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NY H81075

June 8, 2001

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 H81075


TARIFF NO.: 6302.31.9010; 6302.31.9020

Mr. Bruce Aitken
Aitken, Irvin, Berlin & Vrooman, LLP
666 Eleventh Street, N. W., 3rd Floor
Washington, D.C. 20001

RE: The tariff classification of a sheet set from Pakistan.

Dear Mr. Aitken:

In your letter dated May 10, 2001 you requested a classification ruling on behalf of American Homes & Textiles, Inc.

The subject merchandise is a sheet set that will consist of a flat sheet, fitted sheet and one or two pillowcases. You submitted two swatches, referred to as “Alternative No. 1” and “Alternative No. 2”, that represent the hem treatment of the pillowcase and flat sheet. The sheet set will be made from a solid dyed 100 percent cotton sateen woven fabric. The “Alternative No. 1” hem treatment consists of a strip of fabric folded in half and sewn to the raw top edge of the sheet and the raw open end of the pillowcase. This approximately 4.5-inch addition is joined to the sheet and pillowcase by a row of stitching referred to as a “Bourdoun” or “Bourdon” stitch. The stitch is similar to a “satin stitch”. This decorative row of stitching is the only stitch holding the hem. You have indicated that the fitted sheet and the remainder of the flat sheet and pillowcase will not contain any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work. The sample referred to as “Alternative No. 2” represents a different hem treatment. However, the unfinished sample is not held together by stitching and we are therefore unable to provide you with a classification determination for that version.

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 on the “Alternative No. 1” sample. Although a satin stitch is commonly recognized as an embroidery stitch, it was noted in the ruling that the function or purpose of the stitching is a fundamental part of the definition of embroidery. 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 the 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 “Alternative No. 1”is decorative in nature, the “satin stitch” is required to complete the hem of the pillowcase and flat sheet. The pillowcase and sheet will be classified as not containing any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, etc.

The applicable subheading for the pillowcase will be 6302.31.9010, 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: not napped pillowcases, other than bolster cases. The duty rate will be 7 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the flat and fitted sheet will be 6302.31.9020, HTS, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: other: not napped sheets. The duty rate will be 7 percent ad valorem.

The pillowcase falls within textile category designation 360. The 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.

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

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