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HQ 961980

July 23, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961980 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.9550

Ms. Reenat Sandhu
First Secretary (Commerce)
Embassy of India
Commerce Wing
2536 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

RE: Request for classification of four jute and bead necklaces: India Items

Dear Ms. Sandhu:

This is in reference to your letter of November 10, 1997, forwarded to us by the International Trade Manager, Textile Industry Group, for a classification ruling on the four jute and bead necklaces you submitted. We apologize for the delay in responding.


The necklaces under consideration are made of unspun jute fibers that are partially knotted to form necklaces. There are one to three decorative beads (glass or ceramic) knotted into each necklace.

We understand that the four necklaces were denied entry at the port of Los Angeles. We are advised that the port of Los Angeles has classified the necklaces under subheading 6217.10.9530, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides, in part, for accessories of man-made fibers.


Are the jute/bead necklaces properly classifiable as imitation jewelry under Chapter 71, HTSUS; as textile articles or accessories under Chapter 62; or as articles of glass beads or ceramics under Chapter 70 or 69, respectively?

l. Classification

Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or Chapter Notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in order of their appearance.

Additionally, in interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs), which are not legally binding, but are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level.

The articles before us are comprised of unspun jute fiber and glass or ceramic beads. Since they are to be worn as necklaces, they are potentially described in a number of headings; as other made up textile clothing accessories of heading 6217, HTSUS; as other articles of glass or ceramics of heading 7020 or 6914 HTSUS; or as imitation jewelry in heading 7117, HTSUS.

GRI 3 provides that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

However, classification cannot be resolved on the basis of specificity when competing headings each refer to only part of the finished article. Here each provision describes only portions of the necklaces. Therefore, we cannot resort to GRI 3(a) in this instance.

Thus, GRI 3(b) provides that goods consisting of two or more materials shall be classified as if they were composed entirely of the material which lends them their "essential character."

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b), at page 4, provides the following guidelines for determining the essential character of an article:

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.

In the instant case, it can be said that the ceramic or glass bead components of the necklaces provide significant decorative value, they are what provides the necklaces with their uniquely decorative cachet and enhances these articles' marketability. However, the textile (jute) cords create the form and structure of the necklaces. If we remove the glass or ceramic beads from the necklace, we still have a necklace. It is our observation that the textile component here plays a more significant role than the glass or ceramic beads because the visual impression is primarily that of a necklace. It is our opinion that the jute component imparts the essential character to the necklaces. Based on the above, we find that under a GRI 3(b) analysis the jute, a textile material for classification purposes, imparts the essential character to the necklaces. Accordingly, the necklaces are goods of Section XI (textiles and textile articles).

Chapter 71, HTSUSA, encompasses, among other things, imitation jewelry. Imitation jewelry is defined in Note 11, Chapter 71 as:
articles of jewelry within the meaning of paragraph (a) of note 9 above, not incorporating natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed) nor (except as plating or as minor constituents) precious metal or metal clad with precious metal.

Articles of jewelry are described in Note 9 to Chapter 71, in pertinent part, as follows:
a) Any small objects of personal adornment (gem-set or not) (for example, rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, watch chains, fobs, pendants, tie pins, cuff links, dress studs, religious or other medals and insignia).

The subject necklaces are jewelry, that is small articles of personal adornment, within the meaning of Note 9 to Chapter 71. They also meet the terms of Note 11 of Chapter 71, as an article of imitation jewelry. We note however that Note 3(g) to Chapter 71 excludes “Goods of section XI (textiles and textile articles)” from classification within that chapter. In HQ 088332, dated March 19, 1991, Customs addressed whether a friendship bracelet made of 100 percent cotton yarns woven into a narrow strip and then braided into two strands was classifiable as jewelry in chapter 71. Customs determined that:

Although classification of the present item as a bracelet of heading 7117, HTSUSA, seems, at least, prima facie logical, Chapter note 3(f) [now 3 (g)] expressly bars goods of Section XI (textiles and textile articles). This means that all textiles and textile articles are excluded from Chapter 71 because such textiles and articles thereof are, ipso facto, articles of Section XI. We thus reiterate that, since the friendship bracelet is made of cotton textile, it may not be considered for classification within heading 7117, HTSUSA.

As the necklaces are goods of Section XI they may not be considered for classification within Chapter 71.

The remaining issue is whether the necklaces may be considered "other made-up clothing accessories" of heading 6217, HTSUS, or "other made-up articles" of heading 6307, HTSUS. The ENs state that heading 6217 covers "made-up textile clothing accessoriesnot specified or included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Nomenclature." In addition, it provides a list of examples that include such items as belts, pockets, and lanyards. It should be noted that the EN to heading 6217 list accessories that may be worn on top of, underneath, sandwiched between, or extending away from wearing apparel. Consequently, your necklaces cannot be distinguished from the other clothing accessories enumerated therein.

We note that in HQ 955385 (concerning the classification of a textile bracelet), the importer argued that the textile bracelet was not similar to the list of exemplars of heading 6217 in the EN and claimed that it was classifiable under heading 6307. In that ruling, Customs cited the definition of an accessory from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (1986) as “an object or device that is not essential in itself but that adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else. . . any of various articles of apparel (as a scarf, belt, or piece of jewelry) that accent or otherwise complete one’s costume.” We held that the textile bracelet was a piece of jewelry that accents or otherwise completes clothing and that it met the definition of an accessory under heading 6217. Additionally, Customs has classified textile bracelets as accessories under heading 6217 in New York Ruling Letter (NY) 858606, dated December 18, 1990 (child’s textile bracelet), in NY 813620, dated August 28, 1995 (textile hook and loop buckle bracelet), and in NY C80969, dated October 23, 1997 (textile rope/fabric bracelet).

Based on our reading of the Explanatory Note to heading 6217, there is nothing contained therein that would preclude the textile necklaces from being classified thereunder. The necklaces in question cannot be distinguished from the other clothing accessories classified under the heading. The description "other made-up articles" as used in heading 6307, is a basket provision intended to cover an even wider variety of goods not covered more specifically elsewhere; this tariff description is less specific than heading 6217, when applied to the textile necklaces at issue. Accordingly, the textile necklaces are classifiable under heading 6217, HTSUS.

II. India Items

We must now consider whether or not the subject necklaces qualify as “India Items” under the provisions of the United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement as notified to the Textile Monitoring Body under Article 2.1 of the Agreement on Textile and Clothing (“Agreement” or “U.S.-India Bilateral Agreement”) which would exempt the item from quota. The designation as an “India Item” exempt from quota is not determined by the HTSUSA, but by the language of the United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement regarding such items. (See United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement, Dec. 17 & 19, 1991, Annex E.)

Under paragraph 1 of Annex D of the Agreement, certain products may enter the U.S. free from quota restrictions, provided they qualify as: (B) Traditional folklore handicraft textile products made in the cottage industry of India as defined in the list of "India Items" agreed between both the parties and attached herewith at Annex E.

Annex E of the U.S.-India bilateral textile agreement sets forth a specific agreed list of traditional folklore handicraft textile products of India, i.e., “India Items”. The Head Note to Annex E states in part:

* * * traditional folklore handicraft textile products made in the cottage industry. They comprise clothes, clothing accessories and decorative furnishings whose shape and design are traditionally and historically Indian. [Emphasis added.]

Further, the Head Note to Annex E, states that “India Items” should not include zip fasteners and must be ornamented in the characteristic Indian folk styles using one of the following methods:

(a) handpainting (including Kalamkari) or handprinting or handicraft tie and dye or handicraft Batik,

(b) embroidered or crocheted ornamentation,

(c) applique work of sequins, glass or wooden beads, shells, mirrors or ornamental motif of textile and other, (d) extra weft ornamentation of cotton, silk, zari (metal thread in gold/silver) wool or any other fibre yarn.

Annex E contains a list of 39 items of traditional folklore handicraft textiles which are defined as "India Items" under the Agreement. In considering whether merchandise is subject to the Agreement, Customs is bound to rely upon the terms of the Agreement which provide a definition of each of the 39 items which qualify as an "India Item" and therefore are not subject to textile quota restraints. Necklaces are not one of the 39 items defined as an "India Item" under the terms of the Agreement. Thus it is our determination that the subject necklaces do not qualify as "Indian Items" subject to quota exemption.

Failing to meet the criteria of the Agreement, the subject necklaces are subject to textile quota restraints.


The braided necklaces of jute and bead are classifiable under subheading 6217.10.9550, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212: Accessories: Other: Other.” They are dutiable at the general column one rate of duty at 14.8 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 859.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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