CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088575 CMR
Mr. Ken August
80 Voice Road
Carle Place, New York 11514
RE: Revocation of DD 858882 of January 3, 1991; Classification
of babies' costume hats and bibs; festive articles
Dear Mr. August:
This ruling is in response to your letter of January 29,
1991, requesting reconsideration of DD 858882 of January 3, 1991.
The ruling dealt with the classification of a babies' costume hat
and bib set. The ruling classified the bib in subheading
6117.80.0035, HTSUSA, as an other made up clothing accessory.
The hat was classified in subheading 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA, as an
other festive, carnival or entertainment article. We received
four sample sets with your request.
The style at issue is style 9750. Four samples of the style
were received for review. The samples are of a clown costume, a
pumpkin costume, a ghost costume and a cat costume. Each costume
consists of a hat and bib made of 100 percent polyester brushed
knit fabric. The hats and bibs are matched as to size, marketed
as a unit, and color coordinated. The sets are sized for infants
0 to 24 months.
The clown costume consists of a bib with capping and tie
ends, and a hat. The hat is made of two fabric pieces of
different colors. It is cone-shaped with a pompon on top and
capping at the bottom. The bib has a screen print clown face on
The pumpkin costume consists of a bib with capping and tie
ends and a hat. The hat is bowl-shaped with a thin elastic chin
strap and fabric on top to give the appearance of a stem and
leaves. The bib has a screen print Halloween pumpkin face on the
The ghost costume consists of a bib with capping and tie
ends, and a hat. The hat is hood-shaped with capping around the
front and tie ends. The hat has two nonwoven inserts at the top
and a small screen print face and the word "Boo!". The bib has a
screen print face and hands and the word "Boo!" on the front.
The cat costume consists of a bib with capping and tie ends,
and a hat. The hat is hood-shaped with capping around the front
and tie ends. Fabric inserts are sewn in at the top to give the
appearance of ears. The bib has a screen print cat face with
whiskers on the front.
It is expected that this merchandise will be imported from
Was the classification in DD 858882 of January 3, 1991,
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that
"classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided
such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to
[the remaining GRIs taken in order]."
Customs has ruled on merchandise similar in all material
respects to that which is at issue herein. In HRL 088410 of
April 18, 1991, we ruled that infants' two-piece Halloween
costume sets consisting of hats and bibs were classified as sets
in heading 9505, HTSUSA, which provides for festive articles.
The following analysis was the basis for that classification.
The articles in the set, the hat and bib, if separately
classified would, prima facie, fall in headings 6505, HTSUSA, and
6111, HTSUSA, respectively. The Explanatory Notes, which are the
official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level,
provide in GRI 3 that "goods put up in sets for retail sale" are
goods which consist of at least two different articles which are
prima facie classifiable in different headings, consist of
articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a
specific activity, and are put up in a manner suitable for direct
sale to users without repacking.
The hat and bib costumes at issue here meet the requirements
for consideration as "goods put up in sets for retail sale." The
hats and bibs are prima facie classifiable in different headings.
They are put together to carry out a specific activity, i.e.,
form a costume for an infant. Lastly, they are packaged together
in a manner suitable for direct sale to the consumer.
GRI 3(a) provides, inter alia, that when two or more
headings each refer to part only of the items in a set put up for
retail sale, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific.
Goods put up in sets for retail sale which cannot be classified
by application of GRI 3(a) are classified as if they consisted of
the component which gives them their essential character. GRI
As the hats and bibs are classifiable in different headings,
classification cannot be determined by application of GRI 3(a).
According to that GRI each heading must be considered equally
specific. Therefore, classification must be accomplished by
application of GRI 3(b), i.e., according to the component which
imparts the essential character of the set.
The Explanatory Notes indicate that the factor which
determined essential character will vary among different types of
goods and that various factors may be considered such as bulk,
quantity, weight, value or role of a component in relation to the
use of the goods.
In HRL 088410 it was decided that the hat played a far
greater role in establishing the identity of the costume and
therefore imparted the essential character of the set. In the
instant case, we believe the bibs and hats share equally in
establishing the identity of the costumes and therefore
classification should be determined by utilizing GRI 3(c). That
GRI dictates that when classification cannot be achieved by
resort to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), classification should be according to
the heading which appears last in the tariff among those which
equally merit consideration.
Before applying GRI 3(c) however, consideration should be
given to the classification of the hats of style 9750. Hats and
headgear are generally classified in Chapter 65 of the HTSUSA.
However, Chapter 65, Note 1(c), excludes doll hats, other toy
hats, or carnival articles of Chapter 95. The instant sets may
be defined for tariff purposes as festive or carnival articles of
fancy dress. While Chapter 95, Note 1(e) excludes fancy dress of
textiles of Chapter 61 or 62, the hats or headpieces of style
9750 are classifiable in Chapter 65, and therefore not subject to
the exclusion. Accordingly, the hats are excluded from Chapter
65 as toy or carnival articles and classified in Chapter 95.
Since we cannot determine the essential character of the hat
and bib sets, and the hats are classifiable in Chapter 95 which
appears later in the tariff than Chapter 61, style 9750 is
classified according to the classification for the hats in
Style 9750, consisting of babies' costume hats and bibs, is
classified according to the classification of the hats in the
sets in subheading 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA, which provides for other
festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. The goods are
dutiable at 3.1 percent ad valorem.
In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of
this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking DD
858882 of January 3, 1991, to reflect the above classification
effective with the date of this letter. However, if after your
review of this ruling letter, you disagree with the legal basis
for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might
have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission
you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of
This notice to you should be considered a revocation of DD
858882 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied
retroactively to DD 858882 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not,
therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your
merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of
future transactions in merchandise of this type, DD 858882 will
not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions
may be adversely affected by this modification in that current
contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to this
decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation
arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and may
apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may
be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised
that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief
may require separate approvals from other government agencies.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division