United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0087335 - HQ 0087446 > HQ 0087436

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087436

September 25, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087436 CMR 853018


TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0018; 6203.42.4050

Mr. Lee Miller
F.W. Myers & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 406
St. Albans, Vermont 05478

RE: Classification of a men's tank top and a pair of men's shorts

Dear Mr. Miller:

This ruling is in response to your request of May 25, 1990, on behalf of Novel Teez Designs Inc., for classification of a men's tank top and a pair of men's shorts. The articles will be imported from Canada.


Two samples were submitted. Style #362 is a men's tank top made from 100 percent cotton finely knit jersey fabric. The sample has a low round front neckline; a rear neckline which reaches below the nape of the neck; oversized armholes; shoulder straps which measure 1 3/4 inches in width; and a hemmed bottom. The armholes and neckline are finished with self-fabric capping. A screen printed full feature design is on the back of the sample and a smaller screen printed design appears on the left front chest. The tank top is made in the United States and sent to Canada for printing.

Style #435 is a pair of men's woven cotton shorts. The shorts are screen printed on the front with a cartoon character and the words "Looney Tunes." The garment is a simple boxer style, short shorts, with elastic at the waist, no pockets, and no fly opening. The shorts are made in Canada.


What is the proper classification of the men's tank top? At what value will the tank top be assessed? Are the shorts at issue classifiable as men's shorts or men's underwear?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Style #362 clearly exhibits tank top features: the over- sized armholes, the neckline which reaches below the nape of the neck, the straps not over two inches in width, etc. Accordingly, under GRI 1 the garment is classified as a men's cotton tank top in subheading 6109.10.0018, HTSUSA.

Style #362 is assessed duty upon its full value. Customs has previously held that screen printing is not considered to be an alteration or repair under 9802.00.40, HTSUSA. See, HQ 554974, HQ 555021 and HQ 555363.

You state in your submission that the shorts, style #435, are sold as underwear. You note in particular the absence of pockets. However, our attention is drawn to the lack of a fly opening. Generally, one expects men's underwear to have a fly opening. Additionally, the large screen print design is not of the type normally found on novelty underwear. Therefore, style #435 is classified as men's woven cotton shorts.


Style #362 is classified as a men's cotton tank top in subheading 6109.10.0018, HTSUSA. Provided the garment meets the requirements under the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA), it is dutiable at 16.8 percent ad valorem.

Style #435 is classified as men's woven cotton shorts in subheading 6203.42.4050, HTSUSA. Provided the shorts meet the requirements under the FTA, the shorts are dutiable at 14.1 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: