gladiator costume, is comprised of a "vest", hat and two arm bands. The "vest" is said to be made from 65% cotton 35% polyester knit fabric and is quilted to resemble armor. The edges and neck of the vest have finished edges. Strips of polyester felt are permanently attached to the bottom of the "vest". The back of the "vest" has three velcro closures. The hat and arm bands are said to be made from polyester felt. Style 353059, Vampire costume consists of a cape, cap and plastic vampire teeth. The cape is said to be made of 100% woven nylon with contrasting collar and lining and has a Velcro closure. The cape has finished edges. The cap is said to be made from 100% woven nylon with a polyester lining.

It is noted that each style is packaged in a drawstring textile carrying bag which bears the phrase "Trick or Treat" and the printed name of the costume. These bags are not considered normal packaging and are separately classifiable.


Whether the costumes are festive articles of chapter 95 or of 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 ant relative section of the chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and 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 GRIs.

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, does not cover "fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62." The EN's to 9505, state 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 chapter 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 related to costumes. On November 15, 1994, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957318, which referred to the settlement agreement of October 18, 1994, reached by the United States and Traveler Trading. In HRL 957318, Customs stated that it had agreed to classify as festive articles in subheading 9505.90.6090, costumes of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as not being a normal article 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 indicate whether or not it is of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as a normal article of apparel.

The overall amount of finishing of the capes and "vest" in questions is such that these articles are considered neither flimsy in nature or construction, nor lacking in durability. 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 component which gives them their essential character." In this case the hats, spider finger puppet, arm bands and plastic teeth of the costumes at issue are governed by GRI 3(b) because these items are packaged as accessories with a single garment wherein each item in the set is classifiable under a separate heading. Pursuant to GRI 3(b), however, the accessory items is the set are classified in accordance with that article from which the set derives its essential character. Customs believes that the essential character of costumes consisting of a single garment with accessories is generally imparted by that garment, which in this case is the cape for styles 353060 and 353059 and the "vest" in style 353117 where the garment in not considered a true vest as it doesn't have a front opening.

The applicable subheading for the capes of styles 353060 and 353059 will be 6211.43.0091, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women's or girls': Of man-made fibers: Other". The rate of duty will be 16.7 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation is 659.

The applicable subheading for the "vest" of style 353117 will be 6114.30.3070 (HTS), which provides for "Other garments, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Women's or girls'". The rate of duty will be 15.7 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation is 659.

The applicable subheading for the drawstring textile bags will be 4202.92.3030 (HTS), which provides for "Traveling bags: Other: with outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: Travel, sports and similar bags: With an outer surface of textile materials: Other: Other: Of man-made fibers: Other." The rate of duty will be 19.3 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation will be 670.

Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. 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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 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.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles and Apparel Branch

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: