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HQ 964170

June 5, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964170 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Ms. Sandi Siegel
M.E. Dey & Company, Incorporated
5007 South Howell Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53237

RE: "Pit Passes;" PVC Sleeves Suspended from Textile Lanyards with Swivel Hooks; Composite Goods; Not Imitation Jewelry; Not Other Made Up Clothing Accessories

Dear Ms. Siegel:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of March 30, 2000, on behalf of your client, Husar's Jewelers, Incorporated, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of articles identified as "Pit Passes" that are manufactured in Taiwan. Two samples were submitted with your request.


The plastic component of each of the two samples is a flat sleeve composed of clear, unembossed, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic. Each sleeve measures approximately 8-1/2 inches in height by 4 inches in width and each has a hole near the top center to allow for the sleeve's suspension from a hook. Each sleeve also bears advertising and a design and/or logo for a particular sporting event and that event's corporate sponsor. For example, "Mobil," "World Series 1999," and a logo representing Major League Baseball appear on one sleeve. "Target Grand Prix," "Chicago Motor Speedway August 22, 1999," and a checkered flag and border, appear
on the other sleeve. Each sleeve is intended to contain and display a ticket, a pass, or other symbol (none of which is included with the imported components) which authorizes access or entry into certain events or areas to which access might otherwise be denied.

The plastic sleeves are designed and intended to be suspended from a textile lanyard component with which each sleeve is imported. A lanyard may be a cord which symbolizes a military citation. It may accessorize clothing and/or be worn separately from clothing, on the person (generally around the neck) and consist of a cord or strap that is intended to hold some object. In this case, one of the two lanyards consists of a loop of flattened textile material which measures approximately 36 inches in length and is composed of 100 percent cotton. The other lanyard is a looped textile cord which measures approximately 36 inches in length and is composed of 100 percent polyester material. Fastened to the bottom of each lanyard is a swivel "j" hook that is composed of steel with nickel plate. Each lanyard is intended to be worn around the neck to suspend and continually display what the plastic sleeve will eventually contain.


1) Whether the components are classified as a composite good.

2) If classified as a composite good, whether the complete good is classified under heading 7117, HTSUSA, as imitation jewelry; under heading 3926, HTSUSA, as an other article of plastics; under heading 6217, HTSUSA, as an other made up clothing accessory; or under heading 6307, as an other made up [textile] article.


Classification under the 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 headings 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.

Because it is asserted that the merchandise at issue here, is substantially similar to the merchandise classified in New York Ruling Letter (NY) F82652, we will first consider heading 7117, HTSUSA, which covers "Imitation jewelry." In NY F82652, dated February 14, 2000, Customs classified an article identified as the "Super Bowl

XXXV® Ticket Holder" in subheading 7117.90.7500, HTSUSA, the provision for "Imitation jewelry: Other: Other: Valued over 20 cents per dozen pieces or parts: Other: Of plastics." The imported article consisted of a textile lanyard of man-made fibers with a metal swivel hook and metal clip attached. A transparent plastic sleeve for holding Super Bowl tickets was attached to the metal clip. While we agree that the ticket holder described in NY F82652 appears to be substantially similar to each of the samples at issue in this case, we find the analysis and holding of the ruling to be in error. Appropriate action is therefore being taken to revoke NY F82652 and the basis for this action follows.

Among other merchandise, chapter 71, HTSUSA, covers imitation jewelry. Taken together, notes 9(a) and 11 to chapter 71, HTSUSA, indicate that the expression "imitation jewelry" means any small objects of personal adornment (gem-set or not) such as rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, watch chains, fobs, pendants, tie pins, cuff links, dress studs, religious or other medals and insignia, not incorporating pearls, precious metal, or precious or semiprecious stones. Since jewelry relates to adornment, and since the lanyard and plastic sleeve are designed to suspend and display something which might set one person apart from others, we will examine the lexicographic definitions of the words "adorn," "necklace," "pendant," and "insignia."

In Merriam-Webster’s Deluxe Dictionary, Tenth Collegiate Edition (1998), “adorn” is defined, in pertinent part, as: “1 : to enhance the appearance of, especially with beautiful objects." "Necklace" is defined therein as: "an ornament worn around the neck." "Pendant" is defined, in pertinent part, as: “1 : something suspended: as a : an ornament (as on a necklace) allowed to hang free." "Insignia" is defined as: "1 : a badge of authority or honor 2 : a distinguishing mark or sign."

Since the plastic sleeve is designed to be suspended, it appears to satisfy the first part of the definition of a "pendant," but perhaps not the ornamental example provided. Although the lanyard is worn around the neck, it does not appear to satisfy the definition of a necklace since it is not an ornament. Moreover, the lanyard does not "adorn" as required by chapter notes 9a and 11. The plastic sleeve, likewise, is not an ornament and would not be likely to enhance the appearance of its wearer. Although the sleeve is designed to eventually contain an item that could satisfy the definition of "insignia" (such as a badge or pass distinguishing one person authorized to be in an area from others not so authorized), such items are not imported with the sleeve and lanyard. We thus find that neither the lanyard nor the plastic sleeve constitutes an article of personal adornment. Neither is classifiable as "imitation jewelry" under heading 7117, HTSUSA.

Each of the complete articles at issue in this case (as was the case in NY F82652) essentially consists of two components which individually are classifiable in different headings. The headings which remain under consideration are headings 3926, 6217, and 6307, HTSUSA. The EN to heading 3926, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers (among other goods) articles of plastics, including protective bags, document-jackets, and similar protective goods made by sewing or glueing together sheets of plastics, and articles such as luggage label-holders. See EN (4) and (11) to 39.26 at 622. The EN to heading 6217, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers (among other goods) made up textile clothing accessories including lanyards. See EN to 62.17 at 939 and 940.

To determine whether the lanyards at issue constitute "clothing accessories," we first look to HQ 088540, dated June 3, 1991, in which an "accessory" was defined as "an article that is related to the primary article, and intended for use solely or principally with a specific article." The lanyards in this case are not related in any way to an article of clothing. In HQ 951316, dated July 10, 1992, Customs examined the classification a woven polyester lanyard that was intended for use by fishermen to carry a lure box, and was designed to be attached to the lure box and looped around a fisherman's belt. It was noted that the use of the term "lanyard" in the EN to heading 6217, as an example of a clothing accessory, denotes the type of article generally associated with the single strand worn on the shoulder of a military uniform as a decoration. In ruling out classification of the lure box lanyard in heading 6217, we stated:

Such items, designed as accessories for use with wearing apparel, are distinguishable from those used principally as a means of securing or suspending articles from the neck or waist.

The lanyard for the lure box was classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA, specifically in subheading 6307.90.99, HTSUSA. See also, HQ 955811, dated May 19, 1994, in which this office considered medallion holders of woven polyester that had been classified as lanyards of heading 6217, and reclassified the articles under heading 6307, HTSUSA. The articles were designed and intended to suspend medallions and be placed around the neck of award recipients at ceremonies (although the articles could also be draped on trophies, plaques, etc.).

In light of the preceding, the lanyard component is not classifiable as an other made up clothing accessory under heading 6217, HTSUSA. Since two headings remain under consideration, however, we next look to GRI 2(b), which states:

The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) requires that the headings are regarded as equally specific when they each refer to part only of the materials contained in composite goods....Since each of the headings refers to part only of the materials, GRI 3(a) requires that the headings be regarded as equally specific despite any disparity in their texts. For this reason, we next examine GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(b) states, in part, that:

...composite goods...made up of different components...which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

As with GRI 3(a) above, the applicability of GRI 3(b) depends somewhat upon whether or not the complete article is deemed to comprise a composite good. In pertinent part, Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) indicates that:

For purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In this instance, the lanyard and plastic sleeve are separable. The components are adapted to each other for the purpose of continuous, hands-free display of an item such as a badge, pass, or ticket allowing its bearer to enter into, and be present at, an otherwise restricted area or event. The lanyard has a hook on which to attach the plastic sleeve and the sleeve has a hole near the top center through which the hook passes. The swivel, located just above the hook, prevents the lanyard's loop from twisting as movements of the wearer, the breeze, etc., cause the plastic sleeve to spin.

The lanyard and plastic sleeve also form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. Lanyards are normally sold with the articles they are intended to suspend, e.g., referee whistles, small cameras, skiing wallets, etc. Although plastic sleeves are sold separately as document protectors, filler pages for photo albums, etc., each of the sleeves at issue in this case contains a hole at its top and advertising of a dated sporting event and its corporate sponsor. Such plastic sleeves are not normally sold separately. We thus find that each lanyard and plastic sleeve comprises a composite good. (See also HQ 961820, dated June 18, 1999.)

In order to determine the essential character of the composite good, we look to Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b), which provides the following guidance:

The 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 a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The nature and role of the complete article is to provide the means to continuously display a pass, ticket, or similar item at a particular event. Although the clear plastic sleeve will be the most closely connected component to the displayed item, the sleeve must be suspended by the lanyard component in order to provide constant, hands-free display. Since the sleeve advertises an event which occurs on a specific date or dates, its repeated use after the event would appear to be outmoded or "old fashioned." The plastic sleeve's value as anything but a souvenir then promptly diminishes, despite the likelihood that the component shows no wear. On the other hand, the lanyard component, whose nature and role in the use of the complete good are at least equal to those of the plastic sleeve, and whose value would appear to exceed that of the sleeve, would not be discarded or stowed away as a souvenir. The lanyard would likely be retained for reuse to suspend any plastic sleeves produced for subsequent events. We thus find that the complete good's essential character is provided by the lanyard component which is classifiable under heading 6307, the specific subheading being 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA.


The composite articles identified as "Pit Passes" are classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other made up [textile] articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other." The general column one duty rate is 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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