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NY L83110

March 23, 2005

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:N3:353 L83110


TARIFF NO.: 6309.00.0010

Mr. Joel R. Junker
Joel R. Junker and Associates
1191 Second Avenue, Suite 1800
Seattle, WA 98101

RE: The tariff classification of used clothing from various sources

Dear Mr. Junker:

In your letter dated February 24, 2004 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Buffalo Industries, Inc.

You have not submitted samples or photographs, but have indicated in your letter that Buffalo Industries will purchase used clothing from sorting and grading companies in countries such as India. The used clothing processed by these companies is obtained from a variety of sources in the United States, Canada and other countries. Buffalo Industries purchases the merchandise on a per pound basis rather than on a per item basis. The merchandise, which consists of various kinds of garments in a range of conditions, is shipped in bales to the United States.

You request classification under 6309.00.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for worn clothing. The Explanatory Note (EN) to that heading states:

In order to be classified in this heading the articles, of which a limitative list is given in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this Explanatory Note, must comply with both of the following requirements. If they do not meet these requirements they are classified in their appropriate headings.

(A) They must show signs of appreciable wear, whether or not they require cleaning or repair before use.

New articles with faults in weaving, dyeing, etc., and shop-soiled articles are excluded from this heading. (B) They must be presented in bulk (e.g., in railway goods wagons) or in bales, sacks or similar bulk packings, or in bundles tied together without external wrapping, or packed roughly in crates.

These articles are normally traded in large consignments, usually for resale, and are less carefully packed than is generally the case with new articles.

Headquarters Ruling HQ 960577 dated August 7, 1988 presented a detailed discussion of the term “appreciable wear” as it appears in the above-cited EN. You note that HQ 960577 also stated that “entry will not be accepted under subheading 6309.00.0010, HTSUSA, if any article within the bale, sack or similar packing does not meet the requirements of appreciable wear as outlined above, and has been commingled with the clothing classified under subheading 6309.00.0010, HTSUSA, which does show appreciable wear.” As you indicate in your letter that “a bale may contain one or more articles which CBP does not consider ‘appreciably worn’ under the strict standard set forth in HQ 960577,” we are unable to rule that the merchandise you describe is classifiable under subheading 6309.00.0010, HTS.

General Note 3(f) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States states:

Whenever goods subject to different rates of duty are so packed together or mingled that the quantity or value of each class of goods cannot be readily ascertained by customs officers (without physical segregation of the shipment or the contents of any entire package thereof), by one or more of the following means:

(A) sampling,

(B) verification of packing lists or other documents filed at the time of entry, or

(C) evidence showing performance of commercial settlement tests generally accepted in the trade and filed in such time and manner as may be prescribed by regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury,
the commingled goods shall be subject to the highest rate of duty applicable to any part thereof unless the consignee or his agent segregates the goods pursuant to subdivision (f)(ii) hereof.

Accordingly, if the goods cannot be segregated, the commingled garments would be subject to the appropriate provisions of HTS Chapter 61 or 62 for which the highest rate of duty applies.

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

Should you wish to appeal this ruling, you may write to The Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Attention: Office of Regulations and Rulings, Washington, DC 20229. 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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 646-733-3053.


Robert B. Swierupski

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