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HQ 088789

June 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088789 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0060

Ms. Annie Slocum
We Be Bop
1380 10th Street
Berkeley, California 94710

RE: Classification of a women's woven tank-style garment

Dear Ms. Slocum:

This ruling is in response to your letter of February 6, 1991, requesting classification of two styles of women's woven upper body garments. Style 2823 was addressed in NYRL 860310 issued to you. Style 2820 has been forwarded to this office for a response.


Style 2820 is a women's woven tank-style pullover upper body garment of 100 percent printed woven rayon fabric. The garment is sleeveless with straps measuring 1 1/2 inches at the shoulder seam. The garment is formed of six panels (three in the front, three in the back) which are sewn together lengthwise. Each panel is a different print. A large center panel appears in the front and back with two smaller panels on either side. The garment has a scoop neckline in the front and a less pronounced scoop neckline in the back. It is a few inches below the waist in length and has oversized armholes and a straight hemmed bottom.

The garment is marked "Made in Indonesia".


Is the subject garment, style 2820, classifiable as a women's blouse of heading 6206, HTSUSA, or as an other garment of heading 6211, 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]."

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's blouses. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The Explanatory Notes to heading 6206 provides, in relevant part:

This heading covers the group of women's or girls' clothing, not knitted or crocheted, which comprises blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses.

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, describes shirts and shirt-blouses as:

. . . garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full or partial opening starting at the neckline. Blouses are also designed to cover the upper part of the body but may be sleeveless and without an opening at the neckline.

The Textile Category Guidelines, CIE 13/88, are sometimes used as an aid in deciding the classification of some articles. They offer guidance in determining the commercial designation of articles. In regard to women's nonknit blouses, the Guidelines state, in relevant part:

Blouses are outer garments usually extending from the neck or shoulders to the vicinity of the waistline. However, included in the category are overblouses and similar garments which may extend to the mid-thigh area or below, and which are frequently slit up the leg. Blouses may have a collar treatment of any type or no collar. The closure may be positioned on the front, back, or side, or the garment may even be without closure as in a pullover.

Outerwear garments known as camisoles, bandeaus and similar garments which may be described as tops, are excluded from this category. [Emphasis added].

Customs has previously ruled on garments similar to the one at issue here in HRL 087034 of July 31, 1990, and HRL 087530 of November 9, 1990. In those rulings, classification of the garments as blouses was rejected due to the presence of straps on the garments and limited shoulder coverage. The garment at issue is a tank-styled garment with straps and limited shoulder coverage and therefore, is not classifiable as a blouse, but as an other garment of heading 6211, HTSUSA.

Since the garment at issue is composed of 100 percent rayon, it is classifiable under subheading 6211.43.00, HTSUSA, as an other garment of man-made fibers. Various statistical annotations appear under subheading 6211.43.00, HTSUSA. The statistical annotations are present primarily for the collection of data with respect to goods imported into the Customs territory of the United States. This data information is utilized in the process of negotiating our bilateral textile agreements. The statistical annotation, 6211.43.0060, which reads "Blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses excluded from heading 6206", is intended to capture certain upper body garments excluded from heading 6206 including garments such as the one at issue here. While the language of the statistical annotation would appear to conflict with our determination that for tariff purposes this garment is not a blouse, the language at the statistical level is provided as a convenience and as we point out in rulings, the statistical annotations in the tariff are subject to change. Based on the intended coverage of the textile category number which appears at the statistical annotation as expressed to Customs by the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, the subject garment is classified in the statistical annotation for "Blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses excluded from heading 6206". We anticipate a change in the language of the statistical annotation to eliminate the apparent conflict which has arisen in this case.


The garment at issue, style 2820, is classifiable in subheading 6211.43.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for women's other garments of man-made fibers. The garment falls within textile category 641 and is 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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