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HQ 965415

July 10, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965415 DBS


TARIFF NO.: 6304. 91.00

Ms. Carolyn B. Malina
Lands’ End, Inc.
5 Lands’ End Lane
Dodgeville, WI 53595

RE: NY H87187; infant car seat liner not stuffed or internally fitted

Dear Ms. Malina:

This is in response to your letter, dated January 16, 2002, to the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, requesting the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a liner for an infant car seat. Your letter was submitted to this office for reply. We regret the delay.


The subject merchandise is an infant car seat liner. The shell contains a fiber content of 100% nylon supplex, a woven fabric, and the lining contains a fiber content of 100% polyester polartec, a tightly knitted fabric. The shell and lining are stitched together such that the resulting two-sided fabric is hollow inside. That is, there is no filler in between the two layers, nor are the layers quilted. The front and back are zippered together from the bottom almost to top, with an opening at the top for the child’s head. The top section may be removed by unzipping the zippers. When zippered, the good resembles an infant’s bunting. The liner is designed not to cover the whole car seat, but rather to lie on the car seat. The back section has five reinforced welts for threading through a car seat’s restraining belts. The product is designed for the infant to sit in or on the liner. The polyester lining is fleece, intended for comfort and warmth.

An elastic loop is attached to the backside of the open end to fit the liner to a car seat cushion. The front includes a zippered pocket with flap for storage.

In your ruling request, you stated that the item should be classified in subheading 6307.90.98, HTSUS, which provides for other made-up articles, and referred to a Customs ruling, PD E83784, dated July 2, 1997.


What is the tariff classification of the subject infant car seat liners?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

6304 Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404 Other

6304.91.00 Knitted or crocheted

6304.93.00 Not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers

6307 Other made up articles, including dress patterns:

6307.90 Other
6307.90.98 Other

9404 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:

9404.90 Other
Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings:

9404.90.20 Other

As the instant article is not stuffed or internally fitted, it is not classified in heading 9404, HTSUS. Infant car seat covers and liners, including those that may function like buntings, not classifiable in heading 9404, HTSUS, are classified either in heading 6304, HTSUS. See NY C89012, dated July 8, 1998 (classifying an infant car seat bunting without filling in subheading 6304.91.00, HTSUS).

EN 63.04 states, in pertinent part, that the heading covers “furnishing articles of textile materials . . .for use in the home, public buildings, theatres, churches, etc., and similar articles used in ships railway carriages, aircraft, trailer caravans, motor cars, etc.” Because the good is a furnishing article of textile material designed to be attached by different seat belt/belt restraint arrangements, it is clearly intended for use in a motor vehicle. Thus, the EN describes the instant article as within the scope of “other furnishing articles.” Consideration of heading 6307, HTSUS, is not necessary, as the good is clearly provided for in heading 6304, HTSUS.

The goods of heading 6304, HTSUS, are distinguished at the subheading level, in part, by whether the fabric is knitted (or crocheted) or not. When the subheadings, rather than the headings are at issue, GRI 6 is applied. GRI 6 provides that, "for legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to [rules 1 though 5] on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable for the purposes of this rule and the relative section and chapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires."

The instant merchandise is composed of both a knitted fabric, classifiable in under subheading 6304.91.00, HTSUS, and a woven synthetic fabric, classifiable under subheading 6304.93.00, HTSUS. GRI 3(a) states that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. As each subheading describes part only of the good, we must apply GRI 3(b), which provides that composite goods are to be classified according to the component that gives the good its essential character.

EN VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that "[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods." Recent court decisions on the essential character for GRI 3(b) purposes have looked primarily to the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. See Better Home Plastics Corp. v. U.S., 915 F. Supp. 1265 (CIT 1996), aff’d 119 F. 3d 969 (Fed. Cir. 1997); Mita Copystar America, Inc. v. U.S., 966 F.Supp. 1245 (CIT 1997), rehear’g denied, 994 F. Supp. 393 (1998); Vista Int’l Packing Co. v. U.S., 890 F. Supp. 1095 (CIT 1995). See also Pillowtex Corp. v. U.S., 893 F. Supp. 188 (CIT 1997), aff’d 171 F. 3d 1370 (CAFC 1999).

The polyester fleece lining provides both comfort and warmth to the infant, whether it is being used like a bunting or a cover for the car seat cushion. The nylon component is merely a shell. Therefore, we find the essential character to be imparted by the knitted lining. As such, the good is classifiable in subheading 6304.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for other furnishing articles, knitted or crocheted.


The instant infant car seat liner is classifiable in subheading 6304.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for, “Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: other: knitted or crocheted.”


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Branch

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