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NY A87392

October 2, 1996

CLA-2-65:RR:NC:WA:353 A87392


TARIFF NO.: 6506.91.0060

Mr. Simon Lee
United Pacific Trading, Inc.
2658 Bedell Street
Bellmore, New York 11710

RE: The tariff classification of a textile cap and bamboo cap from China, each fitted with a solar panel, motor and fan.

Dear Mr. Lee:

In your letter dated September 3, 1996, received in our office on September 9, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Two sample caps were submitted for review with your request.

The sample caps at issue imported from China are designed to keeps the wearer's face and brow cool while in the sun or in hot weather.

One sample is a bamboo cap fitted with a solar panel and a solar-powered fan. The fan is located prominently in a plastic housing mounted through an oval opening in the visor of the cap. The solar panel, measuring approximately 2 inches in diameter, is mounted on top of the cap's crown with wires running through the inside of the cap that connects the panel to the fan.

The other sample is a baseball-style woven cotton cap also fitted with a solar panel and a solar-powered fan. The fan is also located prominently in a plastic housing through an oval opening in the visor of the cap. The solar panel, triangular-shaped and measuring 3.25 inches at its widest, is mounted on top of the cap's crown with wires running through a panel seam on the inside of the cap that connects the panel to the fan. The fan, which has an off-on switch, can also be powered by a battery module with two AA batteries that is located in a snap pocket located on the outer right side of the crown. This provides for continual operation of the fan in partly cloudy conditions.

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rule of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be in accordance with the terms of the heading and any relevant section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in the order of their appearance.

The articles at issue are made up of composite goods, either textile and plastic or bamboo and plastic. GRI 1 alone is not determinative of the articles classification because the caps potentially fall under headings 6504, 6505 or 6506, HTSUSA.

Pursuant to GRI 2, goods comprised of more than one material, or which are prima facie classifiable under different provisions of the nomenclature, are to be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) mandates that of several applicable headings, the one that provides the most specific description shall be preferred.

This rule is inapplicable here because headings 6504, 6505 and 6506, HTSUSA, are equally specific inasmuch as all three pertain to headgear. GRI 3(b) provides that:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, any goods put up for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

As described supra, the articles at issue have substantial plastic components which are an integral part of the caps. The plastic fan, motor and solar panel add not only to the caps bulk, but also increase the caps value. The caps visors have been altered to accommodate the plastic housing for the motor and fan, which are joined to the solar panel by concealed wiring. The solar panels are prominently located on the top of the caps and are attached in such a manner as to make their removal impossible without damaging the articles. Clearly, the caps have been modified to the extent that the essential character of the articles are imparted by the plastic components.

The applicable subheading for the subject caps will be 6506.91.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Other headgear, whether or not lined or trimmed: Other: of rubber or plastics.... Other." . The rate of duty will be 1.4 percent ad valorem.

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.


Roger J. Silvestri

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