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HQ 964168

March 25, 2002

CLA-2 RR: CR:TE 964168 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9889

Mr. Tim Parsons
Parsons Trading
5 Thunderbird Drive
Novato, CA 94949

RE: Classification of an ammunition belt; heading 6307 vs. heading 6217; clothing accessory

Dear Mr. Parsons:

This is in reply to your letter of April 12, 2000, requesting a tariff classification ruling on an ammunition belt. We examined the sample you submitted to aid us in our determination.


The sample in question is a “shell shotgunners belt”, item number 2080. The belt is composed of a woven webbing with elastic loops and an adjustable plastic buckle. The belt fits around the waist and features open-ended loops to organize ammunition for quick and easy access. It is typically used by hunters.


Is the ammunition belt classifiable under heading 6217 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as a clothing accessory or under heading 6307, HTSUSA, as an other made up article?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA 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 GRI will be applied.

In interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), which are not legally binding, but are recognized as the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. It is Customs practice to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUSA.

Heading 6217 provides for other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212. The EN to heading 6217 state that the heading covers, inter alia:

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

The EN further states that the heading does not include:

(b) 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 6217, HTSUSA, 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 6217. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 088436, dated April 5, 1991.

The ammunition 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 belt serves a utility purpose. Thus, the ammunition belt cannot be classified under heading 6217, HTSUSA.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, 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.

The EN to heading 6307 state that the heading includes:

(16) Belts which, although worn around the waist, do not have the character of belts of heading 62.17, e.g., belts for occupational use (electricians', aviators', parachutists', etc.); webbing carrier straps and similar articles. (Straps having the character of articles of saddlery or harness are excluded - heading 42.01.)

In this case, the ammunition belt satisfies the definition of “made up” provided by Note 7. Moreover, it does not have the character of belts of heading 6217 and it is, therefore, classifiable as an other made up textile article under heading 6307.


The ammunition belt is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA, as an other made up article. It is dutiable at the general column one rate of 7% ad valorem, and it 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 Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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