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HQ 950256

December 10, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950256 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6104.62.2010

Mr. William Ortiz
S.J. Stile Associates Ltd.
153-66 Rockaway Boulevard
Jamaica, New York 11434

RE: Classification of women's knit garment for lower torso and legs; tights, 6115, HTSUSA, v. trousers, 6104, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Ortiz:

This ruling is in response to your letter and submission of August 9, 1991, on behalf of Wundies Inc., regarding the classification of knit garment, style 9118. The garment will be manufactured in Hong Kong and entered through JKF Airport upon arrival in the United States.


The garment at issue, style 9118, is a knit garment designed to cover the body from the waist to the ankles. The garment has the appearance of trousers. It is made of 95 percent cotton/5 percent spandex lightweight knit fabric. It has a 3/4-inch elasticized waistband, center seams on the front and back torso, outer seams along each side of the garment from the waist to the ankles, inner seams along each leg from the crotch area to the ankles, a decorative patch glued on at the bottom of the left leg on the front and no gusset.

In your submission, you identify style 9118 as tights.


Is this garment, style 9118, classifiable as tights of heading 6115, HTSUSA, or as women's trousers of heading 6104, 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]."

In HRL 088454 of October 11, 1991, the classification of garments known as leggings and the distinction between trousers and tights were discussed in great length. Various definitions of tights and trousers were examined. From the various definitions and applying the doctrine of "noscitur a sociis", Customs concluded that tights are a form of hosiery. Customs also studied the opinion of the Customs Court in Children's Hose Inc. v. United States, 55 Cust. Ct. 6, C.D. 2547 (1965), in which the court examined the meaning of the term tights. From the language of the court, Customs concluded that tights are garments which are partially underwear and partially outwear; they are intended to be partially concealed and partially exposed. Tights are garments which if worn in public must be worn with the lower torso portion of the garment, i.e., the underwear portion, covered.

The garment at issue herein, style 9118, is made of very lightweight knit fabric. The five percent spandex in the fabric gives it additional stretch and causes the garment to fit closely to the body. However, while the spandex makes the garment somewhat form-fitting, it is not consistently form-fitting. The entire garment does not tightly hug the body as one would expect of tights. Additionally, the gathered fabric of the elasticized waistband and the lack of a gusset support the view that this garment is truly women's trousers.

The garment is not designed to be partially underwear. In Customs view, the garment is not designed with a torso portion that allows wear of the garment without underwear. Therefore, although the garment is made of extremely lightweight knit fabric with a percentage of spandex, Customs does not believe it meets the meaning of tights as expressed by the court in Children's Hose.


Style 9118 is classifiable as women's cotton trousers in subheading 6104.62.2010, HTSUSA, textile category 348, dutiable at 16.7 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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