CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964948 GOB

Mr. John A. Terc
May Merchandising Company
May Department Stores International Inc.
615 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

RE: NY F86629 revoked; Plastic hangers

Dear Mr. Terc:

This letter is with respect to New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) F86629 dated May 30, 2000, issued to you by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), of certain plastic hangers.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY F86629 was published in the Customs Bulletin on May 2, 2001. Two comments were received in response to the notice. They are discussed in HQ 964963 of this date, which was also the subject of the May 2, 2001 Customs Bulletin notice.


In NY F86629, the goods are described as follows:

... a hanger molded from K-resin plastic, with a metal swivel top hook. It is identified as style 3484, 17 inch top hanger ... The sample hanger is of relatively substantial construction. You have submitted a videotape which supports your claim that the hangers are not sold with the garments but are part of a hanger recovery program for recycling and reuse. You have also submitted documents verifying your claim that a substantial portion of the imported hangers are forwarded to a hanger supply company which sorts and sanitizes the hangers and then sells them to garment vendors for use in packing, shipping, and transporting other garments.

We assume that the hangers at issue here are of the same class or kind as the hangers in HQ 964963.

In NY F86629, Customs determined that the plastic hangers were classified in subheading 3926.90.98, HTSUS. We have reviewed that classification and have determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.


What is the tariff classification of the subject plastic hangers?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI’s may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

3923 Articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics ...:

3923.90.00 Other.

* * * * * *

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914:

3926.90 Other:

3926.90.98 Other.

GRI 5(b), HTSUS, provides as follows:

Subject to the provisions of rule 5(a) above [which are not pertinent here], 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 packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

EN 39.23 provides in pertinent part: “This heading covers all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance of all kinds of products.”

EN 39.26 provides in pertinent part: “This heading covers articles, not elsewhere specified or included, of plastics ...”

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1 (a), HTSUS, provides as follows:

1. In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires-

(a) a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use.

In NY F86629, Customs stated that : “The hangers are considered to be suitable for repetitive use, and thus classifiable separately from the garments with which they are imported.”

We have previously held that certain hangers which are of the same class or kind as the subject hangers (i.e., plastic hangers of substantial construction with metal tops) are clearly suitable for repetitive use within the meaning of GRI 5(b). See HQ 961973 dated August 13, 1999. Our finding in HQ 961973 was limited to the following facts: “ 1. The hangers are of relatively substantial construction; 2. A substantial portion of the styles suitable for reuse is forwarded to another company which commingles them with new hangers and sells them to garment vendors ... for use in packing, shipping, and transportation of garments.” See also HQ 114360 dated June 18, 1998, where we held that certain plastic hangers were “physically capable of, and suitable for, reuse or repetitive use.”

In HQ 961973, we stated: “Insofar as classification in heading 3923, HTSUS, is concerned, it is Customs position that the articles of that heading are ‘to be used primarily as temporary packaging for the merchandise contained therein [and] [o]nce the purchase was made, the [articles] would be discarded’.” We have reconsidered the scope of heading 3923, HTSUS. We now believe that there is no requirement that goods of heading 3923, HTSUS, be used primarily as temporary packaging. Further, heading 3923, HTSUS, does not exclude goods that are suitable for repetitive use.

It is Customs position that the principal use of the subject plastic hangers is for the conveyance of garments. The hangers are substantial enough to be used repetitively for the conveyance of garments. Accordingly, we find that the hangers are described in heading 3923, HTSUS, which covers articles for the conveyance or packing of goods. Therefore, the hangers are not described in heading 3926, HTSUS, because that heading covers articles not elsewhere specified or included. See EN 39.26, excerpted above. The articles at issue here are included in heading 3923, HTSUS. We note additionally that heading 3923 is more specific than heading 3926.

The subject plastic hangers are classified in subheading 3923.90.00, HTSUS, as: “Articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics ... : ... Other.”


The subject plastic hangers are classified in subheading 3923.90.00, HTSUS, as: “Articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics ... : ... Other.”


NY F86629 is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division