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HQ 963452

April 20, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963452 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.9530

Louis Shoichet, Esq.
Tompkins & Davidson
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036

RE: Revocation of HQ 961833; classification of textile Gift Box Brooches

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

On May 19, 1999, this office issued to you Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 961833, classifying merchandise referred to as textile “Gift Box Brooches” in heading 7117, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), in the provision for imitation jewelry. This letter is to inform you that upon review of that ruling we have determined that classification of that merchandise in heading 7117, HTSUS, is in error. The correct classification for this merchandise is in heading 6217, HTSUS, as an other made-up clothing accessory, pursuant to the analysis which follows below.


The subject merchandise consists of two square brooches decorated to represent small wrapped gift boxes. The “box” portion of the brooch is formed by a one inch square piece of foam covered by either gold or silver toned woven polyester fabric and a “bow”-shaped green textile ribbon and textile rose. This portion is then attached to the metal pin.

There is a discussion in the law and analysis portion of HQ 961833 regarding the possibility of heading 9505, HTSUS, (which provides for, among other things, “festive articles”), as one of the headings meriting consideration with respect to the classification of this merchandise. Therein, HQ 961833 addresses the scope of Midwest of Cannon Falls, Inc. v. United States, 122 F.3d 1423 (Fed. Cir. 1997) and concludes that Midwest did not include within the scope of heading 9505, HTSUS, “articles of personal adornment.” As this accurately reflects Customs position with respect to the classification of this merchandise in heading 9505, HTSUS, this portion of the analysis will not be repeated here. This letter will only address itself to an analysis of heading 6217, HTSUS, and heading 7117, HTSUS.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise at issue?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the rules of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

There are two plausible classifications for the subject merchandise, that is, heading 7117, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, imitation jewelry and heading 6217, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, other made up clothing accessories. Note 3(g) to chapter 71, HTSUS, states that this chapter does not cover goods of section XI (textiles and textile articles). As the subject brooches are composed in part of textile materials, we must determine whether they fall within the exclusionary language set forth in Note 3(g) to chapter 71, HTSUS.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 states:

(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 the 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 complete or precise 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.

The EN to GRI 3(b) state:

(VII). In all these cases the goods are to be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

(VIII). The factor which determines the essential character will vary as 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 we stated in HQ 080498, dated December 28, 1989,

The provision for jewelry in subheading 7117.90.5000, HTSUSA, cannot be looked at in a vacuum. Certainly, the limitation placed on that subheading by Legal Note 3(f) to that chapter which excludes textile articles from classification thereunder makes it impossible to conclude that the specificity requirements of GRI 3(a) control classification of the bar pin. Inasmuch as classification cannot be determined by the application of GRI 3(a), we must resort to GRI 3(b).

In the case of the subject merchandise, the textile component clearly provides the brooches with their essential character. It is the ornamentation provided by the textile material, in the shape of the decorative “box”, which provides this merchandise with its shape and saleability.

The EN to heading 6217, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

This heading covers made up textile clothing accessories, other than knitted or crocheted, not specified or included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The heading also covers parts of garments or of clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted, other than parts of articles of heading 62.12.

The heading covers, inter alia:

(8) Labels, badges, emblems, “flashes” and the like (excluding embroidered motifs of heading 58.10) made up otherwise than by cutting to shape or size. (When made up only by cutting to shape or size these articles are excluded- heading 58.07.)

Customs has classified similar textile pins in the past. Textile pins have consistently been classified in the appropriate provisions in heading 6217, HTSUSA, or heading 6117, HTSUSA, as other made up clothing accessories. Similar to the idea of ”badges” which are affixed to clothing by a bar pin, the metal bar pins on the textile pins enable them to be affixed to garments and thus considered accessories to garments. See also HQ 080498, dated December 28, 1989, HQ 960401, dated July 16, 1997, and HQ 958167, dated August 30, 1995, classifying similar merchandise in heading 6217, HTSUSA.

Accordingly, the subject merchandise is properly classified in heading 6217, HTSUS.


HQ 961833 is revoked.

The subject textile “Gift Box Brooches” are classified in subheading 6217.10.9530, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212: accessories: other: other: of man-made fibers. The applicable general column one rate of duty is 15 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 659.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the 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, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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