Mr. Roy Ian Delbyck
Law Offices of Roy Ian Delbyck
215 Benson Circle
Mill Valley, CA 94941

RE: The tariff classification of plastic hangers from Indonesia and China

Dear Mr. Delbyck:

In your letter dated November 5, 2008, on behalf of Eason International Limited, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two sample hangers were included with your letter. Style 340 is a top hanger made entirely of polystyrene plastic in a one piece molded construction. It measures approximately 3/16 inch in thickness and 16 inches in length. Style W6512 is a bottom hanger made of polypropylene plastic that incorporates a plastic clamp on each side to hold slacks or a skirt. It measures approximately 5/16 inch in thickness and 11 ¾ inches in length. The bar, top rod hook and the back halves of the plastic clamps are formed as a one piece molded construction. The front halves of the clamps are separate plastic pieces that are joined with the back halves by means of a metal piece that secures onto the middle of the clamp sections to impart a spring-type action. These two styles of hangers are of a type principally used for the transport of garments. Style 340 is made in Indonesia. Style W6512 is made in China.

The applicable subheading for the hangers, styles 340 and W6512, will be 3923.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable under subheading 3923.90.0080, HTSUS, which are products of Indonesia and directly imported from Indonesia may be entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. The GSP is subject to modification and periodic suspension, which may affect the status of your transaction at the time of entry for consumption or withdrawal from warehouse. To obtain current information on GSP, check our Web site at and search for the term “GSP”.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at

You ask whether the hangers, when imported holding apparel, are separately classifiable from the apparel. General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 5(b) of the HTSUS 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.

Style 340 is of a flimsy one piece molded construction that is not suitable for repetitive use for the commercial shipment of garments. This style hanger is of a kind normally used for packing garments, and should be classified with the garments with which it is imported.

Styles W6512 is of more substantial construction than style 340, but is not constructed as substantially as the hangers of HQ 964963, 964964 and 964948, dated June 19, 2001, that were ruled to be suitable for repetitive use for the conveyance of goods. Style W6512 has an integral molded plastic top hook rather than a wire swivel hook for hanging over a garment rod. 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 this particular style 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 repeated reuse of the hangers for the commercial shipment of garments. This office notes, however, that you state that “given the cost of shipping and other logistical considerations it is not commercially feasible to send the hangers left at the store back to the hanger companies in Asia for reuse.”

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
National Commodity Specialist Division