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HQ 958119

January 14, 1998

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958119 CMR/RH


TARIFF NO.: 6302.52.2000

Bruce N. Shulman, Esq.
Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara
1620 L Street, N.W.
Suite 807
Washington, D.C. 20036-5605

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 805708 of January 30, 1995; classification of items referred to as motifs; classification of doilies; table linen; other furnishing articles; other made up articles; heading 5804; heading 6307; heading 6302; heading 6304

Dear Mr. Shulman:

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 805708 was published on November 26, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 48.

This is in response to the submission from you and Mr. Shostak of June 20, 1995, on behalf of Lin Lyn Trading, Ltd., requesting that Customs reconsider our classification decision in New York Ruling Letter (NY) 805708, dated January 30, 1995. A member of my staff met with you and your client on December 11, 1995, to discuss the issues in this case. Thereafter, you tendered a supplemental request dated April 22, 1996, addressing questions raised at the meeting.

In NY 805708, Customs classified various items, which you identify as "motifs," in subheading 5804.30.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for lace in the piece, in strips or in motifs; handmade lace; other. You have requested reconsideration of NY 805708 claiming the goods are properly classified as other embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs, in subheading 5810.99.9000, HTSUSA. Alternatively, you seek classification under subheading 6307.90.99, HTSUSA (other made up articles).


The goods at issue consist of eight styles of embroidered and appliqued articles which you refer to as motifs and which have been identified more specifically as "Window Pane Motifs." Each item measures approximately eight inches square, has a fiber content of 55 percent linen and 45 percent cotton, and each is made in China.

In your first submission, you describe the process by which the articles in question are produced, in part, as follows:

These motifs are produced by outlining patterns on a large piece of ground material. Battenburg lace tape measuring approximately 1/4 inch wide is then appliqued to the ground material along the outlines that were previously stenciled thereon. Designs are then embroidered on the ground material. Portions of the ground material are then removed and additional needlepoint design elements are added by sewing threads through the edges of the lace tape, producing a lace-like effect in the areas in which the ground was removed.

You describe the articles as consisting of four major types of material or design elements: (1) the ground, (2) Battenburg lace tape which is appliqued to the ground, (3) embroidery on selected portions of the ground, and (4) added needlework in the areas where the ground has been removed. The items feature various designs created by the four design elements. These designs include stars, pinwheels, snowflakes, trees and houses.

Your client sells all of the articles in question to Wimpole Street Creations which markets them for use in creating craft items or includes them in craft kits which it markets. You state that the articles are marketed for various uses as appliques or insets for wearing apparel or furnishing items such as pillows, and as components for making quilts or afghans. A copy of a Wimpole Street catalog was included in your submission.

The specific items at issue are not shown in the submitted Wimpole Street catalog, but similar items are. In each case, the items are identified as "doilies."

In NY 805708, the items at issue were classified in heading 5804, HTSUSA, as lace motifs, based upon an application of General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), i.e., essential character. It was determined that the battenburg lace constitutes about 50 percent of the surface area of the articles and imparts the essential character of the items.


Are the submitted "motifs" classifiable in heading 5804, HTSUSA, as lace in motifs; classifiable in heading 5810, HTSUSA, as embroidery in motifs; classifiable in heading 6302, HTSUSA, as doilies; classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as other furnishing articles; or, classifiable in heading 6307, HTSUSA, as other made up articles?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, offers useful guidance regarding the scope of the various headings at issue. Heading 5804, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, lace in motifs. The EN for heading 5804 state in part:

It is an essential characteristic of lace that the design element is not worked on a pre-existing ground. For the purposes of this heading the term therefore does not extend to products of similar appearance and, indeed, sometimes known as lace (e.g., filet lace), made by filling in or decorating the meshes of a pre-existent ground of tulle or net, or by sewn applique work on a ground, whether or not the ground is subsequently wholly or partially removed. Such products are classified as embroidery in heading 58.10, as are also true laces which have been subsequently embroidered, and encrusted lace produced by sewn applique work.

The EN for heading 5810, which includes embroidery in motifs, provide in part:

Embroidery is obtained by working with embroidery threads on a pre-existing ground of tulle, net, . . . , lace or woven fabric, . . . , in order to produce an ornamental effect on that ground. * * *

Thus the manufacture starting with a pre-existing ground fabric distinguishes embroidery from lace, and lace should not be confused with embroidery from which the ground fabric has been eliminated after execution. * * *

In regard to motifs specifically, the EN to 5810 states, in relevant part:


This consists of a ground of textile fabric or felt on which are sewn, by embroidery or ordinary stitches:

(B) Ornamental motifs of textile or other materials. These motifs are usually a textile fabric (including lace), of a texture different from that of the ground fabric and cut in various patterns which are sewn to the ground fabric; in certain cases, the ground fabric is removed at the places covered by the applied motif.

All varieties of embroidery described remain within this heading when in the following forms:

(2) In the form of motifs, i.e., individual pieces of embroidery design serving no other function than to be incorporated or appliqued as elements of embroidery in, for example, underwear or articles of apparel or furnishings. They may be cut to any shape, backed or otherwise assembled. They include badges, emblems, "flashes", initials, numbers, stars, national or sporting insignia, etc.

Customs Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services analyzed two of the submitted samples at our request. They confirmed that the samples are constructed as described in your submission. Due to the emphasis in the EN regarding the lack of a pre-existing ground in the construction of lace and the presence of a pre-existing ground in embroidery, and based upon the construction of the articles at issue, Customs agrees with you that we erred in NY 805708 in classifying the items in heading 5804 as lace in motifs.

Although Customs agrees that these items are not classifiable as lace in motifs in heading 5804, before concluding they are classifiable as embroidered motifs in heading 5810 we must examine the scope of that heading and the other possible classifications, i.e., as doilies in heading 6302, as other furnishing articles of heading 6304, or as other made up articles of heading 6307.

Heading 6302 provides for, among other things, table linen. The EN for heading 6302 state, in relevant part:

These articles are usually made of cotton or flax, but sometimes also of hemp, ramie or man-made fibres, etc.; they are normally of a kind suitable for laundering. They include:

(2) Table linen, e.g., table cloths, table mats and runners, tray cloths, table centres, serviettes, tea napkins, sachets for serviettes, doilies, drip mats.

It should be noted, however, that certain articles of the above descriptions (e.g., table centres made from lace, velvet or brocaded materials) are not regarded as articles of table linen; they are usually classified in heading 63.04.

[Underline added].

Heading 6304 provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404. According to the EN for heading 6304, furnishing articles include:

[W]all hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies (e.g., weddings or funerals); mosquito nets; bedspreads (but not including bed coverings of heading 94.04); cushion covers, loose covers for furniture, antimacassars; table covers (other than those having the characteristics of floor coverings - see Note 1 to Chapter 57); mantlepiece runners; curtain loops; valances (other than those of heading 63.03).

You assert that the articles in question are classifiable as motifs in heading 5810 because they are not intended or suitable for use as doilies in heading 6302. Additionally, you claim that the items are not finished articles in the linen industry but rather are multi-use components and serve no other function than to be incorporated or appliqued as an element of embroidery in an article (i.e., quilts, table cloths, runners and placemats) and as appliques or inserts for wearing apparel. This, you claim, is evidenced by the "heavy tape" used on the edges which serve to facilitate the joinder of the motifs to each other or to other components to form craft items.

Additionally, in the opinion of Wimpole's president and its chief designer, doilies used as table linen for furniture must be designed so that a decorative lace, cut work or a scalloped edge is visible after a vase, bowl or other object is placed on top of them. Otherwise, they state that any piece of cloth (i.e., wash cloth, small towel, handkerchief, potholder, etc.) would qualify for use as doilies or table linen. You further contend that the decorative function of doilies can be satisfied only if the edges have been adorned or ornamented in some fashion with lace, fringe or the like.

Finally, you assert that doilies have a uniform geometric pattern and contain relatively small cutouts in the sections on which an object rests. On the other hand, you claim that the items in question have relatively large cutouts. A few of the articles display a picture (i.e., a tree) which you state would not be visible with an object placed on top of it.

In HQ 953486, dated October 6, 1993 (issued in response to a request for Internal Advice by you on behalf of Lin Lyn Trading), Customs reviewed various definitions of doilies and found that doilies may be both table linen under heading 6302 and home serving no other function than to be incorporated or appliqued as elements of embroidery in, for example, underwear or articles of apparel or furnishings." In rejecting classification in heading 5810, Customs stated:

* * * This office is of the opinion that the articles at issue have a function other than to be incorporated in or appliqued to other articles of apparel or furnishings. These articles are of a size, design and construction that are well-suited for use as doilies either of the kind used as table linen or of the kind used as home furnishing articles. This fact precludes classification within heading 5810, HTSUSA. Moreover, the rulings you cited as precedential are distinguishable from the instant case in that those articles were either miniature doilies (See New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 886899, dated June 8, 1993) or they were described as "insets", "appliques", "greeting card inserts" and various other types of motifs only suitable for use as accessories for blouses, t-shirts, cards, etc. . . ."

In HQ 954807, Customs considered and distinguished many of the rulings you cite, i.e, NY 880928 of December 17, 1992; NY 886899 of June 8, 1993; District Decision (DD) 884359 of April 26, 1993; NY 883658 of March 11, 1993; NY 867739 of October 22, 1991; NY 858018 of November 30, 1990; and, HQ 086008 of February 6, 1990. For the same reasons stated in HQ 954807 in distinguishing the above cited rulings, we believe NY 887995 of July 8, 1993 (miniature hearts and garlands), DD 800419 of August 24, 1994 (triangular-shaped motifs), and NY 873296 of April 16, 1993 (beaded and sequined appliques), are distinguishable from the merchandise at issue here. In these cited rulings, the items at issue were either miniature doilies or suited only for use as accessories to other items.

The items at issue herein are, in our view, of a similar size, design and construction to the doilies in HQ 954807 and to the doilies (exhibits 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E) in HQ 953486. We note that the edges of the doilies in those cases were not adorned with lace, fringe, etc., and in our opinion, that is not a mandatory feature for classification as a doily. As defined in HQ 953486, a doily is a piece of fabric used to protect the surface of furniture and as decoration. The doilies in question are constructed of fine fabrics and contain embellishments such as battenburg lace, embroidery and needle point designs. They are certainly decorative due to these embellishments and, although some of the design or embellishment may be covered up by articles placed upon the doilies, much of the decoration remains visible. Moreover, the articles, including the lace-like areas, are sufficient to protect furniture from scratches which could be caused by the weight or movement of an object placed upon the doily.

Furthermore, although the items at issue are marketed and sold by Wimpole Street Creations for use in craft kits, the Wimpole catalogue consistently refers to similar items as doilies. [Note, the articles at issue were not shown in the submitted catalogue]. Classification of doilies as other furnishing articles or as table linen is a classification based upon use and that use is the principal use in the United States of goods of the same class or kind to which the subject goods belong. See, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a). We note that in regard to classification by principal use, the Court of International Trade stated in Group Italglass U.S.A. v. United States, 17 CIT 1177 (November 1, 1993):

The court stresses that it is the principal use of the class or kind of goods to which the imports belong and not the principal use of the specific imports that is controlling under the Rules of Interpretation.

The use of the subject doilies in craft kits does not affect their classification which is based upon the principal use of the class of goods to which they belong. As stated above, the articles in question feature all the characteristics of doilies in size, design and construction. In their imported condition, they are finished doilies, and the fact that crafters may purchase the doilies to incorporate or applique them as an element of embroidery in articles of apparel or furnishings and/or to make ornaments or crafts does not preclude their classification as doilies upon importation into the United States.

Finally, for the reasons set forth in the preceding paragraph, we are unpersuaded by your alternative claim that the doilies are classifiable under heading 6307, because they are multi-use articles.

In light of Customs earlier classification decisions on doilies and the definitions of doilies contained therein, Customs believes doilies to be articles which as a class are used as either table linen or other furnishing articles depending upon the specific characteristics of the individual doilies. Based on the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classifiable as table linen (doilies) under heading 6302.


The merchandise at issue, identified by you as embroidered motifs, is classifiable as doilies under subheading 6302.52.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, Other table linen: Of flax: Other." They are dutiable at the general column rate of duty at 4.3 percent ad valorem and the applicable textile quota category is 899. NY 805708 of January 30, 1995, is hereby revoked. The articles at issue therein are classified based upon the analysis set forth in this letter.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and 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.

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
Commercial Rulings Division

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