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 0951791 - HQ 0951875 > HQ 0951809

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 951809

September 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951809 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0037

Jerry Braff
Managing Director
Ardent Intimates, Ltd.
1685-B Scenic Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

RE: Revocation of HRL 085388 (9/29/89); classification of ladies' knit underwear top proper under heading 6109, HTSUSA; heading 6108, HTSUSA, does not provide for upper body garments.

Dear Mr. Braff:

On September 29, 1989, this office issued you Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085388, classifying ladies' knit camisole- type underwear tops. Upon review, HRL 085388 is determined to be in error and is accordingly revoked.


The garment the subject of HRL 085388, dated September 29, 1989, was a 100% cotton knit camisole-type top with a French neck and narrow shoulder straps. The garment extends from the neck and shoulders to below the waist. It is constructed from a lightweight, sheer fabric and is scattered with pointelle openwork and has a finished bottom. The garment is designed to be worn as underwear.

HRL 085388 classified the garment under subheading 6108.91.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns amd similar articles, knitted or crocheted, dutiable at a rate of 9% ad valorem with a textile category of 350. This ruling served to revoke a prior Headquarters ruling issued to you on July 31, 1989, referenced HRL 084110. HRL 084110 classified the same merchandise under subheading 6109.10.0037, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, underwear tops.


Whether ladies' knit underwear tops are classifiable under headings 6108 or 6109, 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). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for "T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted." The Explanatory Notes (EN) to this heading state that "singlets and other vests" are included in this provision. The word "vest" is defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, (1977), as "a knitted undershirt for women." The article at issue is a women's knit camisole-style undershirt and therefore classification is prima facie provided for in heading 6109, HTSUSA.

We note that Customs previously distinguished between the types of underwear provided for in headings 6108 and 6109, HTSUSA. See HRL 089280 of may 13, 1991. In that ruling it was determined that undergarments are divided into two categories: those which are worn below the waist of heading 6108, HTSUSA and those which are worn above the waist of heading 6109, HTSUSA. Accordingly, as the ladies' undershirt at issue is worn above the waist, classification is proper under heading 6109, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6109.10.0037, HTSUSA, which provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: women's or girls' underwear. The rate of duty is 21% ad valorem and the textile quota category is 352.

In order to ensure uniformity in Customs' classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1), HRL 085388 is revoked to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. If, after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you may have with respect to this matter. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This revocation is not retroactive. However, HRL 085388 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected (i.e., merchandise previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent to this revocation will be classified accordingly). If it can be shown that you relied on HRL 085388 ruling to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other agencies.

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 renegotiations 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 internal 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 applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: