United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0954939 - HQ 0955015 > HQ 0954941

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 954941

January 6, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954941 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0070

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

RE: Classification of women's upper body garment; similar to a tank top; Heading 6109

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in response to your inquiry of August 31, 1993, requesting a tariff classification for a woman's upper body garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


Style 8016, the garment at issue, is a woman's sleeveless top constructed of 80 percent cotton/15 percent polyester/5 percent spandex knit fabric. The garment is a pullover with 1 3/4 inch straps, and a U-neckline located in the front and back. The back differs from a traditional tank top style as it contains a semi- circular cut out approximately 4 inches in diameter and the back straps are indented 3 inches on each side.


What is the proper tariff classification of the garment at issue?


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.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for women's or girls' T- shirts, singlets, tank tops, and similar garments. The Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 13/88, are sometimes consulted as a guide when determining the common or commercial designation of textile articles. The C.I.E. 13/88 at 13, describe tank tops as follows:

Tank tops are sleeveless with oversized armholes, with or without a significant drop below the arm. The front and the back may have a round, V, U, scoop, boat, square or other shaped neck which must be below the nape of the neck. The body of the garment is supported by straps not over two inches in width reaching over the shoulder. The straps must be attached to the garment and not be easily detachable. Bottom hems may be straight or curved, side- vented, or of any other type normally found on a blouse or shirt, including blouson or drawstring waists or an elastic bottom. * * *

The subject garment is sleeveless, is comprised of lightweight material, contains a low-cut U-shaped neckline, is close-fitting, is hemmed at the bottom, and is supported by straps less than two inches in width. These are all features generally found in traditional tank tops. However, the garment also possesses characteristics that deviate from traditional tank top styling. These deviations include the semi-circular cut out and the indented straps located on the back of the garment. As a result of the styling and construction on the back of the garment, which are a deviation from traditional tank tops, the garment in question is classifiable as similar to a tank top.


Based on the foregoing, Style 8016 is classifiable in subheading 6109.10.0070, HTSUSA, which provides for other women's knitted tank tops and similar garments. The rate of duty is 21 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint 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 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: