United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0950524 - HQ 0950713 > HQ 0950528

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950528

April 7, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950528 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6103.42.1040; 6110.20.2040

Mr. Allan H. Kamnitz
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 67 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Children's outerwear; playsuit; sweatshirt; joined at waist; elasticized; appliques; new article of commerce

Dear Mr. Kamnitz:

This is in reply to your letter of October 10, 1991. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of children's clothing, produced in Hong Kong.

At conference in late 1991, you advised us of your intention to discuss with the National Import Specialist various construction possibilities for your merchandise. On February 10, 1992, you asked that we withhold action on your request for a ruling due to continuing discussions with Customs in New York. As of this date, no discussions with the NIS have been scheduled, nor have we received any additional material for consideration.

This office is under a mandate to process cases in a timely manner. The administrative burden of continuing to track this matter and carry it as an open case when no action is being taken is significant. As a result, it is our opinion that both the interests of the government and of your clients would be best served by issuance of this ruling.


The merchandise at issue consists of a boy's knit playwear set, Style 99104-1. It is constructed of 70% cotton, 30 percent polyester, and consists of a sweatshirt and a pair of coordinated sweat pants. The sweatshirt has long sleeves, a pair of concealed loops at the inside waist sides, a napped interior, appliques, embroidery, and ribbing at the neck, sleeve cuffs, and bottom. The pants have two self-fabric tab/loop combinations at the inside waist sides, a napped interior, a waistband that is not more than 50% elasticized, and ribbing at the ankle cuffs. The tabs on the pants' inside waist can be passed through the loops on the sweatshirt interior to physically connect the garments. You state that the garments will be manufactured, imported, marketed and sold as one commercial article.


Whether the garments are considered a playsuit under the HTSUSA?


Various subheadings within the tariff schedule provide for children's garments imported as parts of playsuits. The Customs Service periodically issues the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories. The Guidelines, most recently published at 53 Fed. Reg. 52563 (Dec. 28, 1988), CIE 13/88 (Nov. 23, 1988), note that since certain types of garments are closely related in use, the Guidelines are to be used as an aid in determining the commercial designation and, hence, the classification of an article. Used as such, they represent the present position of the Customs Service.

The Textile Guidelines, supra, define playsuits as

[t]wo-piece physically connected entireties for girls 2-14 and boys 2-7, such as shirts and shorts having matching buttons and buttonholes, or shoulder loops with suspender straps designed to join the two pieces, which are so manufactured that the use of one without the other is not practicable....
However, button/buttonhole sets with pants that can reasonable be worn without the shirt, are not within this provision....
[Emphasis added.]

You state that "the pants simply cannot reasonably be worn with other tops; they must be worn with the pullover in order to provide the required support to prevent the pants from falling down." We disagree. It a basic tenet of Customs law that two- piece combination garments are not classifiable as playsuits merely because they are capable of being joined at the waist by buttons or other fasteners. See HRL 080289 of October 27, 1988, HRL 079637 of July 5, 1988, HRL 079651 of July 5, 1988. These garments are not sufficiently dependant upon each other to justify the attachment feature. Contrary to your claim, the elasticity of the waistband is sufficient to allow the pants to be worn without need for the loops. Additionally, although the pants and shirt of the same fabric and color, nothing in their designs forbids their being worn with other shirts/pants. No matching appliques exist on the pants, and the garments do not transform into a new article of commerce when combined. Therefore, classification as a playsuit is incorrect.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified as follows:


... under subheading 6110.20.2040, HTSUSA, textile category 338, as sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, other, other, sweatshirts, men's or boys'. The applicable rate of duty is 20.7 percent ad valorem.


... under subheading 6103.42.1040, HTSUSA, textile category 347, as men's or boys' suits, suit-type jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear), knitted or crocheted, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, of cotton, trousers, breeches and shorts, trousers and breeches, boys', other. The applicable rate of duty is 17.1 percent ad valorem.

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 negotiations 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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: