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HQ 088635

May 24, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088635 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6207.92.2020; 6207.92.4000

Mitchel R. Scher, President
Vandegrift Forwarding Company, Inc.
One Evertrust Plaza
Jersey City, N.J. 07302

RE: Classification of a Robe and Sleepwear-type Shorts and Pants

Dear Mr. Scher:

This is in reply to your letter of January 22, 1991, on behalf of Van Baalen Pacific Corporation, concerning the classification of three sample garments. Our ruling on the matter follows.


Three samples were submitted. All are made of the same silky light weight woven polyester fabric. Style 1320/551 is a pair of shorts. The waistband has a two button closure and the rear portion is elasticized. The open fly front has a single button closure.

Style 1320/236 is a pair of trousers. Except for the long legs, it is the same as style 1320/551.

Style 1320/236 is a man's calf-length robe with length sleeves; a full front opening secured with a belt of the same material; an embroidered crest in the left breast area; and side pockets below the waist.

The inquirer states that these articles will be sold and marketed as part of a sleepwear/loungewear line.


The issue presented is whether half of a set of pajamas are classifiable as pajamas or as garments similar to pajamas.


Imported goods are classifiable according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings in the tariff and according to any pertinent section or chapter notes.

In this instance, the samples speak eloquently for themselves. The robe is clearly a robe and the two other garments are pajama bottoms or garments that clearly resemble pajama bottoms. In HRL 088101, dated February 26, 1991, it was ruled that pajama bottoms are classified as pajamas. However, we have reviewed that ruling and found it to be in conflict with HRL 088489, dated April 18, 1991, which held that certain men's sleep shorts were classifiable under a subheading for other sleepwear, rather than under the subheading for pajamas. The sleep shorts which were the subject of HRL 088489 were identical to style 1320/551 in the instant inquiry. Accordingly, we have reviewed the determination in HRL 088101.

The decision in HRL 088101 was predicated on a report from one of our commodity specialists which stated:

We believe that the common and commercial meaning of pajamas encompasses many styles of both one and two piece sleepwear garments. ESSENTIAL TERMS OF FASHION: A COLLECTION OF DEFINITIONS published by Fairchild defines pajamas as a "one or two-piece item of apparel originally designed for sleeping..." The examples include various one piece sleepers (bunny suit, Dr. Denton Sleepers, jumpsuit p., knitted knickers, rompers), pajama sets, sleep shorts (men's pull-on shorts, sometimes with two piped pickets, worn for sleeping), and teddy, in addition to various two piece styles.

It appears that the exemplars of one piece pajamas are, for the most part, garments that provide a great deal more body coverage than a normal pair of pajama bottoms or tops. In opposition to the above quoted paragraph are the following definitions of "pajamas."

1. The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, at page 893, "A loose- fitting garment consisting of trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging."

2. The Random House College Dictionary, 1968, at page 956, "night clothes consisting of loose-fitting trousers and jacket."

3. Webster's II, New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984, at page 845, "A loose-fitting garment having of (sic) trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging."

4. Thorndike Barnhart Comprehensive Desk Dictionary, 1967, at page 563, "garments to sleep in, etc., consisting of a coat and loose trousers fastened at the waist."

5. The Fashion Dictionary, Mary Brooks Picken, published by Funk & Wagnalls, 1973, at page 264, "Suit consisting of coat or blouse and trousers.

6. The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, George E. Linton, published by the Textile Book Service, 1973, at page 409, "Coat or blouse and trousers."

In addition, The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, published by Customs in the December 28,1988, Federal Register, at pages 52563-52570, seem to have broadened the above definitions to some extent.

Pajamas are worn by both sexes and all ages. They consist of an upper part, pullover or coat style, with long, short, or no sleeves and a lower part, short, intermediate, or long trouser-like garments or of any style panties. * * * Pajamas are sleepwear. Garments called "sleepers" (sometimes called Dr. Denton's), one or two-piece knit sleeping garments for girls, sizes 2- 4 and boys 2-7, buttoning in front or back and with drop seats in the one-piece style, are in this category. (at page 52569)

It appears from the Guidelines that while Customs may recognize the existence of one-piece pajamas, such garments are ones that provide full or almost full body coverage. In view of the numerous lexicon definitions that state pajamas consist of a two-piece set of garments which provide upper and lower body coverage, we find no support for the proposition that the common meaning of that term encompasses one part of a pajama set. In fact, it is questionable whether there can be pajama "bottoms" in the absence of pajama "tops." In such an event, it appears that what actually exists are sleep bottoms rather than pajama bottoms. Accordingly, pajama bottoms imported without their matching tops are not classifiable as pajamas.


The robe is classifiable under the provision for men's woven bath robes, dressing gowns, and similar articles, of man-made fibers, in subheading 6207.92.2020, HTSUSA, with duty, as a product of Sri Lanka, at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem. The textile and apparel category applicable to this merchandise is 650.

The two pairs of pajama bottoms are classifiable under the provision for garments similar to nightshirts and pajamas, in subheading 6207.92.4000, HTSUSA, with duty, as a product of Sri Lanka, at the rate of 11.2 percent ad valorem. The textile and apparel category applicable to this merchandise is 652.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 that 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

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