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NY A87547

September 26, 1996

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TP:349 A87547


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000; 6304.99.6020

Ms. Karen Quintana
New Wave Transport (U.S.A.), Inc.
2417 E. Carson Street
Long Beach, CA 90810

RE: The tariff classification of a ceremonial baptismal garment from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Quintana:

In your letter dated August 28, 1996, received by this office on September 16, 1996, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Autom Co.

The submitted samples, referred to as "Felt Baptismal Garments" item numbers 51209 and 51210, are made from a man-made fiber needleloom felt. These baptismal garments are gown shaped, single layers of cloth that measure approximately 9 x 10 inches. The felt is cut to shape and screen printed with a cross, shell and candle or a cross and the words "I Baptize You". It is believed that these articles are to be used during the religious ceremony of Baptism. The bib-like baptismal garment is placed on the infant, although it is not worn as an article of apparel. It has no means of affixation and does not serve to protect the infant as does a regular bib.

A similar baptismal garment was the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 954471 dated September 16, 1993. In that ruling, which was also on behalf of the Autom Company, Headquarters noted that the Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6304 include, "... wall hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies (e.g. weddings or funerals);... ." The ruling further noted that as the cloths at issue are used solely in religious services, and serve a ceremonial function, they qualify as "textile furnishings for ceremonies" and are properly classifiable within heading 6304, HTSUSA.

Although heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for "textile furnishings," the baptismal garment is not precluded from classification within this heading. We note that the term "garment" is a misnomer when used to refer to this article in that it is not an article of wearing apparel, nor does it serve to protect the wearer as does a traditional bib. The baptismal garment is merely a textile article used exclusively for decorative and ceremonial purposes and therefore classification as a textile furnishing within heading 6304, HTSUSA, is proper.

Following HQ 954471, the applicable subheading for the ceremonial baptismal garments made from synthetic fibers (polyester, nylon, etc.) will be 6304.93.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: other: not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers. The duty rate will be 10.3 percent ad valorem.

If made from an artificial fiber (rayon, acetate, etc.) the applicable subheading for the ceremonial baptismal garments will be 6304.99.6020, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: other: not knitted or crocheted, of other textile materials: other: of artificial fibers. The duty rate will be 5.8 percent ad valorem.

The ceremonial baptismal garment falls within textile category designation 666. 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 John Hansen at 212-466-5854.


Roger J. Silvestri

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