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HQ 963782

March 22, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963782 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889

Mr. Eric D. Moore
Kmart Corporation
Resource Center
3100 West Big Beaver Road
Troy, MI 48084-3163

RE: Classification of a “Shell Belt”; Heading 6307 vs. Heading 6117; Clothing Accessory

Dear Mr. Moore:

This is in reply to your letter of February 1, 2000, requesting a tariff classification ruling on a “shell belt.” You submitted a sample of the merchandise to aid us in our determination.


The merchandise at issue is a “Mossy Oak Break Up Shell Belt”, style number 80-04-41. The belt is made of ninety percent neoprene and ten percent knit polyester. The neoprene is completely covered by the knit polyester fabric. The belt has a camouflage design and is worn around the waist. It holds up to twenty-five shotgun shells. The belt is one size fits all with an adjustable textile web and plastic buckle closure.


Is the shell belt classifiable under heading 6117 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as a clothing accessory or under heading 6307, HTSUS, as an other made up article?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by 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 GRIs will be applied.

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35128 (August 23, 1989).

In accordance with prior rulings, the belt in question is considered a textile article. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 089581, dated November 4, 1991 (an exercise belt made of neoprene and nylon material was classified in heading 6307), and HQ 951357, dated January 12, 1993 (neoprene shorts of knit construction were classified in headings 6114 or 6113).

Heading 6117 is one of the textile provisions in question. It provides for other made up clothing accessories; knitted or crocheted; knitted or crocheted parts of garments or of clothing or of clothing accessories. The EN to heading 6117 state that the heading covers, inter alia:

Belts of all kinds (including bandoliers) and sashes (e.g., military or ecclesiastical), whether or not elastic. These articles are included here even if they incorporate buckles or other fittings of precious metal, or are decorated with pearls, precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed).

The EN further state that the heading does not include:

(c) Belts for occupational use (e.g., window cleaners’ or electricians’ belts) or rosettes not for garments (heading 63.07).

Customs has restricted the classification of belts under heading 6117, HTSUS, to situations where the belt can clearly be deemed a "clothing accessory.” An accessory is generally understood to mean an article that is not necessary to enable the goods with which they are used to fulfill their intended function. There is no requirement that accessories exhibit a reliance or dependence on the primary article(s). Accessories must be related to, or exhibit some connection to the primary article, and must be intended for use solely or principally as an
accessory. For example, belts used as clothing accessories need not rely or depend on a particular article of clothing. Fashionable belt accessories may be worn with different articles and may take several forms (scarves, sashes, leather belts, etc.); they are often used for adornment or to compliment clothing. However, they must clearly be intended for use solely or principally as an accessory to clothing. Belts used solely or principally for utility purposes would not be classified under heading 6117. See HQ 088436, dated April 5, 1991.

The shell belt in question is not a clothing accessory. It does not exhibit the relationship with clothing necessary to be considered an accessory to clothing nor does it adorn or accent clothing. Furthermore, the shell belt serves a utility purpose. Thus, the belt cannot be classified under heading 6117, HTSUS.

Heading 6307, HTSUS, provides for other made up textile articles not specifically provided for elsewhere in the nomenclature. Note 7 to Section XI states that for purposes of this section, the expression "made up" means:

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, tablecloths, scarf squares, blankets);

(c) Hemmed or with rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe at any of the edges, but excluding fabrics the cut edges of which have been prevented from unraveling by whipping or by other simple means;

(d) Cut to size and having undergone a process of drawn thread work;

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end and piece goods composed of two or more textiles assembled in layers, whether or not padded); or

(f) Knitted or crocheted to shape, whether presented as separate items or in the form of a number of items in the length.

In this case, the shell belt satisfies the definition of “made up” provided by Note 7. Moreover, it does not have the character of belts of heading 6117 and it is, therefore, classifiable as an other made up textile article under heading 6307.


The shell belt is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUS, as an other made up article. It is dutiable at the general column rate of 7% ad valorem, and is not presently subject to a textile quota category. However, due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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