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HQ 951411

June 11, 1992

CLA-2CO:R:C:T 951411 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 6208.92.0025

Mr. William A. Barbino, President
In-Case Products, Inc., Suite 123
28310 Roadside Drive
Agoura Hills, California 91301

RE: Request for Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 870351; Disposable Panties with Sanitary Napkin; Heading 6208

Dear Mr. Barbino:

In your letter of February 17, 1992, you requested a reconsideration of NYRL 870351 of February 6, 1992, which classified a pair of disposable women's panties from China under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted a sample pair of panties with your letter.


The sample submitted, Style No. BNP-1FN-25, is a pair of women's disposable panties. The panties feature an elasticized waist, elasticized leg openings and a sanitary napkin sewn into the crotch panel.

You state that the panties are made of 100 percent olefin (polypropylene) with an attached 8.7 gram sanitary napkin compromised of 8.45 grams of cellulose fiber and 0.25 grams of other materials. You state that the total weight of the panties is 14.8 grams.

NYRL 870351 stated that the essential character of the panties was imparted by the panty portion. It classified the panties under the provision for women's or girls' singlets and other undershirts, slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, ... and similar articles: other: of man-made fibers: disposable briefs and panties designed for one-time use, in subheading 6208.92.0025, HTSUSA.

You state that the panties would not be worn unless the user was having her menstrual period, therefore the panty portion is not the essential character of the garment. You request that the panties be classified under the provision for sanitary napkins and tampons, diapers and diaper liners and similar sanitary articles: other (than of paper pulp), in subheading 4818.40.40, HTSUSA.


What is the correct classification of the instant panties?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

As stated above, the headings at issue are Heading 4818 and Heading 6208. GRI 3 states that whenever goods are prima facie classified under two or more headings, certain rules shall be followed.

GRI 3 (a), HTSUSA, states that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to other less specific headings, but that when two or more headings each refer to only part of the materials contained in composite goods, then those headings are to be regarded as equally specific. Since both Heading 6208 and Heading 4818 refer to only part of the materials contained in the panties (i.e., synthetic textile material and paper), the panties cannot be classified by GRI 3

GRI 3 (b), HTSUSA, states that composite goods consisting of different materials shall be classified as if they consisted of the material which gives them their essential character. Both the panty portion and the sanitary napkin portion are equally important to the instant article. The panty portion attaches the sanitary napkin to the user. It also forms the article and makes it a garment. The sanitary napkin portion absorbs menstrual blood and protects the wearer's clothing. Since neither part can be determined to constitute the essential character of the garment, the garment cannot be classified under GRI 3(b), HTSUSA.

GRI 3 (c), HTSUSA, states that, when goods cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 3 (a) or GRI 3 (b), that they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. Heading 6218 follows Heading 4818, therefore the goods must be classified in Heading 6218.


The instant panties are classified in subheading 6208.92.0025, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem. The result of NYRL 870351 is affirmed, in accordance with GRI 3 (c).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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