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HQ 088171

February 27, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088171 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0060

Mr. S. Dadlani
FSC (USA), Inc.
463 7th Avenue
Suite 1306A
New York, New York 10018

RE: Classification of certain women's tank-styled woven pullovers

Dear Mr. Dadlani:

This ruling is in response to your letter of October 29, 1990, regarding the classification of certain women's tank-styled woven pullovers. Three samples were received with your letter. The samples indicate that the garments were made in the United Arab Emirates.


The three sample garments are women's tank-styled pullovers made from 100 percent woven rayon fabric. The garments extend below the waist, are sleeveless and feature round necklines.

Style GP1 consists of one back panel and one front panel. The garment measures 2 1/4 inches in width at the shoulder seams and features a capped neckline and armholes, a simulated placket with two buttons, a breast patch pocket, and a rounded hemmed bottom.

Style 142 consists of two back panels joined by a vertical seam in the center back and two front panels joined so that one overlaps the other with the outer panel loose on one side. The garment measures 1 1/2 inches in width at the shoulder seams and features a faced neckline and armholes and a simple hemmed bottom.

Style 150 consists of one front and one back panel. The garment measures 1 3/4 inches in width at the shoulder seams and features a faced neckline and armholes. Additionally, the
armholes are somewhat overly large toward the back of the garment. The garment also has a rounded hemmed bottom with side slits.


Are the subject garments classifiable as women's blouses of heading 6206, HTSUSA, or as other garments of heading 6211, HTSUSA?


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]."

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's blouses. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The Explanatory Notes to heading 6206 provides, in relevant part:

This heading covers the group of women's or girls' clothing, not knitted or crocheted, which comprises blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses.

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, describes shirts and shirt-blouses as:

. . . garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full or partial opening starting at the neckline. Blouses are also designed to cover the upper part of the body but may be sleeveless and without an opening at the neckline.

The Textile Category Guidelines, CIE 13/88, are sometimes used as an aid in deciding the classification of some articles. They offer guidance in determining the commercial designation of articles. In regard to women's nonknit blouses, the Guidelines state, in relevant part:

Blouses are outer garments usually extending from the neck or shoulders to the vicinity of the waistline. However, included in the category are overblouses and similar garments which may extend to the mid-thigh area or below, and which are frequently slit up the leg. Blouses may have a collar treatment of any type or no collar. The closure may be positioned on the front, back, or side, or the garment may even be without closure as in a pullover.

Outerwear garments known as camisoles, bandeaus and similar garments which may be described as tops, are excluded from this category. [Emphasis added].

Customs has previously ruled on garments similar to those at issue here in HRL 087034 of July 31, 1990 and HRL 087530 of November 9, 1990. In those rulings, classification of the garments as blouses was rejected due to the presence of straps on the garments and limited shoulder coverage. The garments at issue are tank-styled garments with straps and limited shoulder coverage and therefore, are not classifiable as blouses, but as other garments of heading 6211, HTSUSA.

Since the garments at issue are made of 100 percent woven rayon fabric, they are classifiable under subheading 6211.43.00, HTSUSA, as other garments of man-made fibers. Various statistical annotations appear under subheading 6211.43.00, HTSUSA. The statistical annotations are present primarily for the collection of data with respect to goods imported into the Customs territory of the United States. This data information is utilized in the process of negotiating our bilateral textile agreements. The statistical annotation, 6211.43.0060, which reads "Blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses excluded from heading 6206", is intended to capture certain upper body garments excluded from heading 6206 including garments such as the one at issue here. While the language of the statistical annotation would appear to conflict with our determination that for tariff purposes this garment is not a blouse, the language at the statistical level is provided as a convenience and as we point out in rulings, the statistical annotations in the tariff are subject to change. Based on the intended coverage of the textile category number which appears at the statistical annotation as expressed to Customs by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, the subject garment is classified in the statistical annotation for "Blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses excluded from heading 6206". We anticipate a change in the language of the statistical annotation to eliminate the apparent conflict which has arisen in this case.


The garments at issue are classifiable in subheading 6211.43.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for women's other garments of man-made fibers. The garment falls within textile category 641 and is dutiable at 17 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 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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