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HQ 086436

May 3, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086436 JLJ


TARIFF NO.: 6203.43.40

Ms. Chris Andrews
Reebok International Ltd.
100 Technology Center Drive
Stoughton, Massachusetts 02072

RE: Classification of men's woven nylon volleyball shorts

Dear Ms. Andrews:

In your letter of January 10, 1989, you submitted a sample of men's volleyball shorts imported from Taiwan, and you requested a tariff classification for these shorts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on behalf of your client, Reebok International Ltd.


You describe the instant merchandise as 100 percent nylon woven volleyball shorts. The sample has an elasticized waistband, a functional drawstring, a nylon full support liner, two side seam pockets and a rear pocket. The left leg bears an embroidered logo of a volleyball partly circled by a ribbon with the word "Reebok" on it.

You refer to these shorts as Reebok volleyball shorts. There is a tag attached to them which describes the shorts as "volleyball apparel." You state that the sample is used to play volleyball and beach volleyball and to swim. You contend that the shorts have the characteristics of swimwear and therefore should be classified under the provision for swimwear: men's or boys': of man-made fibers: men's, in subheading 6211.11.1010, HTSUSA.


Are the instant shorts classified as swimwear in subheading 6211.11.1010, HTSUSA, or under the provision for men's shorts (other than swimwear): shorts: of synthetic fibers: other: other: other: other: other: shorts: men's, in subheading 6203.43.4030, HTSUSA?


In Hampco Apparel, Inc.v. United States, Slip Op. 88-12 (decided January 28, 1988), the Court of International Trade stated that three factors must be present if a garment is to be considered swimwear for tariff purposes:

(1) The garment has an elasticized waistband through which a drawstring is threaded,

(2) the garment has an inner lining of lightweight material, and

(3) the garment is designed and constructed for swimming.

The instant shorts have the first two factors listed above. They could be used for swimming. It remains to be determined whether the third factor is present or not.

In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081447 of March 21, 1988, we stated that, in order to determine whether a garment is designed and constructed for swimming, we would first look at the appearance of the garment. If the appearance is inconclusive, as in the instant shorts, evidence of the way in which the garment has been designed, manufactured, marketed or advertised, the way in which the manufacturer or importer intends the garment to be used, and the way in which a garment is chiefly used will be considered as evidence of the design and construction of the garment.

The instant shorts are clearly designed and constructed as volleyball shorts, as indicated by the embroidered volleyball logo, the tag describing the shorts as "volleyball apparel," and your statement that they are used to play volleyball and beach volleyball.


The instant woven nylon volleyball shorts are classified under the provision for men's shorts in subheading 6203.43.4030, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 29.7 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 647.

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

The designated textile and apparel category may be suvdivided 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.


Jerry Laderberg

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