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HQ 086102

January 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086102 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.62.4055, 6204.69.9040

Patrick Gill, Esq.
Rode & Qualey
295 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10017

RE: Classification of women's shorts from Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China--Reconsideration of NYRL 846428 of November 16, 1989

Dear Mr. Gill:

This ruling is in response to your submission of November 28, 1989, on behalf of Rafaella Sportswear, Inc., requesting reconsideration of NYRL 846428 which classified four women's lower body garments as divided skirts under heading 6204, HTSUSA.


Samples of the garments at issue have been submitted for our review. All of the garments extend from the waist to just above the knee and include a coordinated textile belt. Styles RT257 and RT258 are manufactured from 100 percent cotton woven fabrics. Style RE265 is manufactured from 100 percent cotton denim fabric. Style RR255 is manufactured from a 55 percent ramie/45 percent cotton woven fabric.

Styles RR255 and RE265 each feature a fully elasticized waist except for a three inch portion at the center front, five belt loops, two front pockets with vertical openings, a rear patch pocket (style RE265's is secured by a button) and two inverted pleats extending downward from the waistband on each front panel.

Style RT 257 features a zippered fly front opening secured by two buttons, four belt loops, two front pockets with vertical openings, a button secured inset pocket on the rear and an inverted pleat on each front panel extending downward from the top edge.

Style RT258 features a fully elasticized waist, zippered fly front opening secured by a single button, three belt loops and two front pockets with vertical openings.


Were the garments at issue correctly classified as divided skirts in NYRL 846428, or are they more properly classified as shorts?


The classification of the garments at issue is dependent upon the impression created by the garments when viewed from the front. In distinguishing between shorts and divided skirts, the determining official must make a subjective decision as to the frontal appearance of the garment; whether it has the appearance of a skirt with regard to silhouette and fullness and whether the leg separation is apparent when the garment is viewed from the front. While an objective test would be preferable, one has not been developed as of yet, nor do we think it is likely one could be developed and applied. The appear- ance of the garments from the front is the key to their classifica- tion and that appearance may be affected by differences in the fabric used to make the garment and by the placement of gathers or pleats on the front of the garment. See, HRL 085748 of December 1, 1989

Having examined the garments at issue, we must disagree with their original classification as divided skirts. Although the garments have rather full leg openings similar to gaucho pants, like gaucho pants, they lack the fullness or frontal appearance of a skirt. The garments at issue are more properly classified as women's shorts.


Styles RT257, RT258 and RE265 are classified in subheading 6204.62.4055, HTSUSA, which provides for women's cotton shorts. The garments fall within textile category 348 and are dutiable at 17.7 percent ad valorem. Style RR255 is classified in subheading 6204.69.9040, HTSUSA, which provides for women's shorts of other textile materials, other, other. The garment falls within textile category 847 and is dutiable at 3 percent ad valorem.

Pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d) (1989), NYRL 846428 of November 16, 1989, is hereby revoked. If pending transactions are adversely affected by this revocation, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for temporary relief from the binding effects of this new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available for inspection 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 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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