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 0956021 - HQ 0956169 > HQ 0956123

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 956123

July 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956123 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0025

Diane L. Weinberg, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028-1106

RE: Reconsideration of PC 893190 of December 20, 1993; Classification of romper and textile belt; set vs. composite good; Heading 6211; Heading 6217

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in response to your inquiry of March 21, 1994, on behalf of Ivory International, Inc., requesting reconsideration of PC 893190 concerning the tariff classification of a woman's romper and textile belt under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were submitted for examination.


The merchandise in question is a one-piece 100 percent cotton denim woman's romper and textile belt. The romper has short sleeves, an above the knee length, belt loops, a front opening with a six button means of closure, and a fly front. The web belt contains a metal buckle and is made of cotton fabric and polyvinylchloride (pvc). The loops on the romper are sized to accommodate the textile belt and the items are shipped and sold as a unit.

PC 893190 stated that the garments were being classified as a set. However, the belt was classified in subheading 6217.10.0030, HTSUSA, while the romper was classified in subheading 6211.42.0025, HTSUSA. Therefore, it seems that the PC 893190 classified the garments separately. You contend that the garments were incorrectly classified in PC 893190 and should have been classified as a composite good.


Whether the romper and textile belt are classifiable as a composite good or as a set?


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 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for track suits, ski- suits, swimwear, and other garments is the appropriate heading for the romper. Heading 6217, HTSUSA, is the provision for clothing accessories which include belts. As the tariff does not contain a heading that specifically provides for rompers and belts, together, classification cannot be based on GRI 1.

GRI 3 applies to goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. GRI 3 states, in pertinent part, the following:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to GRI 3(b), provides, in part:

(IX) For the purposes of this Rule, 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 complimentary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The subject romper and belt meet the requirements for composite goods. In order to be considered as composite goods, articles must be (1) adapted to each other, (2) mutually complementary and (3) form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts. The subject belt and romper are adapted to each other in that the loops are sized to accommodate the belt. The two components are mutually complimentary in their use, and would not normally be offered for sale as separate articles. Therefore, the articles at issue are considered a composite good for tariff classification purposes.

The aforementioned determination is in accordance with Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081619 of October 6, 1988 and HRL 083853 of May 17, 1989 which classified trousers and belts as composite goods. There seems to be some ambiguity in our early rulings which dealt with the issue of textile belts imported as a unit with garments. It is important to note that the two cited rulings fail to present detailed descriptions of the articles therein. Despite the lack of detailed description in these earlier cases, it is Customs view that generally when a textile belt is imported with a garment and it is intended to be sold at the wholesale and retail level as a single unit, the articles will be considered composite goods for tariff classification purposes. This position has been confirmed with a recent ruling, HRL 954073 of September 23, 1993. In HRL 954073, Customs classified a dress and belt which were color coordinated and constructed of the same fabric as a composite good. Customs stated therein that the dress and belt were components which would not normally be offered for sale as separate articles.

Having determined that the romper and belt are a composite good, it is now necessary to determine which of the two components gives the article its essential character. In determining the essential character of the subject goods in accordance with GRI 3(b), Customs looks to various factors for guidance. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. After examining the romper and belt, it appears that the romper imparts the essential character of the composite good. The belt, on the other hand, acts as an accent to the romper. It is an accessory item. Thus, the subject merchandise is classifiable in Heading 6211, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the romper and belt are classified as a composite good in subheading 6211.42.0025, HTSUSA, which provides for other cotton garments. The applicable rate of duty is 8.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 237. The decision in PC 893190 was incorrect. PC 893190, dated December 20, 1993, is hereby modified pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1).

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: