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HQ 967198

January 25, 2005

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 967198 TMF


TARIFF NO.: 6302.60.0020

Franklin J. Stein
Franklinson THAI Imports
10227 Kamwood Place
San Diego, CA 92126-5139

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) K83131, dated March 5, 2004; Classification of Corded “Kitchen Doll” Towel from Thailand

Dear Mr. Stein:

This is in response to your letter of July 8, 2004, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) K83131, dated March 5, 2004, issued to your customs broker, who had requested the ruling on your behalf, regarding the classification of a kitchen towel. Customs and Border Protection classified the merchandise in subheading 6302.60.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for “Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: toilet linen and kitchen linen, of terry toweling or similar terry fabrics, of cotton towels: other.”

Upon your request, we have reviewed NY K83131 and find this ruling to be correct. Therefore, this ruling is affirmed based on the reasons set forth herein.


The description of the subject article is taken directly from NY K83131. It reads as follows:

The instant sample, referred to [by you] as a kitchen ornament, is a towel. The towel is stylized to depict a doll with a dress. It is comprised of a padded top portion and a terry towel bottom portion. The top portion consists of a head and arms. The head has a hat made from woven fabric. Sewn onto the hat is a durable corded loop used to hang the item. The bodice of the doll is made from a printed woven fabric. Attached to the bottom portion of the bodice are two 14.5 x 16 inch towels made from 100 percent cotton terry woven fabric. The towels feature uncut loops on both sides.

Your website also offers other versions of this item in different colors and various stylized animal heads rather than the submitted doll’s head.

You requested that we review the classification in NY K83131, supra, which classified the instant article as a towel on the basis that your marketing strategy consists of promoting the “Kitchen Doll” as a “kitchen friend”, a decoration, or a “good-luck cooking charm.” Your website describes the merchandise as a kitchen companion; and categorizes the class of merchandise as kitchen towels. You also stated that the article would be placed in various retailers’ kitchen decoration section and that your survey results indicate that the article is not used for wiping hands.


Whether the subject “kitchen doll” towel is classifiable in Chapter 95, heading 6302, heading 6304 or heading 6307 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


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.

Note 1(t), Section XI, excludes articles of chapter 95 from classification within any chapters of Section XI. Therefore, if the “Kitchen Doll” is classifiable in Chapter 95, it cannot be classified in Chapter 63.

Chapter 95, HTSUSA, which provides essentially for toys, requires that an article classifiable therein must be designed principally to amuse; the subject article is not so designed. The head of the subject article alone, is not designed for amusement, but has a two-fold utilitarian function: to serve as decoration and to serve as a means of hanging the towel by way of the corded loop on the back. The instant doll head, when viewed in combination with the dress-like towel is the only combination that might look like a doll. But this product is clearly a utilitarian product that has a novelty design with toy and doll-like manifestations. Notwithstanding this fact, we do not find these novelty aspects are able to overcome the article’s functionality as a towel.

We reviewed the marketing of the “Kitchen Doll” on the website which categorizes the merchandise as “doll towels” and describes it as an ornament or decoration that is a “fine deluxe 100 percent absorbent cotton terrycloth towel” that is “‘durable and easily washable’the ultimate kitchen companion, decoration or towel [emphasis added].” This description, along with the durable corded loop and doll’s head/arms “hanger” features, as well as its principal use as a towel are determinative that it is similar to other hang towels that are of the same class or kind which are classifiable as “other towels.” See infra.

With regard to the display of the merchandise in retail stores, we do not find this to be helpful for classifying the goods in Chapter 95. Although you stated that you have shown the product to other kitchen article retailers who indicated that they would market the article in their kitchen decoration area sections of their stores, you currently sell this article through your website and outdoor markets only. This is informative but not determinative of the goods classification in Chapter 95 since it still functions as a towel, not as a source of amusement.

Heading 6302, HTSUSA, provides for "[B]ed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen." In K83131, supra, CBP classified the merchandise at issue as an “other kitchen towel”, within subheading 6302.60.0020, HTSUSA. The physical features of the instant article include a durable corded loop that is attached to the back of the doll head. This loop serves as a means to hang the towel from a knob. We note that CBP has issued prior determinations in which similar towels with ties or loops were classified as “other kitchen towels” of heading 6302, HTSUSA. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 957752, dated July 12, 1995, classifying a kitchen terry tie towel as an “other kitchen towel” of subheading 6302.60.0020; also citing HQ 956432, dated November 7, 1994; HQ 089866, dated September 4, 1991; NY 881579, dated January 7, 1993; and NY 804935, dated January 6, 1995. It is noted in HQ 957752, that in all of the aforementioned rulings, CBP determined that the presence of the tie precluded classification as a "dish towel", and the article was classified then as "other" kitchen towels within subheading 6302.60.0020, HTSUSA. The same analysis applies to the instant “Kitchen Doll.

With regard to heading 6302, HTSUSA, your website addresses the article’s absorbency and durability as a towel, not as a home decoration item. In addition, its future marketing in other retail kitchen decoration departments does not preclude its classification in heading 6302 as a towel. We note that this information may be useful for considering heading 6304, infra, but this does not change the articles’ functionality as a towel. In fact, the merchandise remains a towel of heading 6302, which is similar to other tie towels as mentioned in the previous rulings above. See supra.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles that includes wall hangings. We refer you to HQ 089148, dated July 30, 1991, in which CBP classified a “Christmas Decorative Towel”, a decorative hanging towel in heading 6302, HTSUSA. Like the towel of HQ 089148, supra, the instant “Kitchen Doll” is “a class of merchandise [that is] separate and distinct from the articles of heading 6304.” Although it may add décor to one’s kitchen and is designed to be hung in a kitchen, this use does not subordinate its use as a towel. It still remains a towel of heading 6302, HTSUSA, and classification as “other furnishing” of heading 6304 is not an option.

With regard to heading 6307, HTSUSA, this heading is a “basket” provision for only goods that are not more specifically provided elsewhere in the tariff. In this instance, heading 6302 provides eo nomine for towels. Therefore, as the subject merchandise is more specifically provided therein, heading 6307 is not appropriate and the merchandise remains classified in heading 6302, HTSUSA.


NY K83131, dated March 5, 2004, is hereby affirmed. The “kitchen doll” towel at issue is classified as a cotton kitchen towel of terry toweling, other than a dish towel, in subheading 6302.60.0020, HTSUSA, textile category 363, dutiable at 9.1 percent ad valorem.

Quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of a World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO member-countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas”, which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov.

For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions and related issues, we refer you to the web site at the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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