United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
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HQ 087645

October 1, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087645 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6211.11.1020

James F. O'Hara
Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara
Suite 1240
3580 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2597

RE: Boys' Swim Trunks

Dear Mr. O'Hara:

This is reference to your letter of June 22, 1990, on behalf of Columbia Sportswear Company, requesting classification of boys' swim trunks under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA").


The sample you submitted is a pair of boys' swim trunks, style WY8680, size M. The shell fabric is made of 100 percent nylon and the inner lining is constructed of a lightweight polyester knit fabric. The shorts have a 2 1/2 inch inseam and a two inch reinforced slit on either side of the lower extensions. Two side pockets and a back pocket with a button flap are sewn into the shorts, and the elasticized waistband accommodates a pull string for secure fit.

You state that the garment is offered and sold by your client as children's wear, without distinction as to the sex of the wearer, and that the garment is actually worn by both sexes. As such, you seek classification of this merchandise as unisex swimwear.


What is the proper classification of boys' swim trunks under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for track suits, ski suits and swimwear. The U.S. Court of International Trade in Hampco Apparel, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 88-12, presented two criterion - weight and absorbency - to distinguish swimwear from shorts. In essence, lightweight, non-absorbent fabrics are typically used in swimwear, whereas heavy, absorbent materials are characteristic of shorts. In addition, the existence of elastic drawstring waistbands, support linings and side vents are characteristics common to swimwear for men or boys. This merchandise, having all of the above features, is properly classified under heading 6211.

Although such garments may be worn by girls in some cases, classification as boys' swimwear is directed by Chapter Note 8, which states that only articles of this chapter which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' garments or women's or girls' garments must be classified in headings covering women's or girls' garments (emphasis added). In this case, the garment is readily identifiable as boys' wear, and has been manufactured in the style common to the men's swimwear industry.


The swim trunks at issue are properly classified under subheading 6211.11.1020, HTSUSA, which provides for track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: swimwear: men's or boys': of man-made fibers, boys', textile category 659, and dutiable at a rate of 29.6 percent ad valorem.

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 your client 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 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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