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HQ 951077

April 21, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951077 SK


TARIFF NOS.: 6211.11.1010

Robert T. Stack
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10036

RE: Classification of men's garments; woven polyester and cotton swimwear; Hampco Apparel, Inc. v. United States, 12 C.I.T. 92 (1988); 6211, HTSUSA; Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. June, 1987

Dear Mr. Stack:

This is in response to your letter of December 31, 1991, requesting classification of an article of men's apparel referenced style #221561. A sample was submitted to Customs for examination and will be returned to you under separate cover.


Style #221561 is a men's garment constructed from 65% polyester and 35% woven cotton. The garment has a fly front zippered opening, a separate waistband which is elasticized in the back, a single-button closure above the zipper and a full liner made from synthetic fiber mesh fabric. The garment has two side seam inserted pockets and a rear inserted pocket with a one- button closure. The front of the garment is pleated. The outer seam from the top of the waistband to the hem bottom measures approximately 16 1/2 inches.

You state that the garment will have functional drawstrings in the waistband at the time of importation.


Is the subject merchandise properly classifiable as men's swimwear or as men's shorts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


Classification of merchandise under the 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.

The issue in the instant case is whether style #221561 is classifiable under heading 6203, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, men's shorts or under heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for men's swimwear.

In Hampco Apparel, Inc. v. United States, 12 C.I.T. 92 (1988), the Court set forth guidelines with regard to the classification of men's swimwear. The following criteria were deemed indicative of men's swimwear:

1) the garment has an elasticized waistband through which a drawstring is threaded;

2) there is an inner lining of lightweight material, namely nylon tricot; and

3) the garment must be designed and constructed for swimming.

In the instant case it is apparent that the submitted sample meets the first two criteria: style #221561 has an elasticized waistband [there is no requirement that the entire waistband be elasticized], a drawstring [the article will be imported with a drawstring], and an inner lining of lightweight material. The article at issue also meets the third requirement inasmuch as the fabric used in this garment's construction, and its styling, are compatible for use as swimwear. The presence of pockets does not necessarily preclude classification as swimshorts. Moreover, the garment's inseam length (16 1/2 inches) is not so long so that it encumbers the wearer and inhibits swimming. Style #221561, so long as it has a functional drawstring, meets the test set forth in Hampco and is appropriately classifiable as men's swimwear under heading 6211, HTSUSA.

If the garment at issue is imported without drawstrings, there is strong evidence to suggest that style #221561 is classifiable as shorts. Without a drawstring, the garment does
not satisfy the Hampco test and the presence of a fly front tends to be indicative of a garment's status as shorts. In The Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. June, 1987, it was recognized that "while a fly front will not preclude a garment from being swimwear, normally a garment with a fly front and two or more pockets is shorts and not swimwear."


Style #221561, if imported with a functional drawstring, 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 rate of duty is 29.6% ad valorem and the textile category is 659.

If style #221561 is imported without a drawstring, it is classifiable as men's shorts under subheading 6203.43. 4030, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, men's synthetic fiber shorts, dutiable at a rate of 29.7% ad valorem. The applicable textile category is 647.

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 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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