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HQ 953173

March 3, 1993

CLA-2; CO:R:C:T 953173 ch


TARIFF NO.: 6207.11.0000

Brahim A. Jarmache
3341 Clement Street
San Francisco, CA 94121

RE: Classification of men's woven cotton boxer shorts; 6207.11.0000; underpants; not shorts or sleepwear

Dear Mr. Jarmache:

This is in response to your letter requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for a pair of men's woven cotton boxer shorts. A sample was provided to our office for examination.


The subject merchandise, a pair of men's woven cotton boxer shorts, possess a fully elasticized enclosed waistband and an unsecured fly front opening. New York Customs Laboratory has determined that the weight of the garment is 3.22 ounces per square yard. The shorts measure approximately 11 1/2 inches across the relaxed waist; 13 1/2 inches from the top of the waistband to the hem bottom; 12 1/2 inches across a single leg opening. This item does not feature belt loops, inner or outer pockets, or a lining.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

In light of contemporary fashions trends, it is our practice to classify boxer shorts as either underwear, sleepwear or shorts on a case-by-case basis. See HRL 953005, dated December 24, 1992; HRL 951981, dated September 8, 1992. We recognize the following features as indicative of non-underwear garments:

1. Fabric weight greater than 4.2 ounces per square yard;

2. An enclosed or turned over waistband;

3. Lack of a fly or presence of a lining;

4. A single leg opening greater than the relaxed waist;

5. The presence of belt loops, inner or outer pockets or pouches;

6. Multiple snaps at the fly opening;

7. The side length of a size medium should not exceed 17 inches.

In HRL 951981, we stated:

Past Customs rulings addressing similar items have determined that garments which display more than one of the above features give rise to the presumption that the garment is not underwear. This presumption is rebuttable where it can be shown that additional criteria such as marketing, or other physical attribute are determinative. (Emphasis added).

The subject article features a turned over waistband and leg openings of a size greater than the relaxed waist. Hence, there arises a presumption that the item is not underwear.

However, in this case we are of the opinion that physical attributes of the garment rebut this presumption. We note that it would not be practical to wear this item as an outer garment, as the construction of the unsecured fly would expose undergarments worn beneath it to the public. Similarly, the lightweight material from which the boxer shorts are made could expose undergarments to scrutiny.

In HRL 951750, dated July 7, 1992, we took the position that garments possessing the characteristics of men's underpants will be classified as such, in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary. Hence, boxer shorts capable of being classified alternatively as underpants, sleepwear or shorts will be classified as underpants under normal circumstances. The instant article possesses features typical of undergarments: an unsecured fly opening, lightweight material and the absence of pockets, belt loops or a lining. As stated above, the physical attributes of the merchandise render it unlikely that it will be worn as an outer garment. Accordingly, the subject merchandise is properly classified as underwear, not knitted or crocheted, pursuant to heading 6207, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6207.11.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' singlets and other undershirts, underpants, briefs, nightshirts, pajamas, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, underpants and briefs, of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 6.5 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category is 352.

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 the subject of 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

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