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HQ 960107

October 10, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 960107 RC


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.3054

Mr. Daniel E. Allen
Miami Valley Worldwide, Inc.
1300 East Third Street
Dayton, Ohio 45403

RE: Request for tariff classification of child's "The Cat in the Hat, Deluxe Costume" from Taiwan or Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Allen:

This is in response to your letter of December 6, 1996, on behalf of your client, Clown Alley Products, Inc., requesting a tariff classification ruling for a costume under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The instant costume, "The Cat in the Hat" (Item no. 14013), consists of a unisex one-piece step-in jumpsuit, a detachable bow tie, and a top hat. The jumpsuit, constructed of 100 percent knitted polyester, has a long fabric "tail" stitched to the posterior, with an open back and a tie closure. The jumpsuit also features an overlay "dicky" made of needle felt material. A felt bow tie embellishment may be attached with "Velcro" to the "dicky". The top hat is made of needle felt material, overlaid with needle felt fabric stripes.


Whether the costume is classifiable as a festive article or a textile article of fancy dress.


Classification under the 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 ENs 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 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. Costumes of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as not being a normal article of apparel are classifiable as festive articles in subheading 9505.90.6090, HTSUSA.

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.

We note that the instant costume, "The Cat in the Hat" (Item no. 14013), has two prominent styling features stitched to the jumpsuit: the tail and the "dicky". There are no raw edges on the jumpsuit. The neck is finished in capped tubing. All interior seams, sleeves, hem, and back are finished in durable overlock stitching. Considered, as a whole, the costume construction appears to have been designed for multiple wear and cleaning, comparable to a normal article of wearing apparel. It is neither flimsy in nature or construction, nor lacking in durability.

It is important to note that costumes consisting of single garments 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." Customs believes that the essential character of costumes consisting of a single garment with accessories is generally imparted by the garment since without the garment you would merely have a collection of accessory items. As such, we find that the top hat is classifiable as an accessory to the jumpsuit in subheading 6114.30.3054, HTSUSA.


The instant costume, "The Cat in the Hat" (Item no. 14013), falls into subheading 6114.30.3054, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other garments, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Coveralls, jumpsuits and similar apparel: Women's or girls': Other." The general column one rate of duty is 15.7 percent ad valorem. The textile restraint category is 659.

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
Commercial Rulings

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