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HQ 088260

December 27, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088260 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2065

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
900 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174

RE: Garments with mock turtleneck, loose fitting sleeves and heavy knit cotton construction, not classifiable as other T- shirts of heading 6109. EN 61.09. Textile Guidelines. Pullovers. HRL 087211 and HRL 085848.

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to a protest and request for further review (3001-90-101340) dated November 15, 1990, submitted by Ross & Hardies on behalf of Santana, Ltd., concerning boys' knit garments imported from the People's Republic of China through the port of Seattle. Samples of the merchandise were submitted.


The merchandise in question consists of three types of upper body garments, specifically, styles 2598, 2599 and 2601. The three garment styles were originally entered as T-shirts of subheading 6109.10.0014, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). However, after reviewing the merchandise, the Seattle District issued Notices of Redelivery advising that the garments were correctly classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA, and that consequently, new visas for categories 338 and 339 would be required.

Style 2601 is a boys' pullover, size 8-10, made from finely knit, 100 percent cotton, jersey fabric. The garment features a 1 x 1 rib knit, mock turtleneck; long, loose fitting sleeves with rib knit cuffs; dropped shoulders; and a hemmed bottom. A sample of style 2598, size 12-14, was also submitted, and is of the same construction as style 2601. Style 2599 varies slightly in that the neckband is made from the same fabric as the body of the garment, but is otherwise similar to styles 2598 and 2601.

You state that it is your view that the garments in question satisfy the criteria for T-shirts as given in the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, (Textile Guidelines) 53 FR 52563, 52567, December 28, 1988. On this basis you contend that the garments should be classified in subheading 6109.10.0014, HTSUSA.


Whether the garments in question are properly classifiable as other T-shirts of heading 6109, HTSUSA, or whether they are instead classifiable as pullovers of heading 6110, HTSUSA.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes, which although not legally binding constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, provide in pertinent part at EN 61.09, 839, that:

The term "T-shirts" means lightweight knitted or crocheted garments of the vest type, of cotton or man-made fibre...with long or close fitting sleeves, without buttons or other fastenings, without collar, without opening in the neckline, having close-fitting or lower neckline (round, square, boat-shaped or V-shaped). (Emphasis added).

The garments in question have loose fitting sleeves. Moreover, the garments are not of the vest or underwear type in that they have mock turtlenecks, a styling feature not common to underwear type garments.

The Textile Guidelines, in discussing garments classifiable other T-shirts of heading 6109 essentially repeat the description of the Explanatory Notes, stating in relevant part that:

Other T-shirts in Heading 6109, which are assigned Category 338/339/638/639/838, must be constructed of the underwear type and from lightweight, underwear-type fabric, not napped...and with long or short close-fitting sleeves. The garments should have a close-fitting or lower neckline (round, square, boat-shaped or V-shaped)....

Consequently, it is Customs' view that a reading of the Textile Guidelines substantiates the position that styles 2598, 2599 and 2601 are not classifiable as other T-shirts of heading 6109 in that they have features inconsistent with such garments, namely, that they have loose fitting sleeves and a mock turtleneck.

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, waistcoats (vests), and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The garments at issue are put on by being pulled on over the head and therefore, in Customs' view are pullover shirts within the meaning of that term. Webster's New World Dictionary 1089 (3rd College Ed., 1988). See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087211 dated October 9, 1990, and HRL 085848 dated December 14, 1989 in which similar garments were held to be classifiable in heading 6110 because of features such as mock turtlenecks and loose fitting sleeves.


The garments in question, styles 2598, 2599 and 2601 are classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2065, under the provision for sweaters, pullovers...and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, other, other, other, men's or boys'. The pullovers are dutiable at the rate of 20.7 percent ad valorem and are subject to quota category 338.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19, Notice of Action, to be mailed to protestant's counsel.


John Durant, Director

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