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HQ 950210

September 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950210 SK


TARIFF NOS.: 6203; 6211

Mr. James F. O'Hara
Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara
3580 Wilshire Blvd., ste. 1240
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2597

RE: Classification of men's woven 100% cotton shorts under 6203.42.4050, HTSUSA; men's nylon swimwear with knit polyester lining, 6211.11.1010, HTSUSA; shorts and belt set; composite goods not offered for sale separately; GRI 3(b) essential character imparted by shorts

Dear Mr. O'Hara:

This is in response to your letter of July 23, 1991, requesting classification of two articles of men's apparel on behalf of your client, Columbia Sportswear Company. Customs is also in receipt of your amended request of August 23, 1991. A sample of each article was submitted to Customs for examination.


Two articles were submitted for classification.

Style No. AM8550 is a pair of woven 100% cotton shorts for men. It has an elasticized waist with five belt loops through which a belt of nylon webbing has been fitted. The belt has a plastic clasp. The shorts have a one button fly opening and this opening does not break the waist. The garment has side seam pockets and a rear pocket with a one button closure. The garment will be imported with the belt inserted through the belt loops and sold in that condition.

Style WM8730 is a pair of men's swim trunks with a woven shell of nylon and a liner of knit polyester. It has side seam inserted mesh pockets and a rear inserted mesh pocket with a zipper closure. The garment has an elasticized waist through which a belt of nylon webbing has been threaded. The belt has a plastic clasp. The trunks will be imported with the belt and sold in that condition.


What is the proper classification of the two submitted articles under the HTSUSA?


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.

Where an article is comprised of composite goods, and each component is classifiable under a separate heading of the HTSUSA, GRI 1 is not determinative of classification. Style AM8550 is a composite good inasmuch as it has components that may be classifiable under heading 6203, HTSUSA, which provides for men's woven cotton shorts and heading 6217, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up clothing accessories. Customs notes, however, that the two component pieces to Style AM8550, the shorts and the nylon belt, are adapted to one another in that the loops on the shorts are sized to accommodate the belt and the casual nature of the belt and shorts are mutually complementary in both use and styling. Moreover, the pieces will be sold as a unit and the belt is not of the type that is usually sold separately at retail.

Pursuant to GRI 2, goods comprised of more than one material, or which are prima facie classifiable under two or more provisions in the nomenclature, are to be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) mandates that of several applicable headings, the one that provides the most specific description shall be preferred. This rule is inapplicable here because headings 6203 and 6217, HTSUSA, are equally specific in that each provides for a different component of the subject merchandise. GRI 3(b) provides:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Essential character in this instance is clearly provided by the shorts. The belt is a mere accessory and would not be the motivating factor in a purchase. Both belt and shorts are properly classifiable under heading 6203, HTSUSA. See Headquarters Ruling Letter 083853.

Style WM8730 is also a composite good and the above analysis is applicable to this sample as well. The nylon belt is adapted to the swim trunks and forms a commercial unit with the shorts. The essential character of this article is imparted by the shorts. The lining, elasticized waist, fabric and styling of this garment are indicative of men's swimwear. Style WM8730 is classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for men's swimwear.


Style AM8550 is classifiable under subheading 6203.42.4050, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' suits, ensembles, suit- type jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): of cotton: other: shorts: men's. The applicable rate of duty is 17.7 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 347.

Style WM8730 is classifiable under subheading 6211.11.1010, HTSUSA, which provides for track suits, ski suits and swimwear; other garments: swimwear: men's or boys': of man-made fibers ... men's. The applicable rate of duty is 29.6 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 659.

The designated textile and apparel categories 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 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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