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 0952716 - HQ 0952810 > HQ 0952751

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 952751

January 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952751 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6203.43.4030; 6211.11.1020

Ms. Linda Yamashita
NIKE, Inc.
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005-6453

RE: Men's and boys' woven nylon shorts; subheadings 6203.43.4030 and 6211.11.1020, HTSUSA

Dear Ms. Yamashita:

This is in response to your letter dated September 10, 1992, requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of two pairs of men's and one pair of boys' woven boxer style shorts. Samples were provided to this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The samples consist of the following:

A. Two pairs of men's woven boxer style shorts:

1. Style number 350107 has a liner composed of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton and side seam pockets

2. Style number 350116 has a liner composed of 100 percent polyester, diagonal front pockets and a horizontal rear pocket. All pockets feature snap closures and twill tape reinforcements

Both styles have an All Conditions Gear (ACG) logo on a waistband label and hangtags indicating the ACG collection is for outdoor cross-training in all sorts of weather.

B. A pair of boys' woven boxer style shorts:

Style number 455005 has a liner composed of 100 percent nylon and side seam pockets

All of the samples have a woven shell of 100 percent nylon taffeta, a fully elasticized waistband, a functional drawstring and a knit full support liner.


Whether the submitted samples are classifiable as shorts in heading 6203, HTSUSA, or as swimwear in heading 6211, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

In Hampco Apparel, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 88-12 (January 28, 1988), the Court of International Trade stated that three factors must be present if a garment is to be considered swimwear for tariff purposes:

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

2. the garment has an inner lining of lightweight material, and

3. the garment is designed and constructed for swimming

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, November 23, 1988, also provide guidelines in classifying garments as either men's shorts or swimwear. The guidelines state:

Garments commercially known as jogging or athletic shorts are normally loose-fitting short pants usually extending from the waist to the upper thigh and usually have an elastic waistband. They may resemble swim trunks for men, boys, or male infants, which are not included in this category. Swim trunks will usually have an elasticized waist with a drawstring and a full lightweight support liner. Garments which cannot be recognized as swim trunks will be considered shorts. (Emphasis added).

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081477, dated March 21, 1988, we stated that to determine whether a garment is designed and constructed for swimming, the appearance of the garment will be examined. If the appearance is not conclusive, the following
evidence will be considered: the way in which the garment has been designed, manufactured, marketed or advertised, the way in which the manufacturer or importer intends the garment to be used, and the way in which a garment is chiefly used.

Customs has classified similar merchandise in the past. Customs has been consistent in ruling that even in those instances where the first two factors enumerated by the court in Hampco are present, but the third factor is lacking, the article will be considered shorts (See also, HQ 086436, dated May 3, 1990; HQ 086979, dated May 15, 1990; HQ 087476, dated September 7, 1990; HQ 950207, dated December 3, 1991; HQ 950652, dated February 12, 1992, and HQ 951841, dated August 11, 1992).

Several factors lead us to believe that the men's shorts are not designed and constructed as swimwear. The hangtags placed on the shorts indicate that the ACG collection is for outdoor cross- training, in all sorts of weather. Furthermore, the ACG section of Nike's 1992 Spring Men's Apparel Catalogue features models biking, running and roller-blading. There are no illustrations of men swimming. This substantiates the finding that the garments are clearly multi-purpose shorts and not designed and constructed specifically for swimming. As such, the garments are classified as shorts in heading 6211, HTSUSA.

The boys shorts on the other hand, do not have the ACG logo, nor the hangtag indicating use as a cross-training garment. In addition, they have an inner lining of lightweight material, usually found in swimwear. This particular garment is thus accorded a swimwear classification in heading 6211, HTSUSA.


The men's woven boxer style shorts, Style numbers 350107 and 350116, are classified in subheading 6203.43.4030, HTSUSA, which provides for men's woven shorts of synthetic fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 29.7 ad valorem and the textile category is 647.

The boys' woven boxer shorts, Style number 455055, is classified in subheading 6211.11.1020, HTSUSA, which provides for boys' woven cotton swimwear of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 29.6 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 659.

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 the 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 the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: