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HQ 083507

March 17, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083507 SM 835391


TARIFF NO.: HTSUS 6211.43.0060

Ms. Francie Lutwin
MJM Group Inc.
1400 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: Tariff classification of women's top, skirt, and hanky

Dear Ms. Lutwin:

Your letter of January 4, 1989, to our New York office, requesting a tariff classification ruling for certain apparel, Style 53566, has been referred to this office for reply. You state that the fabric is Korean and that the garments will be produced in Sri Lanka.


Style 53566 consists of three pieces described as a women's top with a hanky and skirt, all of 100 percent poly- ester. A New York ruling was issued for the skirt. File 835391. The articles before us for consideration are the top and hanky. The top has a full-front seven-button opening, short sleeves, a patch pocket on either side at the lower edge, and no collar. A small breast pocket is set in on the left side. The "hanky" is a triangular piece of contrasting fabric tacked to the pocket with a plastic bullet but not sewn in.


The question raised is whether the "hanky" and top are classified separately or together.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first according to the headings of the tariff and any relative section and chapter notes, and then, if nothing in the headings or notes requires otherwise, according to the remaining GRI's.

Section XI of the tariff provides for textile articles generally. Note 13 of this section requires that textile gar- ments of different headings be classified under their own headings, even if put up in sets for retail sale, unless the context requires otherwise. Certain sets of garments of iden- tical fabric may be classified as ensembles; however, the skirt and top of Style 53566 are not of identical fabric. The top and skirt are considered garments and are provided for under different headings; they must therefore be classified separately. The classification of the skirt has already been determined.

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for blouses. However, the Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, indicate that this heading is not intended to include garments with pockets below the waist, such as the top of Style 53566. This articles, there- fore, falls under heading 6211, HTSUSA, a provision for "other" garments.

The "hanky" does not fall under heading 6213, HTSUSA, a provision for handkerchiefs, because Note 7 of Chapter 62 requires that articles classified under that heading be at least approximately square. The "hanky" is not considered a garment, but would, if considered separately, fall under head- ing 6217, HTSUSA, a provision for other made up clothing accessories.

Since no single heading provides for both the top and the hanky, classification cannot be determined under GRI 1. GRI 3 provides generally for the classification of goods that appear classifiable under more than one heading. GRI 3(b) provides for the treatment of composite goods made up of dif- ferent components even if the components are separable, as long as they are adapted to one another, are mutually comple- mentary, and together form a whole that would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. GRI 3(b) provides fur- ther that goods consisting of different components are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character.

The description of composite goods fits the top and hanky. The two pieces are separable but are adapted to one another and mutually complementary. First of all, one is the reverse print of the other, the top being predominantly black with white and the hanky being predominantly white with black. Second, the hanky is sized just to fit the pocket and protrude slightly for a decorative effect. Further, the hanky would have virtually no use apart from the top and is unlikely to be sold separately.

Here the essential character of the combination is pro- vided by the top. The hanky is merely an accessory accenting the top and would not be the main reason for the existence of the combination or the primary motivating factor governing the purchase of the two articles. The top and hanky are therefore classified under the provision covering the top.


The top and hanky are classified under subheading 6211. 43.0060, HTSUSA, textile category 641, a provision for other women's garments of man-made fibers.

Because of the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the tariff number) and the textile restraint categories, you should contact your local Customs office before importing this merchandise, to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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