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HQ 950974

April 7, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950974 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6104.62.2010, 6104.62.2030, 6104.63.2010

James O'Hara, Esq.
Stein, Shostak, Shostak & O'Hara
Suite 1240
3580 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CAL. 90010-2597

RE: Classification of women's knit garments for the lower torso and legs; leggings; tights v. pants; 6115, HTSUSA v. 6104, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. O'Hara:

This ruling is in response to your submission of December 12, 1991, on behalf of Krystal K. International, Inc., requesting classification of certain knit garments commonly known as leggings. The garments will be imported from Taiwan. Sample garments were received with the submission.


Five sample garments were submitted. All of the samples are knit garments designed to cover the lower torso and legs. The garments are form-fitting and each features an elasticized self- fabric covered waistband, a diamond-shaped gusset in the crotch, hemmed leg bottoms, center seams on the torso portion, and seams along the back of the legs from the waist along the length of the legs. The garments vary in length from above the knee to the ankles. Two samples, NT-015 (100 percent nylon) and LT-017 (77.5 percent nylon/22.5 percent spandex), do not have lined gussets and have fabric weights of 210 grams per yard and 275 grams per yard, respectively. The remaining three styles, CT-012, CT-011 and CT-027B, have lined gussets, have a fabric weight of 300 grams per yard, and are made of 54 percent cotton/35 percent polyester/11 percent spandex knit fabric.

These garments are distinguishable from similar garments previously classified as pants of heading 6104, HTSUSA, in that -2-
the leg portion of each style has a center back seam along the back of the leg, whereas, previously the garments had seams along the inside of the leg.


Are the submitted garments classifiable as tights of heading 6115, HTSUSA, or as pants of heading 6104, HTSUSA?


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.

In HRL 089852 of February 19, 1992, Customs ruled on garments which were designed and marketed for use during exercise activities. In that ruling, Customs further examined the meaning of tights classifiable in heading 6115, HTSUSA, and expressed therein that the scope of heading 6115, HTSUSA, is limited by its terms to hosiery articles. In order to be classifiable as tights of heading 6115, the garments must be hosiery articles. In HRL 089852, it was determined that the articles therein were not hosiery.

The submitted samples are very similar to garments previously ruled upon by Customs to be pants of heading 6104, HTSUSA. These garments differ only in the placement of the leg seams down the back of the legs as opposed to along the inside of the legs. Customs recognizes that these garments have been engineered to fit the criteria stated in the clarification of the definition of tights found in the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88. Notice of the clarification and its text appeared in the Federal Register on September 16, 1991, at 46766-7.

Customs recognizes the Category Guidelines as helpful in providing guidance regarding characteristics of garments when the legal notes, the explanatory notes and other sources prove -3-
lacking. We view the Guidelines seriously because we recognize that importers tend to rely heavily on the category descriptions contained therein. However, Customs does not classify garments by the Guidelines, we classify according to the tariff and the principles of classification. These garments are not commercially recognized as hosiery; they are not articles of the hosiery industry. Since they are not hosiery, they cannot be classified in heading 6115, HTSUSA.


The submitted garments are classifiable as women's knit pants of heading 6104, HTSUSA. Styles CT-011 and CT-027B are classified as women's cotton knit trousers in subheading 6104.62.2010, HTSUSA, textile category 348, dutiable at 16.7 percent ad valorem. Style CT-012 is classified as women's cotton knit shorts in subheading 6104.62.2030, HTSUSA, textile category 348, dutiable at 16.7 percent ad valorem. Styles NT-015 and LT- 017 are classified as women's knit trousers of synthetic fibers in subheading 6104.63.2010, HTSUSA, textile category 648, dutiable at 30 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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