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HQ 956182

July 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956182 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.2010

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

RE: Classification of a one-piece garment; bodysuit; bodyshirt; Heading 6114

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in response to your inquiry of March 29, 1994, requesting a tariff classification determination of a women's upper body garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The merchandise is imported by Nordstrom, Inc. A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise in question is a woman's sleeveless bodyshirt constructed from 85 percent nylon/15 percent spandex knit fabric. The upper portion of the garment is covered with cordage trimming that is arranged in a decorative pattern. The garment contains a U shaped neckline, covers the torso area, ending in a panty portion with elasticized leg openings and a two snap crotch.


Whether the subject garment is classifiable as an other garment (bodysuit) in Heading 6114, HTSUSA?


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.

The importer contends that the subject garment should be classified as a knitted blouse in textile category 638/639. To obtain the appropriate quota category, Customs must first determine the proper tariff classification provision for the subject merchandise. Since the garment is instantly recognizable as a bodyshirt, Customs believes that it must address whether the garment is classifiable as a bodysuit which is provided for in Heading 6114, HTSUSA, the provision for other garments, knitted or crocheted.

The Textile Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 13/88, which are sometimes utilized by Customs as a guide in determining the tariff classification for certain garments describes bodysuits as:

[Garments] constructed of finely knit fabric which usually includes lycra or spandex yarns. They cover the wearer's torso and may have elastic around the neck, arm and leg openings. They are designed to be form-fitting and may be intended for use during exercise, dance or similar athletic activity. Body suits are one piece. * * * They are frequently called leotards in the trade.

The Guidelines fail to mention "bodyshirts". The term "bodyshirt" is defined in the Essential Terms of Fashion, by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, as "a fitted shirt with a long tail which snaps between the legs, making a leotard type garment."

When examining the instant garment in light of the Guidelines and the cited fashion dictionary, it appears that it fits squarely within the given description for bodysuits. The subject garment is constructed of a finely knit nylon and spandex material. The one-piece garment at issue contains elastic around the leg openings, and is form-fitting.

The importer asserts that the subject garment is more suited to wear as a blouse than as a bodysuit for athletic purposes. It is important to note, however, that the Guidelines state that bodysuits may be intended for athletic activity. Nowhere in the Guidelines is it stipulated that garments that are characterized as bodysuits must be intended for or worn during athletic activity in order to justify classification as bodysuits. At the eight digit subheading of 6114, there is a specific provision for bodysuits and bodyshirts, and the subject garment fits squarely within this provision.


Based on the foregoing, the subject garment is classifiable under subheading 6114.30.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for other bodysuits and bodyshirts of fabric containing by weight 5 percent or more elastomeric yarn or rubber thread. The applicable rate of duty is 34.3 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 659.

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

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