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HQ 955038

November 30, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955038 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6114.20.0020; 6211.43.0060

Mr. Sheldon Stone
ETA Import & Export LTD.
1 Cross Island Plaza, 3rd. Fl.
Jamaica, New York 11422

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY 888465; two garments (body suit and blouse) attached at the seam; each individual garment is complete; proper classification is not as a single unit but as separate garments

Dear Mr. Stone:

This is in regard to your letter, dated August 11, 1993, on behalf of your client, Sutton Creations, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling (NY) 888465, dated July 29, 1993. That ruling classified two garments attached at the seam as two separate components, each classified in its own heading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTSUSA). A sample was provided to this office for examination.


The sample garment, referred to as Style 2839, is made up of two separate garments, a bodysuit and a blouse. The bodysuit is sleeveless and features a scoop-neck and a snap crotch. It is constructed from 52 percent cotton, 43 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex knit fabric. The blouse is constructed from 100 percent polyester chiffon woven fabric and reaches to the waist of the bodysuit. It features long sleeves with a button cuff, a four button partial placket opening, and an elasticized waist. The two garments are attached at the shoulder (but not at the shoulder seam of either garment) by a single row of stitching.

You state that Style 2839 should be classified as a single item since the two garments are attached at the shoulder and are sold as a single unit. You propose classification in subheading 6211.42.0080, HTSUSA, as an other garment.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable as a single unit or as separate garments, each classifiable in its own heading?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

GRI 3(b) states:

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) to GRI 3(b), the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, provide:

For the purpose 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 complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Although the garments are attached, each individual garment is complete. The single row of stitching at each shoulder is not sufficient to affix the garments permanently and can easily be removed. The garments are awkward to put on in their attached condition because in doing so stress would be exerted at the attachment point. When they are detached, the two garments can easily be worn separately.

As the EN provide, in order for composite goods made up of different components to be considered a single unit the components must either:

1. be attached and form a practically inseparable whole; or

2 have separable components which are mutually complementary and together form a whole .

This is not the case with the subject sample. As the attachment is not substantial, the garments can easily be separated without damaging either garment. In the instant case, the components are not only no more mutually complementary than any other mix and match sets, but they are also of the type that are commonly sold separately. As such, the sample does not meet the standard provided for by the EN for composite goods made up of different components. Further weight against classifying the subject sample as a single unit is obtained from Note 13 to Section XI, HTSUSA, which states:

Unless the context otherwise requires, texile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own heading even if put up in sets for retail sale.

Accordingly, the subject sample was correctly classified as two separate garments. The bodysuit is classified in heading 6114, HTSUSA, which provides for other garments, knitted or crocheted. The blouse on the other hand was incorrectly classified in heading 6206, HTSUSA. The EN to heading 6206, HTSUSA, state that the heading does not cover garments with a tightening at the bottom of the garment. As this garment features an elastic waist it is precluded from classification in heading 6206, HTSUSA. Proper classification of the blouse is in heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, other garments.


The sample garment, Style 2839, is properly classified as two separate garments. The bodysuit is classified in subheading 6114.20.0020, HTSUSA, which provides for other garments, knitted or crocheted, of cotton, bodysuits and bodyshirts. The applicable rate of duty is 11.5 percent ad valorem and the textile quota category is 359. The blouse is classifiable in subheading 6211.43.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for track suits, ski-suits and swimwear, other garments, women's or girls', of man-made fibers, blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, sleeveless tank styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem and the textile quota category is 641.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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