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HQ 088572

April 24, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088572 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6108.92.0015

Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W.
Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20030

RE: Women's cotton undershirt; underwear; classifiable heading 6108, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in reference to your letter of January 22, 1991, on behalf of M/S A&P Sportswear Inc. requesting classification of a women's cotton garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue, style no. 03202, is a woman's finely knit, sleeveless crop top with a u-shaped neckline, elasticized capping around the neckline and armholes, and a 1 1/2 inch elastic band at the bottom of the garment. There is a small flowered print throughout the fabric. You state that the item is made up of 55 percent rayon and 45 percent cotton fibers, and is packed and shipped with matching briefs. It measures 6 inches from neck to waist in the back, and 8 inches from neck to waist in the front; it does not, therefore, extend to the waist of the wearer.


Whether the present merchandise is classified as outerwear or underwear 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 according to the terms of the heading and any relevant chapter or section notes.


Heading 6108, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, women's or girls' slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, and similar articles. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that the heading includes two separate categories of knitted or crocheted clothing for women or girls, one of which covers the items listed above as "underclothing."

The fabric and styling of the merchandise at issue indicates that the garment is intended for use as underwear. The finely knit material is thin, soft and flexible for a comfort fit; the flowered pattern is similar to the common print style traditionally associated with women's briefs and panties. Moreover, the elasticized capping is a distinctive feature of underwear, whereas outerwear will generally have hidden hems or specially finished edges and virtually none that are elasticized. In all respects, this item has the characteristics of a garment that is worn as underwear.


The present merchandise is properly classified under heading 6108.92.0015, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: other: of man-made fibers, underwear: other: women's, textile category 652 and dutiable at the rate of 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 your client check, close 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 Rulings Division

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