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HQ 088758

July 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088758 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6206.10.0040

Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Silk and cotton blouse; Modification of NYRL 858625 regarding issue of woven and knit materials; garment classifiable heading 6206, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Lai:

New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 858625 issued on January 4, 1991 to WG Carroll Inc. on behalf of Colter Bay International, Inc., classified blouse style TS104 under subheading 6206.10.0050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your letter of February 14, 1991, on behalf of Colter Bay, requests modification of that classification.


The merchandise at issue, style TS104, is a T-shirt-style blouse made up of both knit and woven fabric. The garment features a round neck, short sleeves, a breast patch pocket and hemmed bottom. The front, neckline and rear yoke is made of 100 percent cotton knit material, and the back, sleeves and patch pocket are made of 100 percent woven silk material.

NYRL 858625 classified this garment under subheading 6206.10.0050, HTSUSA, as if it were made of a combination fabric containing 54 percent silk and 46 percent cotton fibers. The original request offered a comparative breakdown of the two separate and distinct materials used in style TS104, by surface area, weight, and value. The 54/46 percent silk to cotton ratio, under the heading "surface area," meant to indicate just that - the percentage of silk fabric to cotton fabric present in the garment as a whole. NYRL 858625, however, classified that garment as if it were made of one material containing 54 percent silk and 46 percent cotton fibers.



What is the correct analysis in determining the classification of a garment made of both 100 percent silk fabric and 100 percent cotton knit fabric, under the HTSUSA.


GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be affected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods... those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

The garment at issue consists of both woven silk material and cotton knit fabric, classifiable in headings 6206 and 6106, HTSUSA, respectively. Since they are thus separately provided for in the Nomenclature, GRI 3(b) applies as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components...which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In this case, the silk portion of the blouse makes up 54 percent of the surface area of the garment; it costs almost five times as much as the cotton portion of the blouse, and it most likely provides the motivating factor for purchase of the product. Therefore, the essential character of this merchandise is determined to be the woven silk material. The garment is thus classified as a silk blouse under subheading 6206.10.0040, HTSUSA.



The merchandise at issue is properly classified under subheading 6206.10.0040, which provides for women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: of silk or silk waste, other: containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste, dutiable at a rate of 7.5 percent ad valorem.

In order to assure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying NYRL 858625 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of New York Ruling Letter 858625 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1) (1989). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 858625 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, including that for which the present classification was requested, NYRL 858625 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to the release of NYRL 858625 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.

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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