Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Customs to Revoke 67 Ruling Letters, Says that Certain Textile Costumes Were Incorrectly Classified as Duty-Free

Today U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposed to revoke 67 Binding Ruling Letters relating to certain textile costumes. In the rulings in question, CBP stated that certain textile costumes were classified in heading 9505, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"), as festive articles, which are duty-free. However, after carefully reviewing samples and photos representative of the textile costumes that were classified in heading 9505, HTSUS, Customs believes that these rulings were issued in error and contrary to established precedent. Customs has now determined that these costumes should have been excluded from classification in heading 9505, HTSUS, as "fancy dress" pursuant to Note 1(e), Chapter 95, HTSUS, and that these textile costumes are correctly classified as "wearing apparel" in Chapters 61 and 62, HTSUS, and, therefore, subject to the rates of duty set forth for wearing apparel.

The classification of textile costumes, such a Hallowe'en fancy dress was the subject of litigation from 199 to 2003. The case Rubie’s Costume Co. v. United States, produced the following guidance:

  • flimsy, non-durable textile costumes that are not recognized as ordinary articles of apparel are classified under 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA (flimsy); and

  • textile costumes that exceed the flimsy, non-durable standards, or are recognized as ordinary articles of apparel are classified in Chapters 61 or 62, HTSUSA (well-made).

Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service may read more by CLICKING HERE. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at

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