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HQ 953305

June 7, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953305 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6210.10.4025

Ms. Marie Wong
TMC Enterprises Inc.
711 S.W. 96th Avenue
Pembroke Pines, FLA 33025

RE: Disposable panties made of nonwoven nylon and nonwoven polypropylene; Legal Note 5 to Chapter 62; heading 6208; heading 6210; Explanatory Notes to heading 6210; heading 5603; Explanatory Notes to heading 5603; HRL 952937

Dear Ms. Wong:

This is in response to your letter dated December 17, 1992, in which you requested the tariff classification of disposable undergarments under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Two samples of the undergarments were submitted for our examination.


The articles at issue are women's disposable undergarments. The first sample is a nonwoven nylon panty that has an elasticized waist, elasticized leg openings and a front and rear panel. The material for the panty is made by the "integrated spinning bonded process." A web is formed by the random distribution of very fine continuous nylon fibers, which are then bonded fiber to fiber by heat and pressure.

The second sample is made of nonwoven polypropylene. The material for this panty is also constructed by the "integrated spinning bonded process", except that polypropylene fibers are used instead of nylon fibers.


What is the tariff classification of the nonwoven nylon and nonwoven polypropylene undergarments under the HTSUS?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by 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. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order. Two headings are at issue here: heading 6208, HTSUS, and heading 6210, HTSUS.

Heading 6208, HTSUS, provides for "[w]omen's or girls' singlets and other undershirts, slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles." The subject panties are described by the terms of this heading.

Heading 6210, HTSUS, provides for "[g]arments, made up of fabrics, of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907." In understanding the language of the HTS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not legally binding, comprise the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. The ENs to heading 6210 state, on page 856, that:

With the exception of babies' garments of heading 62.09, this heading covers all garments made up of felt or nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, or of textile fabrics (other than knitted or crocheted fabrics) of heading 59.03, 59.06 or 59.07, without distinction between male or female wear.

It should be noted that articles which are, prima facie, classifiable both in this heading and in other headings of this Chapter, excluding heading 62.09, are to be classified in this heading (see Chapter Note 5).

In order to determine if the subject undergarments are classifiable in heading 6210, HTSUS, we must determine if they are made up of fabrics of heading 5603, HTSUS, which provides for "[n]onwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated." According to the ENs to heading 5603, (page 774- 775), a nonwoven is a sheet or web of predominately textile fibers oriented directionally or randomly and bonded chemically, mechanically or thermally. These fibers may be of natural or man-made origin. The materials used for the subject panties are made from webs of textile fibers that are oriented randomly and then are bonded fiber to fiber through heat and pressure. Therefore, the undergarments are made up of a fabric of heading 5603 and they are prima facie classifiable in heading 6210, HTSUS.

Legal Note 5 to Chapter 62, HTSUS, states that "[g]arments which are, prima facie, classifiable both in heading 6210 and in other headings of this chapter, excluding heading 6209, are to be classified in heading 6210." Inasmuch as the undergarments are prima facie classifiable in both heading 6208, HTSUS, and 6210, HTSUS, they are classifiable in heading 6210, HTSUS. Specifically, the panties are classifiable in subheading 6210.10.4025, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]arments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907: [o]f fabrics of heading 5602 or 5603: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther." See, Headquarters Ruling Letter 952937, dated March 2, 1992, which classified disposable garments made from a spun-bonded polypropylene material in subheading 6210.10.40, HTSUS.


The nonwoven nylon panties and the nonwoven polypropylene panties are classified in subheading 6210.10.4025, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]arments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907: [o]f fabrics of heading 5602 or 5603: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther. The rate of duty is 17% ad valorem and the applicable textile category is 659.

The designated textile and apparel categories 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 the importer 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 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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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