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HQ 088376

March 5, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088376 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6110.10.2030

Ms. Barbara Balk
Gladish & Associates
1511 Third Avenue
8th Floor
Seattle, Washington 98101

RE: Classification of a sweater bodysuit

Dear Ms. Balk:

This ruling is in response to your letter of November 8, 1990, requesting classification of a garment identified as a women's sweater bodysuit to be produced in Hong Kong. A sample was received with your letter and will be returned.


The garment at issue, referred to as a women's sweater bodysuit, style S9139-W, consists of a knit pullover sweater sewn to a panty. The fabric of the sweater portion of the garment is 100 percent wool, jacquard knit construction with less than nine stitches per two centimeters measured in the horizontal direction. The fabric of the panty portion is a finely knit tricot construction of 80 percent nylon/20 percent lycra.

The sweater portion of the garment has a high turtleneck and sleeves cuffs, both of which are of a 1 X 1 rib knit pattern. The sweater portion also has long sleeve and reaches to the waist where it is attached to the panty portion.

The panty portion of the garment has elasticized leg openings and a snap-opening at the crotch. The panty is firmly attached to the sweater portion of the garment by overlock stitching.


Is the garment at issue classified as a sweater of heading 6110, HTSUSA, or as an other garment (bodysuit) of heading 6114, 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]."

The garment at issue consists of two distinct components of different construction and fiber content: a sweater and a panty. The upper portion of this garment is clearly recognizable as a sweater. The panty portion is a supplement to the sweater to hold the sweater down and prevent it from riding up during wear. The addition of the lower panty portion, however, draws into question whether the garment may still be classifiable as a sweater or should be considered a bodysuit.

Since the upper portion of this garment is a sweater, the classification headings under consideration are heading 6110, HTSUSA, which provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, and 6114, HTSUSA, which provides for other garments, knitted or crocheted.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, do not provide any guidance regarding what constitutes a bodysuit. Therefore, it is reasonable to refer to the Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 13/88. Bodysuits are described in the Guidelines as:

[Garments] constructed of finely knit fabric which usually includes lycra or spandex yarns. They cover the wearer's torso and may have elastic around the neck, arm and leg openings. They are designed to be form-fitting and may be intended for use during exercise, dance or similar athletic activity. Body suits are one piece garments. * * * [They] are frequently called leotards in the trade.

While the subject garment covers the wearer's torso, has elastic around the legs openings and is form-fitting from the waist down, the upper portion of the garment is clearly recognizable as a sweater and is not within the definition of a bodysuit. We believe that in a case such as this, where there are two distinct components, the addition of a panty portion to an upper body garment which is separately recognizable does not by itself change the character of that garment and transform it into a bodysuit. The total garment must possess the characteristics of a bodysuit.

Customs has issued several rulings on the classification of women's woven bodyshirts. See, HRL 084414 of August 8, 1989, HRL 083192 of December 11, 1989, and 085257 of August 25, 1989. In those rulings, Customs classified the garments as other garments, blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses excluded from heading 6206. The garments were still considered blouses or shirts in spite of the additional features of elasticized leg openings and snap- secured crotches.

Customs views the garment at issue as commercially recognizable as a sweater. However, because the garment consists of two distinct components with different fiber compositions, we must decide which component imparts the essential character of the garment. We believe that the sweater portion unquestionably fulfills this role. The sweater portion is that part which is seen when the garment is worn.

As a sweater, the garment at issue is classifiable in the provision for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, in heading 6110, HTSUSA, and according to the fiber content of the sweater portion of the garment, it is classified as a garment of wool.


The garment at issue, style S9139-W, is classifiable as a wool sweater in subheading 6110.10.2030, HTSUSA, textile category 446, 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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