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HQ 085682

December 22, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085682 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0037

Ms. Doreen Wai
Second Secretary
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 504
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Crop tops too sheer to be worn in public are underwear. modesty;marketing

Dear Ms. Wai:

This is in reply to your letter of November 10, 1988, concerning the tariff classification of ladies' crop top, produced in Hong Kong, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your case number HK122/88, Associated Merchandising Corp.


The merchandise at issue consists of a ladies' crop top, style
961, composed of sheer 100% knit cotton. It measures 9" from the neck to waist, and features large scoop neck and armholes, and 1" hemmed shoulder straps. The garment also features an elasticized nylon spandex waistband. The garment has a manufacturer's tag attached, proclaiming the garment to be a "B.G. Street| Intimate.


Whether the garment is considered underwear under the HTSUSA


Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, women's underwear. The
Textile Guidelines, C.I.E. 11/88, at 25, provide: Category designation: Underwear

The term "underwear" refers to garments which are ordinarily worn under other garments and are not exposed to view when the wearer is conventionally dressed for appearance in public, indoors or out-of-doors. Whether or not a garment is worn next to the body of the wearer is not a determinant; * * *

It should be noted that in distinguishing underwear, it is generally agreed that sleeveless tops with lace inserts or lace edgings [sic.] are predominately worn as underwear.

It is our opinion that, due to the sheerness of the garment, modesty would prevent its being worn in public. This, in addition to the garment's marketing as an intimate, leads us to classify the top in the provision for underwear. See HRL
084865 of September 22, 1989 (invoking similar analysis).


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6109.10.0037, HTSUSA, textile category 352, as T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, women's or girls', underwear. The applicable rate of duty is 21 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts.
If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

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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