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NY J88942

October 31, 2003

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 J88942


TARIFF NO.: 3923.90.0080

Mr. Frank Desiderio
Mr. Joseph M. Spraragen
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP 245 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: The tariff classification of plastic hangers.

Dear Messrs. Desiderio and Spraragen:

In your letter dated September 29, 2003, on behalf of your client, Tommy Hilfiger, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Five sample plastic hangers were submitted with your request. Style 3328 (0841-07) is a clear plastic top hanger that incorporates a middle drop loop so that a bottom hanger can be hooked through. It has a long neck metal swivel top hook and a ridge measuring ½ inch.

Style 496, also embossed as style 2634-16, is a top hanger molded entirely of white plastics in a one-piece construction with a ridge measuring 3/16 inch. Style 472-0713-3 is a top hanger molded entirely of white plastics in a one-piece construction with a ridge measuring ¼ inch. Style 476-6-0696 is a top hanger molded entirely of white plastics in a one-piece construction with a ridge of 3/8 inch. You have also submitted a sample of top hanger 496 (2634-16) as part of a combination with coordinate hanger W10045. Style W10045 is also embossed W1104 and1094. It is molded of white plastics, with a ridge measuring ¼ inch. The coordinate bottom hanger incorporates an integral plastic top ring to loop onto a top hanger to hang two piece garments and integral plastic clamps that secure with metal slide locks.

You indicate in your letter that the hangers will be imported from various countries. For purposes of this reply it is assumed that all are countries with which the United States has Normal Trade Relations.

The applicable subheading for the hangers will be 3923.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plasticsother. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

You also ask whether the hangers, when imported holding apparel, are separately classifiable from the apparel. General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 5(b) of the HTS provides that, subject to the provisions of GRI 5(a), packing materials and packing containers entered with the goods therein shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods. However, this provision is not binding when such materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use. Style 3328 (0841-07) is substantially similar to the hangers that were the subject of HQ 964963, 964964 and 964948, all dated June 19, 2001. Those hangers, which were used in hanger recovery systems, were ruled to be of sufficiently substantial construction to be suitable for repetitive use for the conveyance of goods. Thus, style 3328 (0841-07) may be classified separately in subheading 3923.90.0080, HTS, even when imported with garments.

Hanger styles 496 (2634-16), 472-0713-3, 476-6-0696, and 496 (2634-16) with coordinate hanger W10045 (W1104, 1094) are of significantly less substantial construction than the hangers that were the subject of HQ 964963, 964964 and 964948. Please provide additional information on these hangers. The printout you submitted illustrating hangers in the VICS Floor Ready Hanger Program does not cover style 476. Please submit the printout covering this particular style. Identify the plastic resin breakdown for each of the styles and describe the practice of your client, Tommy Hilfiger, regarding reuse of these hanger styles. The samples will be retained for 90 days pending receipt of your follow-up request.

When you resubmit your request with information on the resin content of the plastics, please include any additional documentation you would like us to consider in determining whether styles 496 (2634-16), 472-0713-3, 476-6-0696, and 496 with coordinate hanger W10045, or styles substantially similar to these, are reused in a commercial sense for the shipment of garments. Please include any available breakdowns showing what percentages of these hanger styles are forwarded to a hanger recovery system for reuse in shipping, what percentages are given away with purchase of the garments and what percentages are recycled for their plastics content. Submit any documentation that indicates the number of times these hanger styles are reused for commercial shipment of garments.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Joan Mazzola at (646) 733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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