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HQ 966698

January 12, 2004

CLA 2 RR:CR:TE 966698 KSH


TARIFF NO.: 6201.92.2051

Acting Area Director
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
JFK International Airport, Bldg. #77
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Internal Advice; Classification of certificates of authenticity attached to wearing apparel; sets

Dear Port Director:

This is in reply to your memorandum (PRO-2 K:TO:B7 AZ/DW) dated July 17, 2003, forwarding a request for internal advice of dated March 24, 2003, from Robert A. Calandra, Esq., on behalf of Presidio International Inc., on the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of certificates of authenticity attached to wearing apparel. A sample was forwarded to this office.


The sample at issue is a tag attached to a garment by means of a plastic tee tag. The plastic tee tag holds an authenticity certificate and a second tag that lists the bar code, price, style number and vendor number. The authenticity tag is comprised of two tags designed to allow an exterior tag to cover an interior tag containing a statement of authenticity of the garment and a self-adhesive label containing the size, color, style, UPC code number and the country of origin information. The tags convey information that is required to be present and attached to the garment at the time of importation and information the importer wishes to convey to the purchaser at the time of retail sale.


Whether the certificates of authenticity are separately classifiable from the wearing apparel. Whether the certificates of authenticity may be classified with the wearing apparel as “goods put in sets for retail sale.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRI"). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading 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.

GRI 5(a) provides:

In addition to the foregoing [GRI’s], the following rules shall apply in respect of the goods referred to therein:

(a) Camera cases, musical instruments, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character.

GRI 5(a) is inapplicable in this instance as it concerns containers. However, GRI 5(b) provides:

(b) Subject to the provisions of rule 5(a) above, 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 packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

In HQ 555806, dated January 14, 1991, we determined that plastic bags that were inflated to give shape to handbags for display in retail stores were packing materials. We concluded the plastic bags functioned as an alternative to paper stuffing and were the kind of packing material often associated with the display of articles offered for retail sale. Similarly, in HQ 954437, dated November 9, 1993, we determined that a bag expander that gave the appearance of filling a bag to its capacity for purposes of presentation of these bags for retail sale was packing material. The certificates of authenticity, like the plastic bags and bag expander, are of the kind of packing material used to display and promote the sale of articles offered for retail sale. Based upon the foregoing analysis, we need not address whether the certificates of authenticity may be classified with the wearing apparel as “goods put in sets for retail sale. Accordingly, the certificates of authenticity are classified with the wearing apparel.


The certificates of authenticity are packing material pursuant to GRI 5(b). The certificates of authenticity are classified in accordance with the tariff classification of the wearing apparel to which the certificates of authenticity are attached.

You are to mail this decision to the internal advice requester no later than sixty days from the date of the decision. At that time, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the CBP Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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