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HQ 966541

September 9, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966541 SG


Tariff No.: 6505.90.8090

Diane L. Weinberg, Esq.
Meeks & Sheppard
330 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

RE: Tariff classification of a "hair turban"

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This letter is in response to your correspondence of May 7, 2003, in which you request, on behalf of your client, The New L&N Sales and Marketing, Inc, (hereafter L&N) a binding ruling of the tariff classification of a polyester and polyamide "hair turban" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A telephonic conference was held with you on September 8, 2003.


The subject article is manufactured in China from woven terry cloth fabric that is a blend of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent polyamide. The fabric is cut into two pieces that are sewn together and provides a "D" shaped article with a tapered end and an opening that is 27 inches in length. An elastic loop and button are sewn onto either end of the fabric, while an additional elastic loop is sewn approximately 3 inches above the button. When placed on the wet hair of the user, the larger rounded end is placed at the back of the head and the tapered end is held out in front of the face. The user's hair is wrapped inside the turban. The tapered end is then twisted around the user's hair and on itself and pulled back over the top of the head and attached to the back of the head by means of the button and loop. This provides for a comfortable, lightweight, and secure fit on the head of the user.

You state that the article is used to wrap the head after washing to absorb excess water and aid in drying. You indicate that it functions as a towel, and is not worn to cover or protect the hair.


What is the proper tariff classification under the HTSUSA, for the hair turban?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI’s taken in order. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN’s), 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’s.

It is your belief that the "hair turban" is classifiable under the provision for other toilet linen in heading 6302, HTSUS, or alternatively, under the provision for made up articles, in heading 6307, HTSUS. It is your belief that the "hair turban" falls within the common meaning of toilet linen. You state that Webster's New World Dictionary, 1988 ed. defines the term "toilet" as "of or for dressing or grooming oneself'', and go on to say that since the "'hair turban' is used to dry the hair, [it] therefore satisfies the definition of 'toilet linen'". It is your belief that the "hair turban" is a towel, defined in Webster's as "a piece of absorbent cloth or paper for wiping or drying things, or for drying oneself after washing or bathing". You state that the "hair turban" is an article of absorbent cloth for drying hair after washing, and it is suitable for laundering. You go on to state that there is nothing in the definition to preclude the "hair turban" from being classified as a towel. In fact you indicate that the packaging supports the use of the "hair turban" as a towel, in that it promotes "super absorbent micro fiber," "less blow-drying", and "healthier hair". You argue that the button and loop enhance the purpose of a towel, which is for drying as it prevents the article from falling off the head while the hair is drying. You state that the "hair turban", like a towel, is not worn for purposes of decoration, warmth or protection. It is therefore not like a hat or other headgear.

In support of your arguments you cite New York ruling letter NY I86557, dated October 25, 2002, where a towel also manufactured from a blend of polyester and polyamide which is used to wrap the hair after washing to absorb excess water and aid in drying was classified in subheading 6302.93.2000, HTSUSA. You also cite NY I80838, dated May 8, 2002, and NY B89588, dated October 7, 1997, as cases where Customs classified articles as towels in heading 6302 that were processed beyond a piece of absorbent cloth.

You then argue that the subject "hair turban" is not a covering for the head, and would never be considered "esp. a hat, cap, bonnet, etc." and thus does not fall within the common and commercial meaning of the term "headgear". You state that the purpose of the "hair turban" is to dry the hair, not to cover or protect it.

We have reviewed the two rulings you cite, in NY I86557 the item was described as a "towel". In NY B89588 the item was described as "a rectangular towel with a hood-like portion sewn to the center edge of one of the long sides". The hood on the towel in NY B89588 "would cover a child's head after a bath, while the rest of the towel is used to dry off the child." They were therefore primarily towels, and distinguishable from the item at issue here.

Your attention is directed to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086668, dated June 4, 1990, in which a terry cloth wrap was not classified as a towel simply because it was constructed of terry cloth fabric and could be used as a bath towel. The item was described as manufactured of 100 percent woven cotton terry fabric, and featured an elasticized edging along with a hook and loop closure. As such, it was considered to have been advanced beyond a towel by taking on an identity as a new commercial product. Consequently, it was classified under headings 6207 and 6208, HTSUSA, which provide, respectively, for men’s and women’s bathrobes and dressing gowns.

Similarly, the item at issue has been advanced beyond just a towel for drying the hair. The subject article has been specially tapered, the edges trimmed, and it is fitted with a special loop and button so that the article can wrap smoothly and securely over the head. As such, it has taken on a new commercial identity as headgear. See HQ 958850, dated March 24, 1997, in which a hair wrap similar to the hair turban before us was determined to be advanced beyond just a towel for drying the hair because it was specially tapered and fitted with a special loop so that the article could wrap smoothly and securely over the head. It was classified under heading 6505, which provides for hats and headgear.

If the consumer merely wanted a product that would dry the hair, an ordinary towel would suffice; however, the subject article’s primary use for the consumer is that it has been specially designed for use as headgear to cover the hair as it dries. Thus, it is our determination that the principal use of this article would be as absorbent headgear that would provide an attractive and secure cover for wet hair while it dries. In addition, we note that although this drying application is considered to be the main application of the article, the article clearly also can be used for covering untidy or unwashed hair and also for keeping the hair in place at the beach or pool or in windy conditions.

You then argue that if we determine that the "hair turbans" are not classifiable as other toilet linen in heading 6302, HTSUS, they should be classifiable under the
provision for other made up articles of textiles in heading 6307, HTSUS, as no other provision more specifically describes the goods.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles of textile materials. The EN to heading 6307 state that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically elsewhere in the tariff schedule.

Heading 6505, HTSUSA, provides for "Hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted, or made up from lace, felt or other textile fabric, in the piece (but not in strips), whether or not lined or trimmed: hair-nets of any material, whether or not lined or trimmed."

According to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) which we look to as a guide in applying the HTSUSA, heading 6505 includes hats made up from textile fabric, berets, skull caps, fezzes, peaked caps, mortar-boards, nurses' caps, nuns' head-dresses, pith helmets, sou'westers, hoods and top hats.

Headgear is defined by The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, the Unabridged Edition (1983) as "any covering for the head, esp. a hat, cap, bonnet, etc." The Encyclopedia Americana (International Edition, 1980) defines the term "hat" as follows:

HAT, strictly, a head covering that has a crown and a brim.

Loosely, the term is used for many kinds of headgear. Since earliest times, men have created a great range of headgear, from fitted caps to draped or wrapped veils, turbans and bands. Almost every kind of material has been used - fur, fabric, metal, straw, horns, jewels, feathers, flowers, lace, glass and synthetic materials.

In addition, headgear is also broadly defined under the HTSUSA. We refer to the General Explanatory Note to Chapter 65, which offers an expansive definition of the term "headgear":

With the exception of the articles listed below this Chapter covers hat- shapes, hat-forms, hat bodies and hoods, and hats and other headgear of all kinds, irrespective of the materials of which they are made and of their intended use (daily wear, theatre, disguise, protection, etc.).

It also covers hair-nets of any material and certain specified fittings for headgear.

The hats and other headgear of this Chapter may incorporate trimmings of various kinds and of any material, including trimmings made of the materials of Chapter 71.

According to Webster’s II New College Dictionary, 1991 at 509, headgear, is defined as "something, as a hat or helmet, that covers the head." Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977, at 527, defines headgear as "a covering or protective device for the head." While a visual examination of the subject merchandise might not lead one to conclude that it is a headgear, it does cover and protect the head.

The hair turban therefore meets the definition of headgear in heading 6505, HTSUSA, and therefore is not properly classifiable under heading 6307, HTSUSA


The article identified as a “hair turban” is classifiable under subheading 6505.90.8090, HTSUSA, which provides for “Hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted, or made up from lace, felt or other textile fabric, in the piece (but not in strips), whether or not lined or trimmed; hair-nets of any material, whether or not lined or trimmed: Other: Of man-made fibers: Other: Not in part of braid: Other: Other: Other.” The duty under the general column one rate is 19¢/kg + 6.9 percent ad valorem, and merchandise classified in this subheading is subject to textile category 659.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, previously available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB) which is available now on the Customs and Border Protection Web site at www.cbp.gov.

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 its local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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