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HQ 954402

August 23, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954402 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.32.0081

Mr. Victor Lutz
Clothing Intelligence Agency c/o Best Parallel International Corp.
1466 Broadway, Suite 1611
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of a man's pullover upper body garment; caftan; Heading 6205; Heading 6211

Dear Mr. Lutz:

This ruling is in response to your inquiry of May 17, 1993, requesting a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), concerning the classification of a man's upper body garment. No sample was submitted to Customs Headquarters for examination. The merchandise will be manufactured in India.


The merchandise in question is a man's woven cotton pullover garment. It will be constructed from a woven cotton mesh fabric. The pullover garment contains a deep V neck, long sleeves, and side vents approximately 15 inches in length. The garment is approximately 42 inches long and is described by the importer as a caftan style shirt. The importer submitted a catalog page that depicted the subject garment.


What is the proper tariff classification for the merchandise in question?


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

The subject merchandise is potentially classifiable under two distinct headings. Heading 6205, HTSUSA, is the tariff provision for men's or boys' shirts. The other possibility is Heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for other men's garments.

The importer contends that the subject garment is a men's sport shirt classifiable under Heading 6205, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6205, HTSUSA, state that this heading covers shirts not knitted or crocheted for men or boys including shirts with detachable collars, dress shirts, sports shirts and leisure shirts.

Even though the importer refers to the subject garment as a sport shirt, we believe the garment is unlike any of the shirts enumerated in the EN. While the EN do not specify a length, Customs is of the opinion that the subject garment is too long in length to resemble any of the shirts classifiable under Heading 6205, HTSUSA. As the garment in question is not provided for under Heading 6205, HTSUSA, the only alternative category for tariff classification purposes, is Heading 6211, HTSUSA, as an other garment. Support for this view may be found in the General EN to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, which describe shirt and shirt-blouses as garments designed to cover the upper part of the body. This garment extends to the knee or longer.


Based on the foregoing, the garment in question is classifiable in subheading 6211.32.0081, HTSUSA, as an other garment. The applicable rate of duty is 8.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 359.

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 renegotiations 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 internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which 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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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