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NY B87055

August 20, 1997

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:WA:353 B87055


TARIFF NO.: 6204.43.4040

Ms. Lori Aldinger
Rite Aid Corporation
P.O. Box 3166
Harrisburg, PA 17105

RE: The tariff classification of a girls' costume from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Aldinger

In your letter dated June 19, 1997, received in our office on June 24, 1997, you requested a classification ruling. A sample of the costume was submitted for examination. We regret the delay in our response.

The submitted costume designated as "Deluxe Toddler Princess Costume", item #972123 consists of a dress and headband which will be packaged in a reclosable polybag with a cardboard insert for sale at retail. The satin dress, which we assume is made of man-made fibers, is woven. The neckline features a lace insert in front with a white bias capping extending to a tie closure. 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 trim at the collar alone with the waistline seam separately secure the top and bottom of the lace panel so that no raw edges are exposed. The full length sleeves are adorned at the shoulder with flounce of lace which has been incorportated into the armhole seam and then tacked down with a straight stitch to attach it to the dress fabric. The cuffs are pointed and adorned with lace so that no raw edges are exposed. The hem of the dress has been turned over and sewn down. The submitted sample does not have a net insert at the hem.


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 an 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 dress has strong styling features and are neither flimsy in construction nor lacking in durability. Although some of the ornamentation has raw edges, it is only present on lace or netting which are fabrics hat resist runs/frays even with a raw edge. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that the dress is 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).

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 headband is governed by GRI 3(b) because this item is packaged as an accessory 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 dress.

The applicable subheading for the costume, Item #972123 dress will be 6204.43.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), 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), knitted or crocheted: Dresses: Of synthetic fibers: Other: Other: Other: Girls'." The rate of duty will be 16.7 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation is 636.

Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Taiwan 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

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