CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950794 CAB
District Director of Customs
Thomas P. O'Neil, Jr. Federal Bldg.
10 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02222-1059
RE: Request for Further Review of Protest 0401-91-100166, Dated
March 27, 1991, Concerning the Classification of Bed Sheet Sets
This ruling is on the protest that was filed against your
decision regarding the classification of bed sheet sets. Our
ruling on the matter follows.
The merchandise are bed sheet sets imported from Romania by
McCarthy International. The sets are comprised of sheets and
pillowcases. The sets were entered under the cotton provision,
however the invoice indicates a component material breakdown of
50% polyester woven fabric and 50% cotton.
The Customs laboratory tested the sets and determined that
polyester was the material which predominates by weight. In
turn, the importer had the bed sets tested by an independent lab,
Consumer Testing Laboratories, Inc., and those test results
indicated that cotton comprised the chief weight of the
The importer contends that the independent test results are
more accurate than those of Customs laboratory. The importer
bases this contention on the fact that the independent lab
employed the ASTM D 1909-86 test, while Customs lab employed the
AATCC test method 20A.
What is the proper classification of the merchandise in
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Imported goods are classifiable according to the General
Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). GRI 1 provides that
"classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative Section or Chapter notes." Merchandise
that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be
classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs, taken in order.
Subheading Note 2, Section XI, HTSUSA, provides:
(A) Products of chapters 56 to 63 containing two or
more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting
wholly of that textile material which would be selected
under note 2 to this section for the classification of
a product of chapters 50 to 55 consisting of the same
Note 2(A), Section XI, to which Subheading Note 2(A) refers
(A) Goods classifiable in chapters 50 to 55 or in
heading 5809 or 5902 and of a mixture of two or more
textile materials are to be classified as if consisting
wholly of that one textile material which predominates
by weight over each other single textile material.
In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 082946 of December 9,
1988, we stated that in the absence of evidence to the contrary,
classification...of a 50% cotton and a 50% man-made blended
fabric would be based on GRI 3(c) and require duty payment based
on the subheading which occurs last in numerical order among
those which equally merit consideration.
In HRL 082863 of October 3, 1988, we determined that if a
question arises as to which fiber predominates by weight, the
merchandise may, in the discretion of the classifying officer, be
submitted to a Customs laboratory for analysis and classified in
accordance with the results of that analysis. In this instance,
the bed sheet sets were submitted to a Customs laboratory and the
results indicated that polyester predominates by weight.
The burden of proof rests with the importer to overcome the
presumption that Customs has the expertise and knowledge to use
standard methods and analysis techniques to obtain accurate
results. The test methods used by both labs were similar and
standard for the industry. All samples were taken from the
shipment, and both Customs and the importer had two tests done.
Despite the fact that the importer submitted an independent lab
report that conflicted with Customs' finding, the importer still
did not prove that the Customs lab report was invalid.
The subject merchandise is properly classified under
subheading 6302.22, HTSUSA, other bed linen printed: of man-made
fibers. The bed sheets are classified under subheading
6302.22.2010, and the pillowcases under subheading 6302.22.2020.
The applicable rate of duty is 77.5% ad valorem, and the textile
category is 666.
The protest should be denied. A copy of the this decision
should be furnished to the protestant with the Form 19 notice of
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division