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HQ 953842

August 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953842 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6109.90.1060; 6114.30.3030

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

RE: Revocation of DD 881724 (1/22/93); classification of a knit toddler T-shirt and one-piece playsuit; Note 8 to Chapter 61, HTSUSA; unisex garments are classified as women's or girls' garments; when sizing, styling and construction are gender neutral, Customs will consider evidence of marketing and advertising in determining the sex for which a garment is intended; 6109.90.1060 and 6114.30.3030, HTSUSA.

Dear Ms. Yamashita:

On January 22, 1993, the Customs District Office in Baltimore issued you District Ruling (DD) 881724, in which a toddler T-shirt and one-piece playsuit were classified as boys' garments under subheadings 6110.30.3050 and 6114.30.3020, HTSUSA, respectively. Upon review, we find that ruling to be in error. Our analysis follows.


Style 460406 is comprised of a toddler-size T-shirt and one- piece playsuit. The T-shirt is constructed with long sleeves, a rib knit collar and cuffs, and an embroidered NIKE logo at the left chest. The fabrication is 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton knit jersey. The one-piece playsuit is constructed with contrasting rib binding at the armholes and neck, snap crotch, elastic leg hems, and a screened NIKE logo at the front. The fabrication is 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton knit jersey. The garments are sold in toddler sizes 2T(small), 3T(medium) and 4T(large). Samples of style 460406 were submitted in two different color schemes to this office: light grey one-piece playsuit with purple T-shirt and red, green and purple trim and a purple one-piece playsuit with
magenta T-shirt and teal, purple and magenta trim. A NIKE brochure also depicts style 460406 in a striped version, with black, white, blue, purple, red and grey stripes. These garments are produced in Hong Kong.

NIKE has submitted several documents which state that the garments at issue are designed as unisex garments. The documents are as follows:

* NIKE submitted a corporate product marketing brief for boys', toddler and infant size garments. In pertinent part, the brief states that NIKE toddler and infant clothing provide the consumer with the opportunity to purchase garments that are unisex in both style and color. In the heading marked "Position/Attitude/ Theme," this document states that "there should be a unisex feel to the colors so that the apparel can be worn by both boys and girls";

* NIKE submitted a document labeled "Kids Apparel Fall '94 Consumer Focus." The sections labeled "Toddler" and "Infant" both state that unisex styling is a feature that is offered to the consumer in these sizes. In contrast, the sections labeled boy's sizes 4-7 and 8-20 make no such claim. This document sets forth who the expected consumers will be, who the competition is, what NIKE's strengths are and why consumers should take advantage of the opportunity to purchase NIKE infant, toddler and boys' garments as opposed to other brands;

* NIKE submitted a compendium of color photographs bound in a calendar-like fashion. All but two of the photographs depict boys playing in boys'-size garments; the other two photographs depict a boy toddler wearing the striped version of style 460406 and another boy toddler wearing a similar style garment. Buyers can look at the color photos and, on the reverse side of the photos, can examine color illustrations representing the different styles available. This document also provides information about fabric content, color availability, the dates certain styles are available and wholesale and suggested retail prices. Order forms are provided.

DD 881724 classified these garments as boys' pullovers and one-piece playsuits under subheadings 6110.30.3050 and 6114.30.3020, HTSUSA, respectively. NIKE submits that these classifications are incorrect inasmuch as the garments at issue are unisex and therefore classifiable under subheadings 6109.90.1060 and 6114.30.3030, HTSUSA, as girls' garments.


Whether NIKE style 460406 is classifiable as boys' toddler garments or as unisex toddler garments?


Classification of merchandise 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, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

Our threshold inquiry is whether the garments at issue are boys' garments or unisex garments in which case they are classifiable as girls' garments pursuant to Note 8 to Chapter 61, HTSUSA. Note 8 states that articles of Chapter 61 which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' garments, or as women's or girls' garments, are to be classified in the headings covering women's or girls' garments.

The forward to the Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E., 10/88, states:

"[U]nisex garments are usually sold in both men's and boys' and in women's and girls' departments and stores. Garments which are only sold in men's or boys' departments or stores are usually not commonly worn by either sex and therefore are not unisex.

In determining whether a garment is identifiable as men's or boys', or as women's or girls', the following should be considered: 1) sizing, 2) construction, 3) styling and 4) other factors such as packaging, labeling, etc."

The garments at issue are to be sold in department stores which sell both boys' and girls' clothing (i.e., Nordstroms, Dillards, Dayton Hudson, May Co., etc.). NIKE states that style 460406 is to be displayed and sold in Infant/Toddler Departments as unisex garments. The toddler sizing used for these garments (i.e., 2T, 3T and 4T) is gender neutral. Similarly, the construction and styling of these garments appears equally suitable for use by either boys or girls. The garments do not button left over right, nor is there any distinctive design feature, pattern or logo which would render these garments unsuitable for use by either boys or girls. NIKE is a well-
known manufacturer of sporting goods and sporting apparel. NIKE manufactures clothes for men and boys as well as for women and girls. The color schemes do not definitively designate these garments for use by a particular sex. Grey, purple, magenta and stripes in black, white, grey, red and blue are colors worn by both sexes.

The fourth criterion listed in the Textile Category Guidelines states that extrinsic evidence which establishes how a garment is marketed will be considered when determining the sex for which a particular garment is intended. NIKE has supplied this office with several documents which present evidence that style 460406 is a unisex garment, and there is nothing about the design of this garment which contradicts this position. Specifically, we note that the "Fall '94 Kids Apparel Product Marketing Brief for Toddlers" stresses that these garments are to be presented to consumers as offering unisex styling and colors. The design of the garments and their color schemes are compatible with this statement. This document also stresses that these unisex garments are "a great vehicle to introduce 'NIKE TYKES' label and packaging." The term NIKE TYKES is also gender neutral.

The submitted brochure contains color photographs which predominantly feature boys wearing NIKE garments; only two photographs featuring boy toddlers wearing NIKE garments are included. One toddler is shown wearing a striped version of style 460406. Although the child model shown wearing style 460406 is a boy, and no girl models are included in this brochure, we recognize that this may be a result of the fact that a great majority of the brochure is devoted to boys' wear and boys' wear in sizes 4-7 and 8-20 is not unisex. In keeping with the boys' wear theme, a boy toddler is depicted wearing the subject merchandise. NIKE dispels any presumption that style 460406 is only for boys by stating in the marketing documents provided to buyers that NIKE toddler wear is unisex in styling and color scheme (with the exception of NIKE JORDAN toddler wear which is expressly designated as for boys).

As the garments at issue possess styling and color schemes that are suitable for use by boys and girls, and evidence has been presented which establishes that these garments are intended to be marketed as unisex garments, this office is of the opinion that style 460406 is a unisex garment and is therefore classifiable under headings for girls' wear.

The shirt component of style 460406 meets the definition of T-shirt as set forth in the Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 10/88, at page 12, and is classifiable under heading 6109, HTSUSA.

The one-piece garment is classifiable as a girls' playsuit under heading 6114, HTSUSA.


DD 881724 is revoked.

The T-shirt component to style 460406 is classifiable under subheading 6109.90.1060, HTSUSA, which provides for "T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: of other textile materials: of man-made fibers... women's or girls': girls," dutiable at a rate of 34 percent ad valorem. The attendant textile quota/visa category is 639.

The one-piece component to style 460406 is classifiable under subheading 6114.30.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for "other garments, knitted or crocheted: of man-made fibers: other... sunsuits, washsuits, one-piece playsuits and similar apparel: women's or girls'" dutiable at a rate of 16.1 percent ad valorem. The attendant textile quota/visa category is 237.

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 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.

Due to the 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.

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)), DD 881724 is revoked effective with the date of this letter.

This revocation is not retroactive. However, DD 881724 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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