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HQ 954560

October 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954560 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6114.20.0010

Mr. Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 475
Washington, D.C, 20036

RE: Classification of women's upper body garments which do not reach the waist; proper heading is 6114, HTSUSA, as an other garment

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in response to your letter, dated June 24, 1993, on behalf of Miss Juli Apparel, Inc., requesting the classification of two styles of upper body garments. Samples were received by this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


Styles 5358 and 5458 are knit short sleeve tops constructed from 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex fabric. Although each style differs in construction in the neckline and shoulder areas, both are abbreviated and do not reach the waist on a size medium mannequin.


What is the classification of the subject garments?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance. The classification of knit upper body garments is in chapter 61, HTSUSA. The competing provisions within chapter 61, HTSUSA, are heading 6106, 6109, 6110 and 6114, HTSUSA. Heading 6106, HTSUSA, provides for women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt- blouses, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 6106, HTSUSA, specifically provide:

Shirts and shirt-blouses are garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full or partial opening starting at the neckline. They may also have pockets, but only above the waist, and a collar. (Emphasis added)

Since the subject garments neither cover the upper body (garments do not reach the waist), nor have an opening at the neckline, they are precluded from classification in heading 6106, HTSUSA.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted. The criteria for these garments are specifically and narrowly defined by the EN. As provided by the EN:

The term "T-shirts" means lightweight knitted or crocheted garments of the vest type, of cotton or man-made fibre, not napped, nor of pile or terry fabric, in one or more colours, with or without pockets, with long or short close-fitting sleeves, without buttons or other fastenings, without collar, without opening in the neckline, having a close- fitting or lower neckline (round, square, boat-shaped or V- shaped). These garments may have decoration, other than lace, in the form of advertising, pictures, or an inscription in words, obtained by printing, knitting, or other process. The bottom of these garments, usually hemmed, is never made with a ribbed waistband, drawstring, or other means of tightening. (Emphasis added)

This heading also includes singlets and other vests.

It should be noted that the above-mentioned articles are classified in this heading without distinction between male or female wear.

As the submitted samples do not qualify as either T-shirts or vests, as described by the EN, nor are they similar garments, they too are precluded from inclusion in heading 6109, HTSUSA.

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats and similar articles, knitted or crocheted.

The EN to this heading state:

This heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, without distinction between male or female wear, designed to cover the upper parts of the body (jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles) (Emphasis added)

It is evident that this heading, similar to the above already discussed, provides for garments which cover the upper torso. The submitted garments, as is stated in your letter, are short and do not reach the waist. Accordingly, they are excluded from classification in heading 6110, HTSUSA.

Classification thus devolves to heading 6114, HTSUSA. Heading 6114, HTSUSA, provides for other garments, knitted or crocheted. The EN to this heading state:

This heading covers knitted or crocheted garments which are not included more specifically in the preceding headings of this Chapter.

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories (CIE) 13/88, dated November 23, 1988, provide:

"Top" refers to those garments which, except for one or two distinctions in construction, would have fit into any one of the above listed breakouts. For example, those garments which are commonly referred to as midriffs, tube tops, crop tops, or halter tops do not reach the waist, and are considered tops. (It should be noted that while most halter tops do not reach the waist, the name halter refers to the neck treatment only).

Those garments which cover the chest area only, but reach neither to the shoulders nor to the waist are also included as tops...

In light of the fact that the submitted garments neither reach the waist nor can be included in any of the headings discussed above, they are classified as tops in heading 6114, HTSUSA.


Styles 5358 and 5458 are classified in subheading 6114.20.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for other knit garments, of cotton, tops. The applicable rate of duty is 11.5 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 339.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), and 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) categories, your client 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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