In ruling NY N324666 (April 1, 2022), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the tariff classification of four different comforters made in Liechtenstein. The four comforters – named the Montreux, Valletto, Chalet, and Edelweiss comforters – are available in Twin (72″ x 92″), Queen (90″ x 96″), and King (108″ x 96″) sizes. They have down fill, 100% cotton shells, baffle-box construction, and are devoid of embroidery, lace, braid, edging, trimming, piping exceeding 6.35mm, or applique work. The Valleto and Chalet comforters contain primarily goose down, while the Montreux and Edelweiss comforters contain primarily duck down and eiderdown, respectively. Lastly, all four comforters were cut, sewn, filled, and finished in Liechtenstein.

Montreux Comforter

The distinguishing features of each comforter are provided below:

    • Shell Fabric: Cambric (100% cotton)
    • Thread count: 280
    • Fill: Pure big flakes duck down, white, 80% and balance duck feathers
  • Valletto Comforter
    • Shell Fabric: Satin (100% cotton)
    • Thread count: 400
    • Fill: European goose down, white, 85% and balance goose feathers
  • Chalet Comforter
    • Shell Fabric: Swiss batiste (100% cotton)
    • Thread count: 380
    • Fill: European goose down, white, 95% and balance goose feathers
  • Edelweiss Comforter
    • Shell Fabric: Batiste (100% cotton)
    • Thread count: 360
    • Fill: Eiderdown, 95% and balance duck feathers

In its determination, CBP referenced PILLOWTEX CORPORATION v. UNITED STATES, 983 F. Supp. 188, Slip Op. 97-146, dated October 28, 1997, aff’d, Slip Op. 98-1227 (Fed. Cir. 1999). CBP noted that in this case, the Court determined that comforters made of 100% cotton outer shells stuffed with duck down were to be classified pursuant to General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Code of the United States (HTSUS). GRI 3(b) states that “mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.” With regards to these types of comforters, the Court noted that the “essential character” of the comforters is the insulating quality, which is imparted by the down filling, and not the cotton shell.

As such, CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the 4 comforters is 9404.40.9005, HTSUS, which provides for “Mattress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered: Quilts, bedspreads, eiderdowns and duvets (comforters): Other: With outer shell of cotton.”  The general rate of duty is 12.8% ad valorem.