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NY G84191

November 22, 2000

CLA-2-49:RR:NC:SP:234 G84191


TARIFF NO.: 4901.99.0070; 9505.90.6000; 6104.53.2020

Mr. Samuel Zekser
Sobel Shipping Co. Inc.
170 Broadway (Suite 1501)
New York, N.Y. 10038

RE: The tariff classification of children’s books with costume items, from China.

Dear Mr. Zekser:

In your letter dated November 7, 2000, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Hall Associates Inc. (New York City). Two samples were submitted and are being returned to you as requested.

Sample #1 is a 24-page book, entitled “Fairy Princess,” whose rigid paperboard cover incorporates an internal compartment that holds a pair of metal-framed polyester fabric “wings.” Although the sample book is a mock-up with blank pages, an outline of the proposed text indicates that the actual imported version will be printed with poems, stories, legends and lore about fairies, elves, gnomes, etc. The accompanying polyester “wings” have elastic straps intended to allow a little girl to wear them, backpack-style, to help her pretend to be a fairy princess.

While there is an obvious thematic relationship between the book and the wings, we find that reading/storytelling and dressing-up/make-believe represent different activities. The two products will therefore not be regarded as “goods put up in sets for retail sale,” and will be classified separately.

The applicable subheading for the “Fairy Princess” book will be 4901.99.0070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed hardbound books. The duty rate will be free.

The applicable subheading for the “Fairy Princess” wings will be 9505.90.6000, HTS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. The duty rate will be free.

Sample #2 is a 24-page book, entitled “Ballerina Girl,” whose rigid paperboard cover incorporates an internal compartment that holds a girl’s tutu made of polyester knit mesh fabric. (The tutu features a reinforced elasticized waist, and its bottom hem is unfinished.) An outline of the book’s proposed text indicates that about half of the pages will be devoted to the story of “The Nutcracker,” while the other half will contain factual information about basic positions in ballet, plus a glossary of ballet terminology. You state that the child will wear the tutu over her own bodysuit and pretend to be a ballerina while an adult reads the book aloud.

We again find, however, that despite the thematic connection between the two items, they serve different activities, i.e., reading/storytelling and dressing-up/dancing. Accordingly, they will be classified separately. It is also noted that the instant tutu, unlike the “wings” of sample #1, does not qualify for inclusion within heading 9505, as explained below.

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 Explanatory Notes 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 postiche- 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 overall amount of finishing in the instant tutu is such that the article is neither flimsy in nature or construction, nor lacking in durability.

The applicable subheading for the “Ballerina Girl” book will be 4901.99.0070, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed hardbound books. The duty rate will be free.

The applicable subheading for the “Ballerina Girl” tutu will be 6104.53.2020, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) girls’ skirts and divided skirts, knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers. The rate of duty will be 16.4%.

The tutu falls within textile category designation 642. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web site at www.customs.gov. In addition, 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 and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

You also asked about marking requirements for the submitted products. The “Fairy Princess” kit will simply have to be legibly marked with its country of origin (e.g., “Made in China”) in a conspicuous location so that it will be easily found by a prospective ultimate purchaser upon casual examination. For example, the exterior back panel of the rigid paperboard folder (which in effect serves as the container for both the book and the “wings”) would be a suitable place for such marking.

The “Ballerina Girl” kit has additional marking requirements due to the presence of the tutu, which, as explained above, is considered wearing apparel. Because of its status as apparel, the tutu must have a sewn-in textile label (or labels) indicating the country of origin as well as the information (e.g., fiber content) normally required for such products by the Federal Trade Commission. Details on FTC requirements may be obtained from that agency’s Division of Enforcement, located at 6th & Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20508. The book component must again be legibly marked in a conspicuous place with the country of origin, as explained above.

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 Carl Abramowitz at 212-637-7060.


Robert B. Swierupski

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