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HQ 084336

August 10, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084336 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2065, 6211.43.0060

Ms. Donna L. Shira
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 67 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Classification of Women's Woven Pullovers

Dear Ms. Shira:

This letter is in reference to your letter of April 10, 1989 to our New York office, concerning the tariff classification of women's woven tops, styles 6417 and 6277, made in Hong Kong, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated


The merchandise at issue is two styles of women's woven pullovers; specifically styles
6417 and 6277. Style 6417 is a woman's pullover manufactured from a 65 percent polyester, 35 percent cotton woven fabric. The pullover features a rib knit mock turtleneck, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs and a rib knit waist . The pullover also features a paisley design on the front panel, as well as a label in the lower corner, with the words "World's Stratos Clothing."

Style 6277 is also a woman's woven pullover, manufactured from 100 percent cotton knit and woven fabrics. The pullover features a partial front opening at the neckline with a six button placket that buttons left over right, rib knit collar, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs, and a rib knit waist. The bottom half of the front panel is cable knit; the balance of the garment is woven except for the rib knit trims .


Whether the commodities at issue are classifiable as woven or knit articles of apparel for men or women.

Style 6417

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for classification of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted, women's or girls' blouses, shirts, and shirt-blouses. The
Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. Explanatory Note 62.06 states that " .. . heading [6205] does not cover garments ... with a ribbed waistband or other means of tightening at the bottom of the garment."

As style 6417 is not covered by heading 6206, subheading 6211.43.0060, HTSUSA, provides for classification of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted, other garments, women's or girls', of man-made fibers, tops. Subheading 6211.42.00.50 provides for classification of similar articles made of cotton. The appropriate subhead ing hinges upon which textile material Style 6417 consists of for tariff purposes.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with
GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When ... goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b) 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) [which requires that goods be classified, if possible, under the more specific of the competing provisions], shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Subheading Note 2 to Section XI defines essential character for the purposes of
Chapters 56 through 63, by referencing Section Note 2 to Section XI, "as if [the article] consist[ed] wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material." Therefore, Style 6417 is considered to be wholly of man-made fibers (polyester) for the purposes of classification under the

Style 6277

Headings 6205 and 6206, HTSUSA, provide for the classification of men's or boys', and women's or girls', shirts, respectively. Categorization therefore hinges on whether Style 6277 is considered for males or females under the HTSUSA.
GRI 1 provides, in pertinent part, that " ... classification shall be determined accord ing to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...." Note 8 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, directs "[a]rticles of this Chapter which cannot be identified as either mens's or boys' garments or as women's or girls' garments ... to be classified in the headings concerning women's or girls' garments." Under this analysis, any gender- nonspecific garments of Chapter 62, including the instant merchandise, must be classified as a woman's or girl's article.

However, the Explanatory Notes, as stated above, constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts from the various CCC countries. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA.

Explanatory Note 62.05 states that:

[s]hirts having a front opening on the neckline which fastens or overlaps left over right are considered to be shirts for men or boys. By application of
Chapter Note 8, shirts which cannot be identified as for men or boys or women or girls are to be classified as women's or girls' garments. [Emphasis added]

The language of Chapter Note 8 requires classification in women's or girls' categories only when articles cannot be identified as for males or for females. Explanatory Note
62.05 aids the classifier in determining whether the garment was manufactured for males or females; in essence, this Explanatory Note allows no leeway when the type of fastening referred to exists. As a result, Style 6277, with a front opening fastening left over right, must be classified as a man's or boy's shirt.


Style 6417 is classified under Subheading 6211.43.0060, HTSUSA, textile category 641, as track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments, other garments, women's or girls', of man-made fibers, tops, other than camisoles, bustiers, bandos and similar type garments. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem. Style 6277 is clas sified under Subheading 6205.20.2065, textile category 340, as men's or boys' shirts, of cotton, other, other, men's. The applicable rate of duty is 21 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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