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NY N007447

March 14, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 6302.31.9010; 6302.31.9020

Swapna Venkateswaran
William-Sonoma, Inc.
151 Union Street
Ice House One, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: The tariff classification of a pillowcase and sheets from India

Dear Ms. Venkateswaran:

In your letter dated February 12, 2007 you requested a classification.

You will be importing pillowcases (West Elm Parent SKU Number 9221482) and a sheet set (West Elm Parent SKU Number 9221482). A section of the hem on the pillowcase was submitted with your request. The top hem of the flat sheet will contain the same hem treatment. The sheet set will consist of a flat sheet, fitted sheet and either one or two pillowcases. All of the items are made from 100 percent sateen cotton woven fabric. The fabric is not napped or printed. The hem treatment used on the pillowcase and flat sheet is comprised of a decorative double needle stitch. The stitching holds a laid in yarn on the surface but the removal of the yarn will cause the stitching to fall apart. Although the double needle stitch is decorative it is the only stitch holding the hem.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 955576, dated June 1, 1994, noted that if the decorative stitching was required to complete the hem, it was functional and therefore did not constitute embroidery. Customs explained that "just because the stitch used may be considered a type of embroidery stitch does not mean that its use automatically creates embroidery." HRL 955576 further stated that in determining whether a decorative stitch constitutes embroidery, Customs will refer to three factors. The applicable criteria are as follow: 1. whether the stitching is ornamental, 2. whether the stitching creates or enhances a design or pattern, and 3. whether the stitching is superimposed upon a previously completed fabric or article or is the stitching required to create or complete the fabric or article. Customs further maintains that the third factor focuses on the functionality and primary purpose of the stitching.

In the instant case even though the double needle stitch is decorative in nature it is required to complete the hem of the pillowcase and flat sheet. The pillowcase and sheet will be classified as not containing any embroidery, lace, braid, edging, etc.

In your letter, you refer to the West Elm Parent SKU Number 9221482 as a “sheet set”. The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States at the international level, state in Note (X) to Rule 3 (b) that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking

In this case the first criterion is not met. The sheets and pillowcase fall within the same subheading. Therefore, the combination package is not classifiable as a “retail set” and each item is classified individually.

The applicable subheading for the pillowcases will be 6302.31.9010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other bed linen: of cotton: other: not napped pillowcases, other than bolster cases. The duty rate will be 6.7 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the flat and fitted sheet will be 6302.31.9020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen: other bed linen: of cotton: other: not napped sheets. The duty rate will be 6.7 percent ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

The pillowcases fall within textile category designation 360. The flat and fitted sheets fall within textile category designation 361. With the exception of certain products of China, quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of 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 on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

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 John Hansen at 646-733-3043.


Robert B. Swierupski

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