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HQ 084936

July 31, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084936 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 6204.63.3510

Barry E. Powell, Esquire
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 5320
Los Angeles, California 90017

RE: Classification of pants with suspenders Your Ref. LA 88-2396-5(7)I

Dear Mr. Powell:

This ruling letter is in response to your inquiry of June 9, 1989, on behalf of Contempo Casuals, Inc., requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for women's pants with suspenders. A sample produced in Taiwan was submitted for review.


Style number 3189 is women's pants with suspenders composed of 85 percent polyester and 15 percent rayon. The pants have a zippered front with detachable suspenders. There are two buttons in the front and two buttons in the back which are designed to attach the suspenders. The front of the pants where the suspenders are attached has a decorative button which is located below the two buttons. The suspenders are specially adapted to the pants and are not designed to be used with other clothes.


Whether the pants and suspenders are classified as composite goods.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 3 provides for classification of composite goods.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. The issues that arise are whether the suspenders and pants combination can be said to constitute composite goods, and if so, whether the component that provides the essential character can be determined.

It is our opinion that the pants and suspender combination is a composite good as that term is defined and applied in the HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes define composite goods made up of different components as not only those in which 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 this pants and suspender combination fits within this description and definition of composite goods because it is composed of different components, i.e., a pair of pants and suspenders, forms a commercial unit, and is not offered for sale as separate articles because the suspenders are specially adapted to the pants by virtue of the fact they are of the same fabric and have buttons to attach the two articles.

Having determined that the sample at issue is composite goods, we still must determine the essential character in order to properly classify the merchandise. According to the Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. With regard to the sample at issue, as in virtually every instance involving accessory and garment combinations, it is the garment which provides the essential character. Accessories such as suspenders, are not the main reason for the existence of the combination or the primary motivating factor governing the purchase of the two articles. Thus, the pants impart the essential character.

We are distinguishing these pants and suspenders combinations from those of HRL 083950 of April 24, 1989, where we ruled that the shorts and suspenders were classified as a set and not as composite goods. Our reasoning was that the suspenders were clip-on and had no particular connection with the pair of shorts. There were no loops, hooks, or fasteners, that would characterize them as being adapted components. Those suspenders were of a type that could be offered for sale apart from the shorts. As previously discussed, this is not the case with the sample at issue.


The pants and suspenders are classified under subheading 6204.63.3510, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, of synthetic fibers, other, other, other, other, other, trousers and breeches, women's, textile category 648, and dutiable at the rate of 30.4 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the clasification) 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.


John Durant, Director

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