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HQ 084796

September 5, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084796 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6204.62.4020; 6204.63.3510

Jesus A. Dulzaides
K.D.I. Manufacturing, Corp.
Room 204
P.O. Box 2112
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00905

RE: Tariff classification of women's trousers with suspenders

Dear Mr. Dulzaides:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 10, 1989 seeking tariff classification for ladies' trousers and suspenders. A sample was submitted for examination.


The sample at issue, Design 1353, is women's trousers with a pair of self fabric button-on suspenders composed of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent cotton woven fabric. The trousers have no belt, but have an elastic band at the waist. There is a front zipper with a button at the top and two front pockets. Each strap of the suspenders has loops at the front and can be attached to buttons on the trousers. The straps are joined at the back into a single strap that also has loops to fasten to buttons on the back of the trousers.


Whether the trousers and suspenders are classified together or separately?


Classification of merchandise 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 in accordance with terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section and chapter notes and, then, if the headings or notes do not otherwise require, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.

Textile apparel generally is provided for in Section XI, HTSUSA. Note 13 of this section provides that textile garments of different headings must be classified in their own headings even if put up in sets for retail sale. This note does not include accessories, such as suspenders, and therefore, is not applicable to the merchandise at issue.

Heading 6204, HTSUSA, includes women's trousers, while Heading 6212, HTSUSA, provides for suspenders. No single heading provides for trousers and suspenders together. Also, the merchandise is composed of two tubes and, therefore, cannot be classified in the heading which provides for jumpers. Thus, classification of the merchandise at issue cannot be determined in accordance with GRI 1.

GRI 3 provides 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 different components even if the components are separable, as long as they are adapted to one another, are mutually complementary, and together form a whole that would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. Also, GRI 3(b) provides that goods consisting of different components are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character.

The trousers and suspenders are composite goods under GRI 3(b). They are separable, yet are adapted to one another and mutually complementary. They are of identical fabric, and the loops on the suspenders accommodate the buttons at the waist of the trousers. The suspenders have little use apart from the trousers and are unlikely to be sold separately.

Essential character is determined by considering several factors, including the nature of the material or component, its weight, value, bulk, quantity, or quantity, or the role of the material in relation to the use of the goods. The suspenders are an accessory that play a secondary role in the use of the merchandise at issue and would not be the main reason for its existence. Also, the trousers provide the main bulk, weight, and value of Design 1353. Thus, the essential character of this merchandise is provided by the trousers, and the merchandise is classified as women's trousers.

The question which remains is whether the merchandise at issue is classified under the subheading for cotton trousers, or instead, under the subheading for synthetic trousers. Subheading note 2(A), Section XI, HTSUSA, requires that products of Chapters 56 to 63 which contain two or more textile materials be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under Note 2 to Section XI. Note 2 provides that goods consisting of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as consisting wholly of the one textile material which predominates by weight. According to your submissions, the merchandise at issue is composed of 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester fabric. Therefore, we cannot classify the merchandise at issue under a specific subheading at this time.


The merchandise at issue is classified as women's trousers in Heading 6204. If the trousers and suspenders are composed of more than 50 percent cotton fabric, they are classifiable under subheading 6204.62.4020, textile category 348 and dutiable at a rate of 17.7 percent ad valorem. Alternatively, if the merchandise is composed of more than 50 percent polyester, it is classifiable under subheading 6204.63.3510, textile category 648 and dutiable at a rate of 30.4 percent. The merchandise may be submitted to a Customs laboratory for analysis, at the discretion of the classifying officer, and will be classified in accordance with the results of that analysis to determine which fiber predominates by weight.

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


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