September 26, 2000
CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964343 mbg
TARIFF NO.: 6302.10.0008
Ms. Joanna Cheung Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office 1520 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Re: Request for reconsideration of classification; Knit Bed Sheets
Dear Ms. Cheung:
This letter is in response to correspondence from your office, dated June 30, 2000, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of knit bed sheets. A sample of the merchandise was submitted with your request and will be returned under separate cover.
The submitted merchandise is 100 percent cotton jersey knit bed sheets. The fitted sheet is fully elasticized and the edges of the flat sheet are finished with a strip of knit fabric. Both sheets are printed with a butterfly design and the phrase “Butterfly . . . flutter by.” The sheets are imported from Hong Kong.
The entry of the knit bed sheets was rejected by U.S. Customs on June 6, 2000, for failure to provide the proper visa. On that date, U.S. Customs rejected the merchandise and stated that a visa for Category 362 was required for entry. You disagree with this claim and state that the proper visa category number for the subject knit sheets is 361. You state that visa category number 362 “only covers bedspreads and quilts according to the agreed classification. “
What is the proper classification for the submitted knit bed sheets?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.
Customs would like to emphasize that classification of goods in the HTSUSA is based on the terms of the headings and not on a comparison of the textile restraint categories. Bed sheets are provided for in heading 6302, HTSUSA, and in addition, the HTS provides a statistical breakout for knitted bed linen in subheading 6203.10, HTSUSA.
The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. The EN state in regard to heading 6302, HTSUSA, that “bed linen” includes “sheets, pillowcases, bolster cases, eiderdown cases and mattress covers.” As sheets are eo nomine provided for within the provisions of heading 6302, HTSUSA, classification within this heading is proper.
Classification of a good determines the applicable textile category designation. In this case, the applicable textile category designation is 362. You contend that the proper textile category designation should be 361. However, heading 6302, HTSUSA, does have a statistical breakout for knit sheets of cotton and the corresponding textile category applicable to these goods is 362. As you letter addresses an inconsistency between the provisions of our tariff and the former Agreement between Hong Kong and the United States, we suggest that your office address these concerns to Mr. Richard Steinkamp, the Chairman for the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
HOLDING: The knit cotton bed sheets are classifiable in subheading 6302.10.0008, HTSUSA, textile category 362, the provision for “Bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: Bed linen, knitted or crocheted: Of Cotton: Sheets.”
The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.
Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.
John Durant, Director Commercial Rulings Division