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HQ 954427

October 13, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954427 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6204.53.3010

Robert Stack, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, New York 10036

RE: Classification of a women's skirt with a removable slip-like lining

Dear Mr. Stack:

This ruling is in response to your request of May 25, 1993, on behalf of Liz Claiborne, regarding the classification of a women's skirt with a removable slip-like lining. The garment will be imported from China through the New York Seaport and/or JFK Airport. A sample was received by this office and will be returned under separate cover.


The garment at issue, style 2036811, is a women's skirt with a removable slip-like lining. The skirt is made of 100 percent polyester woven fabric. The slip-like lining is made of 100 percent polyester tulle net (not knit) fabric. The skirt features a 1.5 inch self-fabric waistband with a single button and zipper closure at the back. The skirt is constructed with two panels which are gathered at the waistband attachment thus giving the skirt a full look. The lining has a satin edge at the top which has eight snaps sewn onto it. The snaps have corresponding mates on the inside of the skirt below the waistband. The bottom half of the lining has a double-layer ruffle. The lining has an approximately five inch slit in the back to accommodate the zipper.


Are the skirt and slip-like lining which make up style 2036811 classifiable together as composite goods or classifiable separately?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Note 13, Section XI, provides:

Unless the context otherwise requires, textile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own headings even if put up in sets for retail sale.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state in the general notes to Chapter 62 that "[i]t should be noted that, for the application of Note 13 to Section XI, the expression 'textile garments' means garments of headings 62.01 to 62.11."

In view of the language of Note 13 and the additional clarification given by the Explanatory Notes, the skirt and the slip-like lining must be separately classified if the slip-like lining is classifiable as a garment in any heading within headings 6201 to 6211, HTSUSA. Woven and non-knit slips are classified in heading 6208, HTSUSA. Therefore, if we consider the lining to be a slip, the skirt and lining must be separately classified.

Customs does not believe the lining may be considered a slip. GRI 2(a) provides that an unfinished or incomplete article which has the essential character of the finished or complete article will be classified as if it were the finished article. The lining has the general appearance of a slip and functions as a slip when attached to the skirt; however, it is not an unfinished or incomplete article. The lining is complete; and, in its complete form, it cannot be used separately; it can only be used with the skirt. Therefore, while it could be argued that the lining has the essential character of a slip based upon its appearance and function; it cannot fulfill that function unless worn in conjunction with the skirt with which it is designed to be worn.

As the lining can only be used with the skirt, Customs believes it is properly classifiable as a clothing accessory. Heading 6217, HTSUSA, provides for woven and non-knit clothing accessories. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6217 provide, in part, that "the heading covers, inter alia,: * * * (10) Separately presented removable linings for raincoats and similar garments." While a skirt is not similar to a raincoat, Customs believes the concept of removable linings as accessories extends beyond raincoats and thus the skirt with the removable lining at issue herein may be viewed as similar garments. Therefore, the removable slip-like lining is classifiable in heading 6217, HTSUSA.

Since the lining is classifiable in 6217, HTSUSA, Note 13 to Section XI does not prevent classification of the skirt and lining together as either a set or as composite goods. Customs believes the skirt and lining meet the definition of composite goods set out in the Explanatory Notes. The Explanatory Notes define composite goods as follows:
composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The skirt and lining are adapted to each other and are mutually complementary based on the means of attachment and use together. Additionally, we believe they form a whole that would not normally be offered for sale separately as they are designed for use together and the lining would have no use without the skirt.

Following GRI 3(a), which provides, in part, that when two or more headings refer to only part of composite goods, the headings are equally specific, classification must be determined by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) provides for classification based upon that component which gives the composite good its essential character. In this case, Customs believes the skirt is that component. The skirt may be worn with or without the lining. The lining is an accessory to the skirt. When worn with the lining, it is the skirt which is seen; the lining merely enhances the skirt's appearance by making it appear fuller.


Style 2036811, the skirt and lining, are classifiable as composite goods in the provision for the skirt. Style 2036811 is classifiable in subheading 6204.53.3010, HTSUSA, which provides for women's woven skirts of synthetic fibers. Garments classified in this subheading fall within textile category 642 and are dutiable at 17 percent ad valorem.

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.

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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