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HQ 965033

July 16, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965033 BAS


TARIFF NO.: 6302.31.9010

Stephen M. Zelman
Stephen M. Zelman & Associates
888 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10106

RE: Classification request on pillowcases

Dear Mr. Zelman:

This is in reply to your letter, dated April 6, 2001, on behalf of Induter USA Inc., requesting a ruling concerning the classification of a flat pillowcase to be imported from Spain. You submitted a sample of the pillowcase to assist us in our determination.


The merchandise under consideration is made of 100% cotton sateen woven fabric. The fabric is yarn dyed and is neither napped nor printed. It contains a 2.75 inch wide self hem at the opening secured by a row of stitching. The pillowcase features additional stitching along the hem at the open end. You refer to this stitching as hemstitch. The stitch is also known as a “picot stitch.” The stitching holds open a series of small holes punched in the fabric. Examination of the sample reveals that the hemstitch is superimposed over a previous row of stitching. That row of basting stitching is used to initially create the hem. The basting stitch under the hemstitch is approximately four stitches per inch. The stitch used elsewhere on the pillowcase is approximately eleven stitches per inch.


What is embroidery and are the pillowcases at issue classifiable as “containing any embroidery”?


Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 955576, dated June 1, 1994 (copy enclosed), addresses Customs position on the classification of sheets finished with a picot stitch hem. In HQ 955576, the sheets, if non-printed were classified under heading 6302.31.2040, HTSUSA, which provides for woven cotton sheets, not napped. In HQ 955576, Customs took the view that because the stitching on the sheets was required to complete the hem on the sheets, it was functional and therefore did not constitute embroidery. Likewise, in the instant case the picot stitch is required to complete the hem and therefore it does not contain embroidery. In the instant case, the hem has been sewn first by a basting stitch and then completed with the picot stitch. A visual examination of the particular basting stitch hem reveals that it is approximately 4 stitches per inch. The regular stitch on the pillow case is approximately 11 stitches per inch. The instant basting stitch alone would not be able to sustain repeated use and thus the decorative hemstitch serves to complete the hem. Like the sheets at issue in HQ 955576, due to its functionality, the picot stitch on the instant pillowcase does not constitute embroidery. Accordingly, we incorporate the more detailed LAW AND ANALYSIS section of HQ 955576 in this decision, as it is dispositive of the issue you have raised. But see HQ 963601, February 15, 2000, wherein a hemstitch sewn over a straight stitch was deemed to be embroidery. The pillowcase and sheets in HQ 963601 are significantly distinguishable from the instant pillowcase in that the underlying stitch in 963601 was strong enough to maintain the hem with out the picot stitch.

Thus, the merchandise at issue is does not contain embroidery and is classified in subheading 6302.31.9010, HTSUSA, as “Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: Other bed linen: Of cotton: Other: Not napped: Pillowcases, other than bolster cases.”


The pillowcase is classified under subheading 6302.31.9010, HTSUSA, which provides for “Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: Other bed linen: Of cotton: Other: Not napped: Pillowcases, other than bolster cases. The general column one rate of duty is 6.9 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon
Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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