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HQ 950285

November 14, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950285 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6104.62.2010

Gonzalo Silva
One Step Up
525 Seventh Avenue
7th Floor
New York, NY 10018

RE: Women's knit tights; classifiable as breeches of heading 6104, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Silva:

This is in reference to your letter of August 1, 1991, requesting classification of cotton knit tights under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue, style no. 211580, is a lower body garment you describe as tights. It is made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex fibers. Your submitted sample has a high waist which envelopes a two inch wide waistband. The front and back panels have two eight inch seams each, which gives the garment a tapered shape. The pants legs reach to just below the knee of these Medium sized pants, which have a gusseted crotch. The weight and thickness of the opaque blue fabric is substantial.


Whether the garment at issue may be considered tights or trousers under the HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the tariff is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.


Heading 6104 provides for, inter alia women's or girls' trousers and breeches. The Explanatory Notes (EN), the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that the provisions of the Explanatory Note to heading 61.03 apply mutatis mutandis to the articles of this heading. EN 61.03 part (D) states that "[t]rousers" means garments which envelope each leg separately, covering the knees and usually reaching down to or below the ankles; these garments usually stop at the waist; the presence of braces does not cause these garments to lose the essential character of trousers."

The garment at issue is a pair of breeches, which Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1984) defines as trousers extending to or just below the knees. This definition comports, also, with the EN which describe trousers as garments which envelope each leg separately and cover the knees, as the present sample does.

Although you refer to this garment as tights, and it possesses some of the characteristics associated with tights, it nevertheless fails to qualify as such. Moreover, the Court in Children's Hose Inc., v. United States, 55 Cust. Ct. 6 C.D. 2547 (1965), has recognized that tights are meant to be worn with other garments to cover the lower torso. Customs has endorsed this view in HRL 088454 (issued October 11, 1991).

The garment at issue does not qualify as tights because it is made of a relatively thick knit (relative to tights which are similar to hosiery) which is opaque, does not require the wearing of an upper garment for at least partial coverage, has an extremely wide and sturdy waistband, and darts in front and back for shape. The overall appearance of this article indicates that it safely falls within the class of garments known as trousers or breeches, and is therefore correctly classified under heading 6104.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6104.62.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear), knitted or crocheted: trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts: of cotton: other, trousers and breeches: women's, textile category 348, dutiable at the rate of 16.7 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 the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an 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

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