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HQ 963507

February 9, 2000

CLA2 RR:CR:TE 963507 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6302.91.0045

David Alden
Foreston Trends
1483 Via Plata Street
Long Beach, CA 90810

RE: Classification of kitchen towels; revocation of DD 805978

Dear Mr. Alden:

On February 8, 1995, you were issued District Decision Letter (DD) 805978, classifying certain towels in subheading 6302.91.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as “other towels.” This letter is to inform you that upon subsequent review of that ruling we find that the classification is in error. Accordingly, we are revoking DD 805978 pursuant to the analysis which follows below.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of DD 805978 was published on January 5, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 1. No comments were received.


The subject merchandise is a towel constructed of 100 percent cotton fabric. It is yarn dyed woven to form a checkerboard pattern. It is plain weave except for the white on white squares which are waffle weave. The towel measures approximately twenty by thirty-one inches and is hemmed on all four sides.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise?


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

When considering the appropriate tariff classification for merchandise such as this there are several factors which, among others, are determinative. Namely, these include the construction, yarn size and dimensions of the towels at issue. The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories (53 F.R. 52563, at 52564 (1988), CIE 13/88 of November 23, 1988, hereafter Guidelines), state in pertinent part:

Dish towels (category 369) and hand towels (category 363) fall within the same size range, 15 to 18 inches wide and 24 to 32 inches long, and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from each other. With one exception, dish towels always have a design printed on them or woven or knit into them. The design may be in the form of pictures of fruit, kitchen utensils, chickens, etc., or may be checks, stripes, or similar patterns. The dish towels that usually do not have a design are light weight, plain woven, nonpile cotton towels that may be similar to, but readily distinguishable from, shop towels which are made from a much coarser fabric. These towels may be longer than the other dish towels.

Upon examination of the subject merchandise we note that the subject towel is constructed of material that is typical of dish towels. This towel is nonlinting and the combination of waffle and other textured weaves makes it absorbent and ideally suitable for kitchen, and specifically, dish use. Additionally, we find that kitchen/dish towels are used in the kitchen for purposes other than dish drying (e.g., spills, counter and table wiping, etc.). Although we realize that the subject towel is slightly wider than the size range specified by the Guidelines, it is important to note that this size range is merely a “guideline” (see HQ 953938, dated May 27, 1993). Accordingly, we are not precluded from classifying the subject towel in the provision for kitchen linen merely because it fails to conform exactly to the dimensions for dish towels found in the Guidelines.

Accordingly, it is our determination that the subject merchandise is more appropriately classified as a dish towel in subheading 6302.91.0045, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classified in subheading 6302.91.0045, HTSUSA, which provides for, bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other: of cotton: other: towels: other: dish. The applicable general column one rate of duty is 9.8 percent ad valorem and the textile quota category is 369.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that you 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, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

DD 805978 dated February 8, 1995, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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