Mr. Ashton Udall
Global Sourcing Specialists
2226A Westborough Blvd #258
South San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: The tariff classification of Hem Gems from China

Dear Mr. Udall:

In your letter dated December 16, 2010, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The sample you submitted will be retained by this office.

The merchandise under consideration, called Hem Gems, consists of eight base metal clutch pins and a textile drawstring pouch, packed together in a cardboard box. Hem Gems are worn at the bottom of a trouser leg and enable the wearer to temporarily shorten the hemline. Each Hem Gem comprises a ¼ inch diameter, decorative head that is exposed at the bottom of the leg, an attached post that penetrates the folded fabric and a clutch that secures the Hem Gem in place. Four Hem Gems are used on each trouser leg. Each joins separate parts of the fabric together to create a new, shorter hemline. The retail package indicates that the product is reusable and removable and that it allows an individual to wear jeans with flats or heels without sewing or ironing. Hem Gems are available in two colors: gold and silver, and two designs: Classic Rivet and Pyramid Stud. The drawstring pouch is marked with the words “Hem Gems® Temporary Tailors,” and is intended for storing the product when not in use.

You indicate in your letter that you have been classifying the Hem Gems in subheading 7117.19.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for imitation jewelry. You are now proposing to classify the Hem Gems in subheading 9606.22.0000, HTSUS, which provides for buttons, press fasteners, snap fasteners and press-studs; and to classify the textile pouch in subheading 4202.92.1500, HTSUS, which covers travel, sports and similar bags.

We agree, that although decorative, the primary purpose of the Hem Gems is functional and not for personal adornment, therefore classification in subheading 7117.19.9000, HTSUS, is not appropriate. However, we disagree with your proposed classifications. Heading 9606 provides for buttons, press fasteners, snap fasteners and press-studs which “operate by means of a snap mechanism.” Explanatory Note (EN) 96.06 states that these are designed to be attached to garments by sewing or riveting. Hem Gems pierce the material and are held in place by the associated clasp. They are not intended and do not have the ability to function in the same manner as snap fasteners or press studs. Additionally, since they are packaged and sold together and the pouch is intended to store the product when not in use, we find that the Hem Gems and pouch are classified together according to GRI 3(b).

The applicable subheading for the Hem Gems with pouch will be 8308.90.9000, HTSUS, which provides for clasps, frames with clasps, buckles, buckle clasps, hooks, eyes, eyelets and the like and parts thereof, of base metal, of a kind used for clothing, footwear, awnings, handbags, travel goods of other made up articles…other, including parts, other. The rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.

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

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 Barbara Kaiser at (646) 733-3024.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division