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HQ 965072

September 19, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965072 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Mr. Gordon C. Anderson
C.H. Robinson International, Incorporated 8967 Columbine Road, Suite 400
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347-4194

RE: Revocation of NY F82652; Plastic Sleeve Suspended from Textile Lanyard with Swivel Hook; Composite Good; Not Imitation Jewelry; Not Other Made Up Clothing Accessory.

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In New York Ruling Letter (NY) F82652, issued to you on February 14, 2000, an article referred to as the "Super Bowl XXXV® Ticket Holder" for holding Super Bowl tickets, was classified in subheading 7117.90.7500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the provision for "Imitation jewelry: Other: Other: Valued over 20 cents per dozen pieces or parts: Other: Of plastics." We have reviewed NY F82652 and have found the ruling to be in error. Therefore, this ruling revokes NY F82652.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY F82652 was published on August 1, 2001, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 31.


The sample classified in NY F82652 consisted of a lanyard composed of man-made fiber textile materials and the words "SOUTHWEST AIRLINES®" were imprinted throughout. The lanyard featured a metal swivel hook with a metal clip. Attached to the metal clip was a transparent plastic sleeve with a
hole near the top center to allow for its suspension from the swivel hook and clip. The sleeve also bore advertising for "Super Bowl 2000, for Southwest Airlines, said to be the "Official Airline of Super Bowl XXXIV," and the pictorial representation of an airplane. The lanyard was intended to be worn around the neck to suspend and display the plastic sleeve holding the ticket(s) the sleeve would eventually contain.


1) Whether the components are classified as a composite good.

2) If classified as a composite good, whether the complete good is classified under heading 7117, HTSUSA, as imitation jewelry; under heading 3926, HTSUSA, as an other article of plastics; under heading 6217, HTSUSA, as an other made up clothing accessory; or under heading 6307, as an other made up [textile] article.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) 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 GRI.

We will first consider whether the complete article is classifiable under heading 7117, HTSUSA, as imitation jewelry. Among other merchandise, chapter 71, HTSUSA, covers imitation jewelry. Taken together, notes 9(a) and 11 to chapter 71, HTSUSA, indicate that the expression "imitation jewelry" means any small objects of personal adornment (gem-set or not) such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, watch chains, fobs, pendants, tie pins, cuff links, dress studs, religious or other medals and insignia, not incorporating pearls, precious metal, or precious or semiprecious stones. Since jewelry relates to adornment, and since the lanyard and plastic sleeve are
designed to suspend and display something which might set one person apart from others, we will examine the lexicographic definitions of the words "adorn," "necklace," "pendant," and "insignia," and "lanyard."

In Merriam-Webster's Deluxe Dictionary, Tenth Collegiate Edition (1998), "adorn" is defined, in pertinent part, as: "1 : to enhance the appearance of, especially with beautiful objects." "Necklace" is defined therein as: "an ornament worn around the neck." "Pendant" is defined, in pertinent part, as: "1 : something suspended: as a : an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free." "Insignia" is defined as: "1 : a badge of authority or honor 2 : a distinguishing mark or sign." "Lanyard" is defined, in pertinent part, as: "2 a : a cord or strap to hold something (as a knife or a whistle) and usually worn around the neck b : a cord worn as a symbol of a military citation."

Since the plastic sleeve is designed to be suspended, it appears to satisfy the first part of the definition of a "pendant," but not the ornamental example provided. Although the lanyard is worn around the neck, it does not appear to satisfy the definition of a necklace since it is not an ornament. Moreover, the lanyard does not "adorn" as required by chapter notes 9(a) and 11. The plastic sleeve, likewise, is not an ornament and would not be likely to enhance the appearance of its wearer. Although the sleeve is designed to eventually contain an item that could satisfy the definition of "insignia" (such as a badge or pass distinguishing one person authorized to be in an area from others not so authorized), no such item is imported with the sleeve and lanyard. We thus find that neither the lanyard nor the plastic sleeve constitutes an article of personal adornment. Neither is classifiable as "imitation jewelry" under heading 7117, HTSUSA.

The complete article at issue here essentially consists of two components which individually are classifiable in different headings. The headings which remain under consideration are headings 3926, 6217, and 6307, HTSUSA. The EN to heading 3926, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers (among other goods) articles of plastics, including protective bags, document-jackets, and similar protective goods made by sewing or glueing together sheets of plastics, and articles such as luggage label-holders. See EN (4) and (11) to 39.26 at 622. The EN to heading 6217, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers (among other goods) made up textile clothing accessories including lanyards. See EN to 62.17 at 939 and 940.

To determine whether the lanyard at issue constitutes a clothing accessory, we first look to HQ 088540, dated June 3, 1991, in which an "accessory" was defined as "an article that is related to the primary article, and
intended for use solely or principally with a specific article." The lanyard in this case is not related in any way to an article of clothing. In HQ 951316, dated July 10, 1992, Customs examined the classification a woven polyester lanyard that was intended for use by fishermen to carry a lure box, and was designed to be attached to the lure box and looped around a fisherman's belt. It was noted that the use of the term "lanyard" in the EN to heading 6217, as an example of a clothing accessory, denotes the type of article generally associated with the single strand worn on the shoulder of a military uniform as a decoration [e.g., the symbolic cord noted in part "b" of the "lanyard" definition above]. In ruling out classification of the lure box lanyard in heading 6217, we stated:

Such items, designed as accessories for use with wearing apparel, are distinguishable from those used principally as a means of securing or suspending articles from the neck or waist.

The lanyard for the lure box was classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA, specifically in subheading 6307.90.99, HTSUSA. See also, HQ 955811, dated May 19, 1994, in which this office reclassified medallion holders of woven polyester under heading 6307 (that had been classified under 6217), HTSUSA. The articles were designed and intended to suspend medallions and be placed around the neck of award recipients at ceremonies.

In light of the preceding, the lanyard component is not classifiable as an other made up clothing accessory under heading 6217, HTSUSA. Since two headings remain under consideration, however, we next look to GRI 2(b), which states:

The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) requires that the headings are regarded as equally specific when they each refer to part only of the materials contained in composite goods....Since each of the headings refers to part only of the materials, GRI 3(a) requires that the headings be regarded as equally specific despite any disparity in their texts. For this reason, we next examine GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(b) states, in part, that:

...composite goods...made up of different components...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 with GRI 3(a) above, the applicability of GRI 3(b) depends somewhat upon whether or not the complete article is deemed to comprise a composite good. In pertinent part, Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) indicates that:

For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In this instance, the lanyard and plastic sleeve are separable. The components are adapted to each other for the purpose of continuous, hands-free display of an item - in this case a ticket - allowing its bearer to enter into, and be present at, an otherwise restricted area or event. The lanyard has a metal clip on which to attach the plastic sleeve and the sleeve has an opening near the top through which the clip passes. The swivel, located just above the hook, prevents the lanyard's loop from twisting as movements of the wearer, the breeze, etc., cause the plastic sleeve to spin.

The lanyard and plastic sleeve also form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. Lanyards are normally sold either separately or with the articles they are intended to suspend, e.g., knives, whistles, split rings, key chains, compasses, bottle openers, small cameras, skiing wallets, etc. This particular lanyard has the words "SOUTHWEST AIRLINES®" imprinted throughout its circumference, suggesting that it would not normally be sold separately. Although plastic sleeves are sold separately as document protectors, filler pages for photo albums, etc., the sleeve at issue in this case contains a hole at its top and advertising of a dated sporting event and its corporate sponsor. Such plastic sleeves are not normally offered for sale separately. We thus find that the lanyard and plastic sleeve comprise a composite good. (See also Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) 964170, dated June 5, 2001, and HQ 961820, dated June 18, 1999.)

In order to determine the essential character of the composite good, we look to Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b), which provides the following guidance:

The factor which determines 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.

The nature and role of the complete article is to provide the means to continuously display a pass, ticket, or similar item at a particular event. Although the clear plastic sleeve will be the most closely connected component to the displayed item, the sleeve must be suspended by the lanyard component in order to provide constant, hands-free display. Since the sleeve advertises an event which occurs on a specific date, its repeat use after the event would appear to be unlikely. The sleeve's value as anything but a souvenir diminishes suddenly, despite the likelihood that the component shows no wear. On the other hand, the nature and role of the lanyard component in the use of the complete good are at least equal to those of the plastic sleeve. It's value would appear to exceed that of the sleeve and, since its airline advertising does not reference a specific date or event, it would be less likely to be discarded or stowed away as a souvenir. The lanyard is more likely to be retained for reuse to suspend sleeves produced for subsequent events or other objects. We thus find that the complete good's essential character is provided by the lanyard component which is classifiable under heading 6307, the specific subheading being 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA.


The composite article identified as the "Super Bowl XXXV® Ticket Holder" is classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other made up [textile] articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other." The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.

NY F82652, dated February 14, 2000, 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.


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