United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0083581 - HQ 0083674 > HQ 0083605

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 083605

March 3, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083605 PR


TARIFF NO: (no tariff number used

Mrs. Doreen Wai
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W. Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Determining fiber content of a garment under the TSUSA

Dear Mrs. Wai:

This is in reply to your letter of January 30, 1989, concerning the fiber content of certain pants imported prior to January 1, 1989.


Pan Pacific Wholesalers Inc. imported six shipments of women's pants which were shipped from Hong Kong in 1987 with category 847 export licenses. Customs officers at the port of Los Angeles required textile restraint category 348 licenses because a Customs laboratory determined the fiber content of style 578 to be 48 percent ramie, 39 percent cotton, and 13 percent man-made fibers, and the fiber content of style 1572 to be 49 percent ramie, 42 percent cotton, and 9 percent man- made fibers.

You believe that the Customs laboratory incorrectly included pockets in calculating the fiber composition of the pants. According to a Hong Kong laboratory, fabrics which were used in making the outer shells of styles 578 and 1572 were analyzed and determined to be 54.7 percent ramie and 45.3 percent cotton, and 53.8 percent ramie and 46.2 percent cotton, respectively. The pockets were determined to be 65 percent polyester and 35 percent rayon. Hong Kong's practice is not to include trimmings and pockets in determining fiber content of garments. Accordingly, it is Hong Kong's position that the export licenses for textile restraint category 847 should have been accepted by Customs officers in Los Angeles.


The issue presented is whether, prior to January 1, 1989, textile restraint categories were determined based on the fiber content of the imported garment's outer shell or on the fiber content of the entire garment.


Prior to January 1, 1989, merchandise imported into the United States was subject to the provisions of the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA). Under that tariff system, both Schedule 3, Headnote 10(a)(ii), and Schedule 3, Statistical Note 3(a)(ii), provided that the term "subject to cotton restraints" referred to articles in which the cotton and man-made fibers equaled or exceeded 50 percent by weight of the fibers in the article and the cotton components equaled or exceeded the man-made fiber components. This is in consonance with Article 12 of the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles (MFA), under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which refers to those fibers which represent 50 percent or more by weight "of the product."

The United States has, under the TSUSA, consistently considered the weight of an entire garment, including pockets and trim, in determining the applicability of our international textile restraint agreements.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which became effective January 1, 1989, utilizes different rules of classification. Those rules generally require that pockets and trim not be regarded in the classification of garments. However, since the merchandise in question was imported prior to the effective date of the HTSUSA, the rules in effect under the TSUSA govern.

Where there is a conflict in the analysis of imported merchandise between a private laboratory and a Customs laboratory, and we are satisfied that the Customs laboratory utilized the proper method of analysis, the Customs Service will adhere to the results of the Customs laboratory. In this instance, we also note that the Customs laboratory tested samples of the actual imported merchandise, while the private laboratory tested fabrics that were stated to be the fabrics used in the imported pants.


On the basis of the above, we conclude that the Customs officers at the port of Los Angeles properly assigned textile category 348 to the imported pants.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling