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HQ 089367

July 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089367 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6207.91.3010

Ms. Christine Berghofer
Customs Manager
Associated Merchandising Corporation
50 Terminal Road
Secaucus, New Jersey 07094

RE: Modification of HRL 088101 Concerning the Classification of Men's Sleep Bottoms--Are They Considered Pajamas?

Dear Ms. Berghofer:

In our ruling of February 26, 1991, HRL 088101, you were informed that men's sleepwear bottoms (pajama pants) were classifiable under a tariff provision for pajamas. We have had occasion to review that ruling and have found that it is legally incorrect.

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 two pairs of pajama bottoms which were the subject of HRL 088101, each of which is in chief weight of cotton, are classifiable under the provision for garments similar to nightshirts and pajamas, in subheading 6207.91.3010, HTSUSA, with duty, as a product of Hong Kong, at the rate of 6.5 percent ad valorem. The textile and apparel category applicable to this merchandise is 351.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying HRL 088101 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if, after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you may have with respect to this matter. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice is a modification of HRL 088101 pursuant to Section 177.9(d)(1) (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)). It is not retroactive. However, HRL 088101 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected (i.e. merchandise previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent to this modification will be classified accordingly. If it can be shown that you relied on HRL 088101 to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director

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