United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2001 NY Rulings > NY G84236 - NY G84334 > NY G84299

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY G84299

November 30, 2000

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 G84299


TARIFF NO.: 6302.31.7010; 6302.31.7020

Mr. Floyd Sirico
Rogers & Brown Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 20160
Charleston, SC 29413-0160

RE: The tariff classification of a flat sheet and pillowcase from Portugal and Pakistan.

Dear Mr. Sirico:

In your letter dated November 7, 2000 you requested a classification ruling.

You will be importing flannel sheet sets that will consist of flat sheets, fitted sheets and pillowcases. A sample swatch was provided. All of the items will be made from 100 percent cotton flannel fabric. There is a self-hem at the top of the sheets and at the opening of the pillowcases. The hem at the open end of the pillowcases and the hem along the top edge of the flat sheet feature a decorative stitch sometimes referred to as “hemstitching”. This decorative stitch is sewn along the seam created when the 3-inch wide hems were formed. The fitted sheets do not contain any decorative features.

Heading 6302, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, provides for, inter alia, bed linen. The pillowcases and flat sheets at issue are classifiable within this heading. The heading is divided into subheadings that provide for bed linen with specific decorative features and those that are plain. Embroidery is included in these specific decorative features. The specific issue for these items with the “hemstitch” is whether the decorative stitching along the hem is considered embroidery for purposes of classification. The stitching on the flat sheet and pillowcase is created by punching a line of small circular holes in the fabric and holding these holes open with a series of stitches. In addition to the decorative effect, this machine stitching is the only stitching that holds the hem.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 955576, dated June 1, 1994, Customs confronted the issue of whether bed linen containing decorative stitches should be classifiable in the subheading that provided for various embellishments including embroidery. One of the bed sheets therein possessed decorative stitching almost identical to the stitching located on the subject merchandise. Customs explained that "just because the stitch used may be considered a type of embroidery stitch does not mean that its use automatically creates embroidery." HRL 955576 further stated that in determining whether a decorative stitch constitutes embroidery, Customs will refer to three factors. The applicable criteria are as follow: 1. whether the stitching is ornamental, 2. whether the stitching creates or enhances a design or pattern, and 3. whether the stitching is superimposed upon a previously completed fabric or article or is stitching required to create or complete the fabric or article. Customs further maintains that the third factor focuses on the functionality and primary purpose of the stitching.

In the instant case, even though the stitching on the pillowcase and flat sheet is decorative in nature, the stitching has a fundamental purpose in that it is required to complete the hem of the pillowcase and flat sheet. In fact, this decorative stitch is the only stitch holding the hem. HRL 955576 states that "the fact that the manufacturer could have used a plainer stitch to hem the sheets is irrelevant. It is the choice of the manufacturer that stitches to use to produce his or her goods. It is not for us to judge the attractiveness of stitching utilized to create a good and decide, if a plainer stitch could have been used, that the choice of a prettier stitch makes it embroidery." Therefore, even though the stitching used on the subject merchandise is ornate, it is not embroidery, and is not classifiable as containing any embroidery.

The applicable subheading for the pillowcase will be 6302.31.7010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: other: napped pillowcases, other than bolster cases. The duty rate will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the flat and fitted sheets will be 6302.31.7020, HTS, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: other: napped sheets. The duty rate will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The pillowcase falls within textile category designation 360. The flat and fitted sheets fall within textile category designation 361. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Pakistan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa. Products from Portugal are not subject to quota or visa restrictions.

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.

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 John Hansen at 212-637-7078.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: