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HQ 082469

November 30, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082469 CB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.49.0010

Steven S. Weiser, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Request for reconsideration of NYRL 828821

Dear Mr. Weiser:

This letter is in response to your letter of June 17, 1988, on behalf of Liz Claiborne, Inc., requesting a reconsideration of NYRL 828821 issued April 21, 1988, in which the components of a women's two-piece dress were classified separately under provisions for blouses and dresses.


The submitted sample, style no. 104330, consists of two components, one a full length garment, the other a blouse designed to be worn over the other garment. The full length component features pullover styling, scoop neckline, no sleeves, dropped waist and a pleated skirt bottom. The pleated portion is 100% woven silk, the balance 100% nylon taffeta. The blouse component, consists of fabric identical to the pleated skirt portion. It features a full front opening secured by eight plastic buttons and metal snap, long sleeves with french cuffs joined by metal buttons, round neckline without collar and a straight hemmed bottom.

In your letter you claim that the two pieces are classifiable together as a dress. You claim that although this style does not meet the requirements of Note 3(a), Chapter 62, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for ensembles because the lower portion does not consist of a skirt, the HTSUSA has no provision requiring that garments imported in sets be classified separately. You also claim that both GRI 3(b) and GRI 1 require that the polyester
portion of this style be disregarded in its classification. You further claim that even if the two pieces are separately classifiable, the tank top/skirt portion is not classifiable as a dress because it is not an outerwear garment to be worn alone, but rather should be classified as other garments under heading 6211, HTSUSA.


Are the two pieces of classifiable separately or together? If separately, under what headings are they classifiable?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the starting point is the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relevant section or chapter notes, and then, if necessary, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.

Textile apparel, not knitted or crocheted, is generally provided for in the headings of Chapter 62, Section XI, HTSUSA. Note 13 of this section provides: "Unless the context otherwise requires textile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own headings even if put up for retail sale."

Neither the tariff itself not the Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, provide any clarification as to what constitutes a dress. The Customs Service has taken the position, set out in the Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 13/88, that a dress is a one-piece garment. The two pieces of style no. 104330 are classifiable separately, pursuant to Note 13.

We agree that, as stated in NYRL 828821, the blouse portion is classified under heading 6206, HTSUSA. However, we do not agree with the classification of the full-length portion as a dress under heading 6204, HTSUSA. The Category Guidelines indicate that a dress is considered to be a one-piece garment appropriate for wear without other outer garments. This description does not fit the submitted sample. While the skirt portion is of a patterned silk fabric, matching the blouse, the top portion is of a plain, man-made fiber lining fabric that is not intended, or likely, to be visible during normal wear. The garment is not classifiable as a dress. Linings are not usually considered in the classification of garments. The full-length garment is therefore classified according to the silk skirt portion.


NYRL 828821 is modified in part. The full-length portion of style no. 104330 is classified under subheading 6211.49.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for other women's garments, containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste. The rate of duty is 7.8 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the tariff number) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, the importer should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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 the importer check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.9), the ruling letter of April 21, 1988 (NYRL 828821) is modified in conformity with the foregoing.


John Durant, Director

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