Mr. Frank J. Desiderio
Mr. Joseph M. Spraragen
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
245 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397
RE: The tariff classification of plastic clothes hangers from various countries.
Dear Messrs. Desiderio and Spraragen:
In your letter dated September 29, 2003, on behalf of Tommy Hilfiger USA, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.
Five sample hangers were provided with your letter. Styles 479-0835-4 and Style 3319 (0841-12) are clear plastic 19-inch top hangers. Style 484-0590-3 is a clear plastic 17-inch top hanger. All three top hangers have a metal swivel top hook for hanging over a garment rod, and a molded hook in the lower middle portion through which a bottom hanger may be secured to facilitate the hanging of two-piece garments. These three styles are of substantial construction with the molded plastic ridges of styles 479-0835-4 and 484-0590-3 measuring approximately 3/8 inch, and the molded plastic ridges of style 3319 (0841-12) measuring approximately ½ inch.
Styles 6014 (0845) and 6214 (0207) are plastic 14-inch bottom hangers with a metal swivel top hook for hanging over a garment rod. These hangers have plastic clips that operate by means of a metal spring to secure shorts, pants or skirts. These hangers are of substantial construction with the molded plastic ridges measuring approximately 3/8 inch.
The hangers are made in various countries. The rate of duty provided below is the rate applicable to those hangers made in a country with which the United States has Normal Trade Relations. As you requested, the samples will be returned.
The applicable subheading for the above plastic hangers 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. The five hangers submitted with your request are substantially similar to the hangers that were the subject of HQ 964963 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, the above hangers may be classified separately in subheading 3923.90.0080, HTS, even when imported with garments.
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