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HQ 964490

October 19, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964490 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6304.91.0040

Mr. Robert Horowitz
Stutz-Horowitz Co., Inc.
55 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018

RE: Request for reconsideration of PD F88424: Classification of unfilled cover for neck pillow from China

Dear Mr. Horowitz:

This is in response to your letter, dated August 14, 2000, requesting reconsideration of the Customs JFK Airport Ruling (PD) F88424, dated June 21, 2000, which classified an unfilled pillow cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The subject merchandise is a cover for a neck pillow. The cover is made from 100 percent polyester knit fleece fabric measuring approximately 13 inches x 14 inches long in the shape of a crescent shaped pillow cover. The cover has a 7 inch zippered opening on one side and is imported without filling of any kind. After importation, the article is “blown filled”, i.e., a loose polyester fiber is blown into the pillow cover.

In PD F88424, the subject item was classified in subheading 6304.91.0040, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Other: Of man-made fibers” with a corresponding textile quota category of 666. You disagree with this classification and claim that the merchandise is not used as a “cover” because it is not stuffed with a pillow form or insert. It is your assertion that the article is a pillow “shell” and should fall under textile quota category 669.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. The EN, although not dispositive, are used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA by providing a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

In determining whether the subject article is a pillow cover or pillow shell, Customs has issued rulings that distinguish between these two items. Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 953003, dated February 24, 1993, and HQ 953004, dated February 24, 1993, specifically address what features support the classification of an item as a “pillow shell” in subheading 6307, HTSUSA, or a “cushion cover” classifiable in subheading 6304, HTSUSA. In these rulings Customs stated that a “pillow shell” is unstuffed at the time of importation and has an unfinished opening in the edge seam. Thus, in citing previous HQ rulings, Customs held that a “pillow shell” is classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUSA, (see HQ 084046, dated May 11, 1989; HQ 084718, dated July 31; 1989; HQ 952527, dated December 11, 1992; and HQ 952492, dated January 29, 1993). In addition, HQ 953003 and HQ 953004 held that a “cushion cover” is classifiable under heading 6304, HTSUSA, because it is distinctly different from the “pillow shell” in that it has finished seams on all sides and a zipper. The EN to 6304 was cited in support of this classification because “cushion covers” are among the articles specifically enumerated as classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA. See also HQ 954196, dated September 15, 1993, which classified a “cushion cover” in heading 6304, HTSUSA, because it featured a zipper closure and was thus distinguishable from a “pillow shell”. It is important to note that in these rulings, which classified “pillow shells” in heading 6307 and “cushion covers” in heading 6304, Customs did not consider the type of pillow or process which is later used to stuff the “pillow shell” or “cushion cover” after importation.

The subject merchandise is very similar to the “cushion covers” described in the aforementioned rulings in that it has finished edges and seams and has a completed zipper. Furthermore, Customs has consistently ruled that pillow or cushion covers are classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA. See, HQ 088340, dated January 4, 1990, which classified two different styles of “pillow covers” in heading 6304, HTSUSA: Style 1664 was constructed with a zippered opening; Style 8802 did not have a finished zipper closure but the back consisted of two over-lapping panels forming a pocket to insert a pillow. See also HQ 956121, dated June 22, 1994, which classified a “pillow cover” with zipper closure under heading 6304, HTSUSA.

In view of the foregoing, it is our determination that the subject article was correctly classified in PD F88424 in heading 6304, HTSUSA. 2


The subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 6304.91.0040, HTSUSA, which provides for, “Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Other: Knitted or crocheted, Of man-made fibers.” The general column one duty rate is 8.1 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 666.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, 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

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