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HQ 955331

April 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955331 SK


TARIFF NO.'s: 6109.10.0060

Mr. Ba-Sang Yeung
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 475
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of two styles of women's cotton knit undershirts; 6109.10.0060, HTSUSA; elastic capping; lace inserts.

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in response to your letter of November 1, 1993, requesting a binding classification ruling for two styles of women's upper body garments, referenced style numbers 9502C and 22613C.


Styles 9502C and 22613C are constructed from 100 percent cotton knit fabric. Both garments are pullovers featuring one- inch shoulder straps and U-necklines in the front and back. Both garments have V-shaped openwork lace inserts in the front and elastic capping around the neck and armholes. The bottom of the garments are hemmed and extend to the hip.


What is the proper classification of the garments at issue?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for, "[T]-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted." The determinative issue in the instant case is whether the upper body garments at issue are deemed outerwear tank tops or underwear within this heading.

This office has previously classified garments similar in design to the merchandise at issue as tank tops. See Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRL's) 951205, dated June 16, 1992, and HRL 951763, dated July 30, 1992. The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, at page 13, cite the following characteristics as those associated with garments commercially known as tank tops:

... sleeveless [garments] with oversized armholes, with or without a significant drop below the arm. The front and 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 draw-string waists or an elastic bottom. The following features would preclude a garment from consideration as a tank top:

1) pockets, real or simulated, other than breast pockets; 2) any belt treatment including simple loops; 3) any type of front or back neck opening (zipper, button, or otherwise).

This office is of the opinion that styles 9502C and 22613C fall within the description of tank tops set forth supra and that both garments are suitable for use as outerwear in terms of the amount of body coverage they provide. Accordingly, classification is proper under subheading 6109.10.0060, HTSUSA.


Styles 9502C and 22613C are classifiable under subheading 6109.10.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for "[T]-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: women's or girls': other: tank tops: women's ...," dutiable at a rate of 21 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 339.

The designated textile and apparel categories 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 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

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