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HQ 079880

June 10, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 079880 PAM


TARIFF NO.: 6203.42.4045

Gail Cumins, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Eighty Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Tariff classification of certain suspender pants

Dear Ms. Cumins:

This is in response to your letter of March 9, 1987, in which you request, on behalf of your client Noel Industries, Inc., a classification ruling on certain suspender pants from Sri Lanka. You state that they are for infants; however, the submitted sam- ple is in a boys' size. For purposes of classification under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), we assume that the pants are to be imported in infants' sizes, i.e., for children up to the age of six. Headnote 2, Part 6, Schedule 3, TSUS. For purposes of classification under the proposed Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), garments for children of a body height not over 86 centimeters are classified as babies' garments. Garments such as the pants in question, which can be identified as men's or boys' and which are for persons over 86 centimeters in height are classified as men's or boys'. Our ruling on this merchandise follows.


Can insubstantial suspenders be classified as composite goods along with the trousers that they are imported with and specially designed for attachment to via a hook and D ring contrivance?


The sample garment submitted for our analysis, Style 42A-986, is a pair of pants accompanied by adjustable suspenders designed to clip onto four D rings attached to the belt loops of the pants. The pants, of 60 percent cotton, 40 percent polyester, have front pleats, side seam pockets, and two rear pockets with flap and button closures. The fabric is not denim. The suspend- ers are of a different woven fabric from that of the pants. We assume that these articles are going to be imported together.


We have reviewed your submissions of March 9 and March 13, 1987, the sample garment, and the relevant provisions of the HTSUS. In our view, this merchandise should be classified according to General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) to the proposed HTSUS as composite goods.

Our National Import Specialist responsible for this line of merchandise conducted a study of these suspenders and determined that they lack any commercial identity. The suspenders and pants are not separately marketable because of their unique hook and D ring connection. Unless a normal pair of pants is significantly altered, the suspenders could not be used thereon. In fact, the use for which these suspenders are designed is so intertwined with that of the trousers that they lose their independent iden- tity.

In this instance, classification as composite goods is predi- cated upon our finding that the pants and the suspenders are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole that could not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

GRI 3(b) requires that composite goods be classified together under the heading for the component that provides the combination with its essential character. We conclude that the pants provide the essential character of these composite goods. The pants play a predominant role in establishing the use of this merchandise. The bulk, weight, and value of the pants are additional factors in determining that the essential character of these composite goods are provided by the pants. The pants are much bulkier, weigh more, and, although we have not been provided with a cost breakdown, are assumed to cost significantly more than the suspenders.


For the reasons stated above, Style 42A-986 is classified under subheading 6203.42.4045, HTSUS Annotated (HTSUSA), textile category 347, which provides for men's or boys' trousers, dutiable at the rate of 17.7 percent ad valorem. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service regarding the dutiable status of the merchandise under the proposed HTSUSA. If there are changes before enactment, this advice may not continue to be applicable.

The applicable item number from the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA) for Style 42A-986 is the provi- sion for other women's, girls' or infants' wearing apparel, not ornamented, of cotton, not knit, trousers and slacks, item 384.4770, textile category 347, dutiable at the rate of 16.5 percent ad valorem. For a discussion of the classification of similar merchandise as an entirety under the TSUSA see Head- quarters Ruling Letter 080000 dated March 10, 1988 (copy en- closed).


John Durant

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