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April 14, 1999

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:WA:353 D89807


TARIFF NO.: 6111.30.5040

Mr. Thomas P. Draegar LCB
Fritz Companies, Inc.
201 Electronics Blvd.
Huntsville, AL 35824

RE: The tariff classification of a Ballerina, Ladybug, Flower and Penguin costume set from China and\or Hong Kong.

Dear Mr. Draegar:

In your letter dated March 22, 1999, on behalf of Gerber Childrenswear, Inc., you requested a classification ruling.

Four samples of infant costume sets composed of knit 100% polyester fabric were submitted with your request. The costume sets will be imported in sizes ranges 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months. They will be packaged on a hanger with “Lil Pretender” hang tag. Style 15196, Ballerina costume set with head band, features a jumpsuit with an attached tutu, footed legs, long sleeves and a full snap back closure. Accompanying the jumpsuit is a elasticized headband. Style 15197, Ladybug costume set features a jumpsuit with long footed legs, long sleeves, an overlay of fabric at the back representing wings, a full snap front closure and a head piece antenna consisting of a elasticized headband with two pom poms. Style 15198, Flower costume set features a jumpsuit with footed legs, long sleeves, a snap back closure and a hat representing a flower. Style 15199, Penguin costume set consists of a jumpsuit with long sleeves webbed footed long legs and a snap back closure. At the front is a bow tie and three buttons. The hat has a bill and a self tie. ISSUE:

Whether the costumes are festive articles of chapter 95 or articles of fancy dress, of textiles classifiable under chapter 61 or 62.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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 of the chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and 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 GRIs.

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, does not cover “fancy dress, of textiles, of chapter 61 or 62.” The EN’s 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 pastiche- 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 chapter 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 related to costumes. On November 15, 1994, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957318, which referred to the settlement agreement of October 18, 1994, reached by the United States and Traveler Trading. In HRL 957318, Customs stated that it had agreed to classify as festive articles in subheading 9505.90.6000, costumes of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as not being a normal article of apparel.

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 indicate whether or not it is of a flimsy nature and construction, lacking in durability, and generally recognized as a normal article of apparel.

The costume sets are very well made, durable and can been worn many times. All seams inside are finished and the necklines have piping. The overall amount of finishing is such that the article is neither flimsy in nature or construction, nor lacking in durability.

GRI 3(b) is applicable when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, and have been put up for retail sale. GRI 3(b)states that the goods "shall be classified as if they consisted of the material component which gives them their essential character." In this case the headpieces are governed by GRI 3(b) because these items are packaged as accessories with a single garment wherein each item in the set is classifiable under a separate heading. Pursuant to GRI 3(b), the accessory items in the set are classified in accordance with that article from which the set derives its essential character. Customs believes that the essential character of costumes consisting of a single garment with accessories is generally imparted by that garment, which in this case are the jumpsuits.

The applicable subheading for the costume sets will be 6111.30.5040 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "babies’ garments and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted: Of synthetic fibers: Other, Other: Other." The rate of duty will be 16.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category designation is 239.

Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa. Products of Hong Kong are subject to quota and visa requirements but not for textile category 239.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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