Mr. Joseph Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153
RE: The tariff classification of plastic hangers.
Dear Mr. Hoffacker:
In your letter dated April 21, 2003, on behalf of Golden Touch Group, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
Samples of four plastic hangers were submitted with your letter. Styles 484, 485, 340 and 491 are all top hangers. Styles 484 and 485 have metal swivel top hooks for hanging over a garment rod and are 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. Style 484 measures approximately 3/8 inch in thickness along the ridge and style 485 measures approximately ¼ inch along the ridge. Styles 340 and 491 are of flimsier construction, measuring approximately 3/16 inch along the ridge and made entirely of plastics in a one piece molded construction. The samples will be retained for reference purposes.
You indicate in your letter that the hangers will be imported from various countries. For purposes of this reply it is assumed that all are countries with which the United States has Normal Trade Relations.
The applicable subheading for styles 484, 485, 340 and 491 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 rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.
You ask whether the hangers, when imported holding apparel, may be classified separately 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. Two of the hangers submitted with your request, styles 484 and 485, are 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, styles 484 and 485 may be classified separately in subheading 3923.90.0080, HTS, even when imported with garments.
Hangers 340 and 491 are not constructed as substantially as the hangers in HQ 964963, 964964 and 964948. This office has no evidence that hangers of this construction are suitable for commercial reuse, and you have not submitted any information or documentation substantiating commercial reuse of these particular styles or of styles of similar construction. If you have such evidence, you may resubmit your request with supporting documentation. Such documentation must include information demonstrating the number of times such hangers are reused for the commercial shipment of garments. Hangers that are not suitable for reuse in a commercial sense are classifiable with the garments with which they are imported.
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