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April 14, 1999

CLA-2-42:RR:NC:3:353 D89544


TARIFF NO.: 4203.30.0000

Mr. Richard Tinelli
Mastercargo, Inc.
161-15 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11434

RE: The tariff classification of a belt from China.

Dear Mr. Tinelli:

In your letter dated March 17, 1999, on behalf of N.Y. Accessories, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling. The sample submitted to Customs for examination is being returned to you.

The item is a belt which consists of bonded leather backing with a fabric overlay that is completely covered with plastic sparkles.

When goods are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, GRI 3 provides in pertinent part that:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more specific description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

As the belt is made of more than one material and is classifiable under multiple headings, it cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a). GRI 3(b) requires that the article be classified by reference to its essential character.

While the fabric overlay covered with plastic sparkles adds a significant decorative effect, it is merely an embellishment. In terms of bulk, the leather far surpasses the fabric overlay covered with plastic sparkles and it gives the item its form. In the instant case, it is the bonded leather which girds the waist and thus constitutes the article known as a belt. Consequently, it is Customs' view that the leather constitutes the essential character of the belt in question.

The applicable subheading for the leather belt with plastic sparkles will be 4203.30.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or composition leather: Belts and bandoliers with or without buckles.” The rate of duty will be 2.7% 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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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