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HQ 084021

July 11, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084021 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6209.20.5045, 6111.20.6030

Mr. Leonard Saul
Tawil Associates Inc.
Mayfair Infants Wear
100 Wesley White Drive
Carteret, New Jersey 07008

RE: Classification of style 1253R shirt-panty-suspenders set for infant boys

Dear Mr. Saul:

This ruling is in response to your letter of March 8, 1989, requesting the classification of style 1253R shirt-panty-suspenders set for infant boys.


Style 1253R is a boy's two-piece set consisting of a chief weight cotton knit shirt and a chief weight cotton denim panty (or diaper cover) with detachable, synthetic fiber suspenders. The shirt has a partial snap opening that extends from the neck to the shoulder, short sleeves, shoulder loops, a rib knit collar, rib knit capping at the sleeves, and a hemmed bottom. The denim panty has a fully elasticized waistband, three buttons for the attachment of the suspenders, and hemmed leg openings. The button-on suspenders are adjustable and elasticized. The style will be imported from Hong Kong in boys' sizes 0 to 24 months.


Are the suspenders classified with the denim panty by application of GRI 3(b) as a set or as composite goods?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance
with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section and chapter notes and then, if nothing in the headings or notes otherwise requires, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.

Note 13, Section XI, directs that textile garments are separately classified in their own headings, even if put up in sets for retail sale, unless the context otherwise requires. This Note, however, does not include accessories.

In this instance, we are dealing with babies' garments which are classifiable as imported as parts of sets under the appropriate headings.

GRI 3 provides for goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. The panty is classifiable in heading 6209.20.50, HTSUSA, which provides for babies' garments and clothing accessories of cotton, other, other. The suspenders are classifiable in heading 6209.30.30, HTSUSA, which provides for babies' garments and clothing accessories of synthetic fibers, other, other.

Although the panty and suspenders are classifiable under the same heading, they are classifiable under different subheadings. GRI 6 provides that for legal purposes, classification of goods in the subheading of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes, and mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. GRI 6 thus incorporates GRIs 1 through 5 in classifying goods at the subheading level. Since GRI 6 uses the phrase "for legal purposes" the preceding GRIs are to be applied at the level necessary for the final legal classification of the goods for tariff purposes. GRI 6 requires the use of GRI 3 at the eight digit level in the HTSUSA, since it is that level at which the classification of the merchandise is ultimately determined.

GRI 3(a) provides that when two or more headings are under consideration, the one providing the most specific description of the merchandise is preferred. However, when the headings refer to part only of the goods, as in this case, they are considered equally specific.

GRI 3(b) states:

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.

In determining whether the suspenders and panty are a set or composite goods, we must look to the Explanatory Notes which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level. The Explanatory Notes for GRI 3(b) state:

For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

We believe that the suspenders and panty fall within the definition of composite goods given in the Explanatory Notes. The suspenders are unique to the panty. They connect at the back of the panty by a singular button and at the front by two buttons. The suspenders match the buttons in color and are, of course, coordinated in size with the panty. We do not believe these type of suspenders in the size range involved are normally sold as separate accessory items.


The panty and suspenders are composite goods. The suspenders are classifiable with the panty in subheading 6209.20.5045, HTSUSA, which provides for babies' garments and clothing accessories of cotton, other, other, imported as parts of sets. The textile category number is 239, and the rate of duty is 9.9 percent ad valorem.

The shirt is classifiable in subheading 6111.20.6030, HTSUSA, which provides for babies' knitted or crocheted garments and clothing accessories of cotton, other, other, imported as parts of sets. The textile category number is 239, and the rate of duty is 8.6 percent ad valorem.

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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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