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 0952812 - HQ 0952903 > HQ 0952903

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 952903

February 17, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952903 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6204.42.3030; 6204.42.3050

Nalini Patel
P.A.C. Imports, Inc.
18 West 30th Street
New York, N.Y. 10001

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 876188 (7/22/92); affirmed; ladies' garments at issue are dresses under 6204, HTSUSA; not big shirts; NYRL 833506 (12/13/88) revoked; Textile Category Guidelines, CIE, 13/88.

Dear Mrs. Patel:

This is in response to your letter of August 3, 1992, requesting that this office reconsider New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 876188, issued to you on July 22, 1992. Upon review, we have determined that our analysis and holding in that ruling are correct and NYRL 876188 is affirmed. We have also had the opportunity to review NYRL 883506, issued to you on December 13, 1988, which classified a very similar garment. This office has determined that the holding in NYRL 883506 is incorrect and is accordingly revoked.


The subject garments of NYRL 876188 are referenced Styles 7065, 6044, 7068 and 7069. Samples of each were submitted to this office for examination.

Each style is manufactured from a 100 percent woven cotton fabric. These garments are shirt-styled and extend to approximately five inches below the knee. The garments feature "one-size-fits-all" sizing, full front openings secured by buttons, breast patch pockets, side seam pockets, short sleeves and deep tailed bottoms, the highest point of which extends to approximately four inches below mid-thigh. Styles 7065 and 6044 are manufactured from yarn dyed fabrics with two or more colors
in the warp and/or filling. Styles 7068 and 7069 are manufactured from solid colored fabrics. Style 6044 features a twelve button closure, styles 7065 and 7069 a nine button closure and style 7068 an eight button closure. Styles 7065, 6044 and 7069 feature a pointed collar with collar band. Style 7068 has a pointed collar without collar band. Style 7068 is 41 inches long. Style 7069 is 43 1/2 inches long. Style 7065 is 43 1/2 inches long. Style 6044 is 43 3/4 inches long. The bottom button on each style ranges from 7 1/4 - 13 1/2 inches from the bottom hem.


Are the garments at issue classifiable as dresses or as over-sized shirts?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by 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. Where the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the remaining headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in order of their appearance.

In your submission you state that Customs erroneously classified the subject garments in NYRL 876188 as dresses under heading 6204, HTSUSA. You argue that these garments are not dresses, but rather over-sized shirts classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA. You cite NYRL 833506, issued to you on December 13, 1988, which classified similar over-sized garments, referenced Style 2706, as women's or girls' cotton tops under heading 6211, HTSUSA.

In support of your contention that the subject garments are not dresses, you state that these articles do not "fulfill the dress requirements," nor would their use on the streets as dresses be appropriate. You state that these garments are intended to be worn with skirts and pants or by themselves at home. You submit that most of these garments are being sold to boutiques, loungewear departments of chain stores and department stores.

Neither NYRL 876188 nor NYRL 833506 provide substantive analyses which show how the holdings in these rulings were arrived at. The rulings are contradictory in that both deal with garments that are virtually identical and yet each ruling
classified these garments differently; NYRL 876188 held that the four styles at issue were classifiable as dresses under heading 6204, HTSUSA, and NYRL 883506 classified similar garments, referenced Style 2706, as woven shirts under heading 6211, HTSUSA.

Upon examination of the subject garments, it is this office's opinion that the styling, length and coverage provided by these garments render them suitable for use as dresses. Although the styling of these garments is evocative of a shirt, this does not preclude their classification as dresses inasmuch as this type of dress style is recognized in the industry. The Textile Category Guidelines, CIE, 13/88, expressly provide for shirt-styled dresses. Specifically, the Guidelines state that "woven garments styled like shirts or blouses which extend below mid-thigh may be included in this category if they are designed and/or are intended for wear as dresses and provide the coverage dresses require ... [T]his category also includes garments ... of various lengths frequently sold in loungewear departments." As these types of garments are expressly provided for in the Guidelines as dresses, we do not agree with your assertion that they do not meet the dress requirements. Moreover, the fact that they are sold in loungewear departments, as you stated in your submission, does not make them unclassifiable as dresses. In fact, while the garments at issue may be worn on the street, they are more likely to be worn at home as lounging dresses that are comfortable, fashionable and capable of wear outside the home.

The subject garments provide more than adequate coverage so as to make them appropriate for wear on the street. Each style extends to approximately five inches below the knee. The deep tailed bottom hem also provides adequate coverage in that it extends to approximately four inches below mid-thigh at its highest point. There is no doubt that these garments would provide even modest wearers sufficient coverage for wear outside the home.

Lastly, we do not agree that these garments will be primarily used as over-sized shirts to be worn over pants and skirts. These garments are too long to be tucked in. They may be worn with tights and hosiery articles, but this would not detract from their status as dresses. If worn over a skirt, not only would very little of the skirt be visible (as the articles at issue extend to approximately five inches below the knee) but, from an aesthetic view point, it is difficult to imagine when one would wear a skirt longer than mid-calf with these garments. Although such use is possible, it is not representative of any current fashion and such use would be characterized, at best, as fugitive.

You have not supplied any documentation as to how these garments are being marketed, advertised and worn as shirts rather than as comfortable dresses for wear primarily in the home. As mentioned above, our examination of the physical characteristics of these garments yields the conclusion that they are dresses. HOLDING:

NYRL 876188 is affirmed.

NYRL 833506 is revoked.

The garments at issue are classifiable as follows:

* Styles 7065 and 6044 are classifiable under subheading 6204.42.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided- skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): dresses: of cotton: with two or more colors in the warp and/or filling: women's. The rate of duty is 12.6 percent ad valorem, with a textile quota category of 336;

* Styles 7068 and 7069 are classifiable under subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, which provides for , in pertinent part, dresses: of cotton: other: women's, dutiable at a rate of 12.6 percent ad valorem with a textile quota category of 336.

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)), NYRL 833506 is revoked to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.

This revocation is not retroactive. However, NYRL 833506 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 modification will be classified accordingly). If it can be shown that you relied on NYRL 833506 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 government agencies.

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.

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.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: