Ms. Doris Sun
OEC Logistics, Inc.
133-33 Brookville Boulevard, Suite 306
Rosedale, NY 11422
RE: The tariff classification, country of origin and marking of an eye mask and pillowcase; 19 CFR 102.21(c)(2); tariff shift
Dear Ms. Sun:
In your letter dated May 24, 2022, you requested a ruling on the tariff classification, country of origin, and marking of an eye mask, pillowcase and neck pillow on behalf of your client, Yumark Enterprises Corp. Your request has been split into two rulings. Ruling number N326344 will address the classification of item PID-G83P7R, the neck pillow. This ruling will address the classification of the eye mask, item PID-2KL617, and pillowcase, item PID-8L3YXX. Samples of the products were provided to this office and will be retained for training purposes.
Item #PID-2KL617, described as an “eye mask,” is intended to be worn over the eyes to block out light. The eye mask is composed of three layers. The front and back layers are comprised of a 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex knitted, dyed black, fabric. In between the fabric layers is a 100 percent polyester padding. The 7¾ x 4 inch eye mask features a black 100 percent spandex elasticized knitted band with plastic slide buckles so that the mask can be adjusted to comfortably fit around the head. The edges of the eye mask are finished with a black 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex knitted binding.
Item #PID-8L3YXX, described as a “pillowcase,” is a pillowcase intended to protect the pillow from dust, dirt and stains. The pillowcase is made of 100 percent polyester plain woven, dyed, fabric. The fabric is neither printed nor napped. The front side of the pillowcase consists of one rectangular piece of fabric, measuring approximately 20 x 26 inches. The back of the pillowcase consists of two smaller rectangular pieces sewn to the front panel along the edges. The two back panels overlap in the center by approximately two inches creating a center opening where the pillow is to be inserted. The finished pillowcase contains no embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping or applique work.
The manufacturing operations for the eye mask are as follows:
- 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex fabric is knitted and dyed.
- 100 percent polyester padding is produced.
- 100 percent spandex elasticized band is knitted and dyed.
- Plastic slide buckles are produced.
- Fabric, padding, band, and buckles are exported to Cambodia.
- Sewing thread is produced.
- Fabric and padding cut to shape and size.
- Plastic buckles attached to the band.
- Fabric, padding, and band sewn to create an eye mask.
- The finished eye mask is packaged and shipped to the United States.
The manufacturing operations for the pillowcase are as follows:
- 100 percent polyester fabric is woven and dyed.
- Fabric is exported to Cambodia.
- Sewing thread is produced.
- Fabric cut to shape and size.
- Fabric is sewn and hemmed to create a pillowcase.
- The finished pillowcase is packaged and shipped to the United States.
ISSUES:What is the tariff classification, country of origin determination, and country of origin marking of the subject merchandise?
You have suggested that the eye mask should be classified under subheading 6307.90.9875, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other face masks: Other.” We disagree. The item is not a face mask. The applicable subheading for the eye mask will be 6307.90.9891, HTSUS, which provides for “Other made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 7 percent ad valorem.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 6307.90.9891, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 7.5 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.15, in addition to subheading 6307.90.9891, HTSUS, listed above.
You have suggested that the pillowcase should be classified under subheading 6302.32.2020, HTSUS, which provides for “Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: Other bed linen: Of man-made fibers: Other: Pillowcases, other than bolster cases: Not napped.” We agree. The rate of duty will be 11.4 percent ad valorem.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 6302.32.2020, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 15 percent ad valorem rate of duty under 9903.88.16, HTSUS; however, this provision was suspended, effective December 15, 2019, and is not currently applicable. See 84 Fed. Reg. 243 (December 18, 2019).
You have also requested the classification of the above items when entered and packaged together as a gift set.
The term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” is defined within the meaning of General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) and the Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the HTSUS, which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. EN X to GRI 3(b) provides that “[f]or the purposes of this Rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which: (a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).” “Goods put up in sets for retail sale” are classified according to the component, or components taken together, which can be regarded as conferring on the set as a whole its essential character. When the essential character cannot be determined, the set is classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.
When put up for sale together, the eye mask and pillowcase meet GRI 3(b) set criteria (a) and (c), that is, they “consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings” and “are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to the user without repacking.” However, although the subject articles are intended to be used while sleeping, they do not meet GRI 3(b) set criteria (b), that is, they do not “consist of products or articles put together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity.” The pillowcase is used to protect the pillow from dust, dirt and stains while the eye mask is used to block out light while the user is resting or sleeping. Since the subject merchandise, when imported and sold together at retail, fails to meet GRI 3(b) set criterion (b), each article must be classified separately as indicated above.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, including information on exclusions and their effective dates, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.
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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN - LAW AND ANALYSIS:Section 334 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (“URAA”) (codified at 19 U.S.C. § 3592), enacted on December 8, 1994, provides the rules of origin for textile and apparel products entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on and after July 1, 1996. Section 334 of the URAA was amended by section 405 of title IV of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, Public Law 106-200, 114 Stat. 251. Section 102.21 of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 C.F.R. § 102.21), implements the URAA. Thus, the country of origin of a textile or apparel products will be determined by the sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of section 102.21.Paragraph (c)(1) states, “The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced.” As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.Paragraph (c)(2) states, “Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each of the foreign materials incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section:” Paragraph (e) in pertinent part states,The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section:
HTSUS Tariff shift and/or other requirements
6301-6306 Except for goods of heading 6302 through 6304 provided for in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, the country of origin of a good classifiable under heading 6301 through 6306 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric making process.
6307.90 The country of origin of a good classifiable under subheading 6307.90 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric-making process.
Subheading 6302.32, HTSUS, is not included in the paragraph (e)(2) (19 C.F.R. § 102.21(e)(2)) exception to the above tariff rule and the fabrics comprising the eye mask and the pillowcase are all formed in China; therefore, the country of origin for both the eye mask and pillowcase as determined under 19 C.F.R. § 102.21(c)(2) and 19 C.F.R. § 102.21(e)(1) is China.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARKING: The marking statute, Section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134, of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 134), implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. § 1304.
Section 134.41(b) (19 C.F.R. § 134.41(b)), mandates that the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. must be able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. Section 134.1(d), defines the ultimate purchaser as generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. If an imported article is to be sold at retail in its imported form, the purchaser at retail is the ultimate purchaser. In this case, the ultimate purchaser of the eye mask and/or pillowcase is the consumer who purchases the product at retail or, if distributed as a gift, the recipient of the gift.
With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.
An article is excepted from marking under section 134.32(d) (19 C.F.R. § 134.32(d)), if the marking of a container of such article will reasonably indicate the origin of such article. Accordingly, marking the cardstock display cards in which the eye mask and pillowcase are imported and sold to the ultimate purchaser in lieu of marking the individual articles themselves is an acceptable country of origin marking provided the port director is satisfied that the items will remain on the marked cardstock display card until it reaches the ultimate purchaser.
The submitted sample is printed in bold lettering, “Origin: Made in China; Further processed in Cambodia”, on the back of a hanging card sleeve in which the “Light-Blocking Eye Mask & Pillowcase Set” is packaged. Separate packaging was not provided for each item when sold separately. The marking on the submitted packaging satisfies the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 C.F.R. § 134 and is acceptable marking for the packaged set.
Please note that separate Federal Trade Commission marking requirements exist regarding country of origin, fiber content, and other information that must appear on many textile items. You should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Enforcement, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20580, for information on the applicability of these requirements to this item. Information can also be found at the FTC website www.ftc.gov.
The applicable subheading for the eye mask is 6307.90.9891, HTSUS, dutiable at 7 percent ad valorem and subject to an additional 7.5 percent ad valorem rate of duty under 9903.88.15, HTSUS. The applicable subheading for the pillowcase is 6302.32.2020, HTSUS, dutiable at 11.4 percent ad valorem. The country of origin of the eye mask and pillowcase is China. The submitted marking including the printed words “Origin: Made in China; Further processed in Cambodia” is acceptable.
The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.
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, please contact National Import Specialist Kristine Dodge via email at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division