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 0950876 - HQ 0951029 > HQ 0950993

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950993

March 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950993 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6104.62.2010

Richard Wortman, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Classification of a knit garment for the lower torso and legs, style PA 2000; leggings; tights v. pants; 6115, HTSUSA v. 6104, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Wortman:

This ruling is in response to your submission of November 21, 1991, on behalf of Jeri-Jo Knitwear, seeking the classification of a knit garment designed to cover the lower torso and legs, i.e., style PA 2000. A sample garment was received by this office. The garment will be imported from Taiwan.


Style PA 2000 is a women's knit trouser-type garment designed to cover the lower torso and legs to the ankles. The knit fabric consists of 95 percent cotton/5 percent spandex fibers and weighs 215 grams per meter squared. The garment features a self-fabric covered elasticized waistband, a triangular-shaped lined gusset in the crotch, hemmed leg bottoms, center seams on the torso portion of the garment and flat back seams extending from the waist to the bottom of the legs.

For reference purposes, you have submitted two socks as examples of ordinary hosiery. You report that the black sock, a men's 65 percent cotton/35 percent nylon knit, weighs 195 grams; the olive green sock, a men's 90 percent cotton/10 percent nylon knit, weighs 240 grams.


Is style PA 2000 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 the opinion 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 garment must be a hosiery article. In HRL 089852, it was determined that the articles under consideration were not hosiery.

The submitted sample, style PA 2000, is very similar to garments previously ruled upon by Customs to be pants of heading 6104, HTSUSA. You claim the fabric is hosiery-type and appear to base this claim on the weight of the fabric in comparison to the weights of the sock samples included with your submission.

Customs investigated the possibility of utilizing various factors, including weight, to define hosiery and tights and found that weight was not a feasible measure by which to distinguish these goods. HRL 089852 contains a discussion of hosiery and whether leggings such as the submitted article are considered hosiery. In that ruling, it is stated that "[g]arments * * *, i.e., garments which are clearly produced from a cut-and-sew process, are not viewed by the NAHM [National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers] as articles of the hosiery industry, but as articles of the apparel industry."

Style PA 2000 is clearly an article produced by a cut-and- sew process. It is much like the articles already ruled to be pants and differs 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 this garment has 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.

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 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. This garment is not commercially recognized as hosiery; it is not an article of the hosiery industry. Therefore, style PA 2000 is not classifiable in heading 6115, HTSUSA.


Style PA 2000 is classifiable as women's cotton knit trousers in subheading 6104.62.2010, HTSUSA textile category 348, dutiable at 16.7 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: