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NY R02601

October 14, 2005

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 R02601


TARIFF NO.: 3923.90.0080

Mr. Jeff Tooze
Columbia Sportswear Company
14375 N.W. Science Park Drive
Portland, OR 97229

RE: The tariff classification of plastic clothes hanger style 484 from various countries.

Dear Mr. Tooze:

In your letter dated September 21, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Photographs were provided with your letter. Style 484 is a 17-inch plastic top hanger with a metal swivel hook for hanging over a garment rod. The hanger is molded to incorporate a hook at the lower middle portion through which a bottom hanger may be secured to facilitate the hanging of two-piece garments. The hanger is of substantial construction, has a molded plastic ridge measuring 3/8-inch in thickness and a molded non-slip feature at the shoulders. The hangers will be imported from various countries. The rate of duty provided below is the rate applicable to the hangers when produced in a country 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 plastics, other. The general rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

You state that the hangers are manufactured to specifications by approved suppliers in accordance with the VICS “Floor Ready Hanger Program,” a program in which most major American retailers participate. In response to the mandates of the “floor ready” and “hanger recovery” programs employed by retailers and imposed on their vendors, garment manufacturers are responsible for purchasing specific styles of hangers and shipping garments on the specified hangers. Garments arrive at the retail stores ready to be hung directly on the selling floor. The hangers may be reused for international and domestic shipment of other apparel articles. You ask whether the hangers, when imported with 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. Hanger style 484 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, hanger style 484 may be classified separately in subheading 3923.90.0080, HTS, even when imported with 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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