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HQ 089907

September 27, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089907 CC


TARIFF NO.: 6207.11.0000

Ms. Karen S. Reich
Merchandise Manager
Jockey International, Inc.
Kenosha, WI 53140

RE: Classification of flannel boxer shorts; have characteristics of men's underwear; classifiable in Heading 6207

Dear Ms. Reich:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 27, 1991, requesting the tariff classification of flannel boxer shorts from Hong Kong or China. A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, designated by you as style 5839, is a pair of boxer shorts made of 100 percent woven cotton flannel fabric. This merchandise has a fly front and a fully elasticized waist. The submitted sample has a solid blue color and is sized 34 (large). You state that this merchandise will be marketed as men's underwear in sizes small, medium, large, and extra-large. We are advised that a production run of this merchandise consists of 16 percent small, 38 percent medium, 32 percent large, and 14 percent extra large. You have submitted specifications for the submitted merchandise, which are excerpted below, in inches.


Waist relaxed 24 28 32 36
Waist extended 40 44 48 52
Leg opening relaxed 23 25 27 29
Bottom - - 25 -
Side length - - 16 -


Whether the submitted boxer shorts are classifiable as underpants or as shorts?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087940, dated September 16, 1991, we classified boxer shorts and ruled that boxers shorts with unisex styling or non-underwear features indicated that they were a form of outerwear and were not classifiable as men's underwear. We stated that the following features are indicative of non-underwear garments:

1. Fabric weight greater than 4.2 ounces per square yard;

2. An enclosed or turned over waistband;

3. Lack of a fly or presence of lining;

4. A single leg opening greater than the relaxed waist;

5. The presence of belt loops, inner or outer pockets or pouches;

6. Multiple snaps at the fly opening (not including the waistband), or button or zipper fly closures;

7. The side length of a size medium should not exceed 17 inches.

None of these features is present in the submitted merchandise, except possibly feature number 1. For example, the measurement of the relaxed waist is greater than that of a single leg opening, and other measurements of the submitted sample do not suggest that this merchandise is outerwear. The sizes and production run of these sizes are typical of men's underwear. According to your submissions, the merchandise at issue will be marketed as men's underwear. Finally, this merchandise will be marketed by Jockey, a name long associated with men's underwear. Therefore, based on the foregoing factors, the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 6207, HTSUSA, which provides for men's underpants.


The submitted merchandise is classified under subheading 6207.11.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' singlets and other undershirts, underpants, briefs, nightshirts, pajamas, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, underpants and briefs, of cotton. The rate of duty is 6.5 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 352.

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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