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HQ 965342

July 17, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965342 ttd


TARIFF NO: 6307.90.9889

Ms. Tammie Martin
Diversified Freight Logistics, Inc.
P.O. Box 610629
DFW Airport, TX 75261

RE: Classification of a travel pillow cover

Dear Ms. Martin:

This is in response to your letter, dated September 17, 2001, on behalf of your client, Wolf Manufacturing, regarding the classification of a certain travel pillow cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your letter, which was originally submitted to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division in New York, was referred to this office for reply. A sample was submitted for review.


The article under consideration is an unfilled "u-shaped" pillow cover. The item is made of 100 percent polyester knit fleece fabric and measures approximately 11.5 inches by 16 inches. The cover has a 7-inch long zippered opening. After importation the cover will be stuffed with polyester fiber fill and the zipper will be closed.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides, in part, that classification decisions are to be “determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.” In the event that goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. While neither legally binding nor dispositive of classification issues, the EN provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127-28 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404, HTSUSA. Heading 9404, HTSUSA, covers "Mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered." The EN to heading 9404, HTSUSA, provide that the heading covers, inter alia, bedding and similar furnishing which are sprung or stuffed or internally fitted with any material, including synthetic fibres. As the subject pillow shell is not "stuffed" or filled at the time of importation, it is precluded from classification in heading 9404, HTSUSA, and is therefore potentially classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 953003, dated February 24, 1993, Customs classified a cushion cover with a zipper closure in heading 6304, HTSUSA, and a cushion cover without a zipper closure in heading 6307, HTSUSA. In that ruling, we found that articles "designed for or fitted with a zipper closure" were more "typical of a finished cushion cover," while those without a zipper closure were more like a pillow shell. See also HQ 953004, dated February 24, 1993. Moreover, in HQ 960870, dated April 22, 1998, Customs determined that a terry fabric pillow cover for a buckwheat hull filled neck pillow to be classified in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article. The terry fabric pillow cover considered in that ruling had a 12-inch opening without a zipper into which a "u-shaped" stuffed pillow shell with a 6-inch zippered opening was fitted. Thus, in that ruling, the pillow cover functioned more as a typical cover encompassing a stuffed pillow shell.

In this case, the subject item, unlike the pillow cover in HQ 960870, functions as the outer skin of a travel pillow and should be regarded as more like a shell than a cover. The pillow cover in HQ 960870 is distinguishable from the subject merchandise in that it had a 12-inch opening, large enough to accommodate a stuffed pillow shell. Based on visual examination, the 7-inch opening of the subject article appears to be too small to insert a "u-shaped" polyester filled pillow form. Rather, the opening is merely large enough to insert the loose polyester fiber fill. Therefore, the subject item primarily functions as a pillow shell and not a pillow cover like the merchandise considered in HQ 960870. Therefore, the subject article is not properly classified in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as an other furnishing article.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, covers other made up articles of textile materials. The EN to heading 6307, HTSUSA, indicate that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature.

In HQ 087650, dated October 23, 1990, Customs determined that a polyester cover for an inflatable plastic "u-shaped" travel pillow, when imported separately, would be properly classifiable in heading 6307, HTSUSA, as an other made up article of textile materials. Likewise, in NY D86100, dated January 7, 1999, Customs determined that a "u-shaped" travel pillow shell, made of polyester and cotton woven fabric with an opening of 5 inches and stuffed with fiber filling after importation, was classified in subheading 6307.90.9989. See also NY C84939, dated March 11, 1998.

In this case, the subject travel pillow shell is stuffed directly with polyester fiber fill without a pillow shell, functioning as the outer skin of the travel pillow. Thus, like the travel pillow shell in NY D86100, when the subject article is stuffed with fiber filling after importation, it is classified in heading 6307, HTSUSA. As the subject pillow cover is not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI nor elsewhere in the Nomenclature, it is classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA.

Finally, we note that according to the manufacturer's advertising material, the manufacturer also sells a "Blow-UP" travel pillow, which utilizes the same cover or a very similar cover to accommodate an inflatable bladder. Nonetheless, like the item in HQ 087650, when the subject item is used to cover an inflatable plastic "u-shaped" travel pillow, it is also properly classified under subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classified in subheading 6307.90.9889, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other." The general column one duty rate is 7 percent as valorem.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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