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HQ 955121

December 17, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955121 BC


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2065

Edward Johnson
Customs & Trade Department
Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi's Plaza
P.O. Box 7215
San Francisco, CA 94120

RE: Classification of men's overdyed denim shirt; men's cotton shirt; overdyed warp yarn and filling

Dear Mr. Johnson:

This responds to your letter of September 1, 1993, wherein you requested a binding classification ruling for a men's denim shirt. We have reviewed the matter and our decision follows. The sample shirt you submitted will be returned under separate cover.


The merchandise at issue is a men's woven 100% cotton denim shirt that you identified as style #60560-1317. It has a full frontal opening which buttons left over right, long sleeves, and two breast pockets. As indicated by the sample, standard denim fabric, i.e. fabric made with blue-dyed warp yarn and a gray or mottled white filling, is overdyed blue to produce the fabric from which the shirt is made. Upon examination, both the warp and filling yarns appear dark blue in color. The effect is a solid dark blue shirt.


What is the proper classification for the above described men's overdyed blue, cotton denim shirts?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining rules will be applied in sequential order.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System assist us in the classification of merchandise. The EN's constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN's when interpreting the HTSUS. In Treasury Decision (T.D.) 89-80, Customs stated that the EN's should always be consulted as guidance when classifying merchandise. (See T.D. 89-80, quoting from a report of the Joint Committee on the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, endorsing use of the EN's in the classification of goods. 23 Cust. Bull. 379 (1989), 54 Fed. Reg. 35,127 (August 23, 1989).)

Under GRI 1, classification is considered under heading 6205, HTSUSA (Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated), which explicitly covers men's shirts. Note 8 of Chapter 62, HTSUSA, provides that garments of the chapter designed for left over right closure at the front (as are the shirts here) shall be regarded as men's or boy's garments. There is no reason to suspect that the shirts at issue are other than men's shirts. The EN's for heading 6205, HTSUSA, provide that the heading covers "shirts not knitted or crocheted for men or boys including shirts with detachable collars, dress shirts, sport shirts and leisure shirts." As sport or leisure shirts, the denim shirts at issue fit this description.

It is clear that the shirts at issue are classifiable under subheading 6205.20.20, HTSUSA, covering men's or boys shirts, of cotton, other than certified hand-loomed and folklore products, other than dress shirts, and other than corduroy shirts. The question is whether the shirts are classifiable under subheading 6205.20.2050, HTSUSA, which covers such shirts that are characterized by the presence of two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling, or under subheading 6205.20.2065, HTSUSA, which covers such shirts that are not characterized by the presence of two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling. Each provision carries a 21% ad valorem duty rate and is subject to quota category 340.

Since the warp yarn and filling of the shirts at issue are overdyed dark blue, lending to the appearance of the shirts a solid dark blue color, we conclude that the correct classification is under subheading 6205.20.2065, HTSUSA.


The men's woven cotton denim shirts at issue, with dark blue overdyed warp yarn and filling, are classifiable under subheading 6205.20.2065, HTSUSA, as men's shirts, of cotton, other, other, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 21% ad valorem, and the textile quota category is 340.

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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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.


John Durant, Director

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