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HQ 964618

October 1, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964618 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6213.20.2000

John B. Pellegrini, Esq.
Ross & Hardies
Park Avenue Tower
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: Request for Administrative Review; Reconsideration and Revocation of NY G82728: Woven cotton handkerchiefs with decorative design in contrasting stitching

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in response to your letter, dated October 23, 2000, on behalf of I. Shalom & Company, Inc., requesting reconsideration of Customs New York Ruling (NY) G82728, dated October 10, 2000, which classified woven cotton handkerchiefs with decorative designs in contrasting stitching under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have reviewed this ruling and determined that the classification provided for this merchandise is incorrect. This ruling revokes NY G82728 by providing the correct classification for the subject merchandise. Samples were submitted to this office for examination.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed modification of NY G82728 was published on August 22, 2001, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 34. One comment in support of the proposed revocation was received.


The subject items are three hemmed woven 100 percent cotton handkerchiefs, which are identified under separate style numbers. Style No. 114C is constructed of plain white woven fabric measuring approximately 40 cm by 53 cm. A single letter with decorative stitching on either side appears in contrasting color in the upper right quadrant and measures approximately 6 cm in length and 1 cm in height. Style No. 115C is constructed of plain white woven fabric measuring approximately 40 cm by 53 cm. There is no initial and the decorative stitching consists of abstract designs in contrasting color in the upper right quadrant measuring approximately 5 cm in length and approximately 8 mm in height. Style No. 146X is a white cotton square measuring 40-cm. The initial “M” is stitched in contrasting color at the lower left quadrant and measures approximately 22 mm by 18 mm. The letter elements on this handkerchief will vary with some monograms being only 5 mm in width.

In NY G82728, dated October 10, 2000, the subject handkerchiefs were classified in subheading 6213.20.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Handkerchiefs: Of cotton: Hemmed, not containing lace or embroidery.” You disagree with this classification and claim that the handkerchiefs should be classified under subheading 6213.20.2000, HTSUSA, as “Other” (embroidered).


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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Under the HTSUSA, Chapter 58 contains a definition of “embroidery” at Note 6, as follows:

In heading 5810, the expression “embroidery” means, inter alia, embroidery with metal or glass thread on a visible ground of textile fabric, and sewn applique work of sequins, beads or ornamental motifs of textile or other materials.

The EN to heading 5810, further provides that the embroidery threads are usually of textiles, and that “Embroidery is obtained by working with embroidering threads on a pre-existing ground of woven fabric, in order to produce an ornamental effect on that ground.”

Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 084964, dated September 19, 1989, cites Chapter 58, Note 6, and the EN to heading 5810 in determining that handkerchiefs embroidered with a triangle measuring 14 cm by 9 cm, in non-contrasting stitching, are properly classified in subheading 6213.20.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Handkerchiefs: of cotton: Hemmed, not containing lace or embroidery.” In this ruling it was determined that the embroidery did not produce an ornamental effect and did not affect the classification of
the merchandise since it failed to perform a commercial purpose. See also HQ 086860, dated November 9, 1990, which affirms the decision in HQ 084964, and cites to United States v. Harden, 68 Fed. 182, 15 C.C.A. 358, cert. denied, 163 U.S. 709 (1895) wherein the Court stated that “the embroidery of a single letter upon the corner of the handkerchief is so limited in its extent and of such comparative narrowness as not to require that the handkerchiefs should be regarded as embroidered.”

In the subject case, all three styles have decorative stitching in a contrasting thread to the white cotton handkerchief. Furthermore, the designs are not sewn on a corner of the handkerchief but are clearly visible and intended to be marketed with the embroidery visible to the purchaser. In particular, the handkerchief identified as Style No. 146X bears a distinctive single letter monogram measuring approximately 22 mm by 18 mm. Therefore, it is not subject to United States v. Harden (supra) because the monogram is neither limited in its extent nor comparatively narrow in design.

It is also important to note that in defining the term “embroidery” under the HTSUSA, HQ 086860 (supra) cites to the case of Baylis Brothers, Inc. v. United States, 60 Cust. Ct. 336, C.D. 3383 (1968), aff’d., 416 F.2d 1383 (CCPA 1969) which involved the classification under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (predecessor of the HTSUSA), of smocked dress fronts. The Baylis case addressed whether or not the U.S. Customs Court was correct in holding that the definition of the term “embroidery” when used in the Tariff Act, ordinarily requires that for a thing to be embroidered, there must be an ornamental, superimposed stitching which is the result of needlework. In Baylis the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals affirmed the lower court’s holding by finding that “the operative feature of embroidery, for tariff purposes, is the ornamental characteristic of the stitching.” In applying the Baylis decision to the merchandise which is now at issue, we find that the decorative designs appearing on each of the subject articles can be characterized as ornamental, superimposed stitching which is the result of needlework.

The EN to 6213, states that, pursuant to Chapter 62, Note 7, handkerchiefs in this heading cannot exceed 60 cm in length. The subject handkerchiefs are each less than 60 cm in length. Inasmuch as these woven cotton handkerchiefs bear ornamental designs stitched in contrasting color and will be marketed so as to be visible to the purchaser, we have determined that the decorative stitching has produced an ornamental effect and performs a commercial purpose.

In view of the foregoing, the subject handkerchiefs are “embroidered” within the meaning of the HTSUSA.


NY G83802, dated October 10, 2000, is hereby revoked.

The subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 6213.20.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for “ Handkerchiefs: Of cotton: Other.” The general column one duty rate is 7.2 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 330.

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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