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HQ 956181

January 25, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956181 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6114.20.0055

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

RE: Classification of men's one-piece knit body garments; your case No. HK 78/93

Dear Mr Yeung:

This ruling is in response to your request of March 31, 1994, on behalf of Brawn of California Inc., regarding the classification of certain men's knit one-piece garments designed to cover the torso. Two samples, styles A621 and A632, were received with your request.


Styles A621 and A632 are men's sleeveless, one-piece, step- in garments made of 100 percent cotton finely knit fabric. Style A621 is designed with low, rounded, front neckline; a low, rounded, back neckline that reaches below the nape of the neck; shoulder straps which measure one and one-half inches wide at the shoulder seam; oversized armholes; an elasticized waistband measuring one and one-half inches wide; a "Tactics Sports" label is sewn to the waistband at the center front; and a sewn-on brief with elasticized, hemmed leg openings. The neckline and armholes are finished with elasticized, self-fabric capping.

Style A632 is designed with a low, rounded front neckline; a rounded back neckline that reaches below the nape of the neck; shoulder straps which are approximately four inches wide at the shoulder; an elasticized, fabric covered, waistband; a sewn-on brief with elasticized, hemmed leg openings; and armholes which extend to the waist at which point the front and back panels are attached at the waistband with a four-inch gap between the panels. The neckline and armholes are elasticized and hemmed.

You state in your letter that you believe these garments should be classified as underwear because of the "flimsy fabric" of which they are made and the revealing design of the garments.

On April 1, 1993, Customs issued New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 883285 to Expeditors International which had requested the ruling on behalf of Brawn of California. The ruling addressed the classification of the two garments at issue herein. In that ruling, Customs classified the garments as men's other knit garments of heading 6114, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have reviewed that ruling along with your request.


Were the garments at issue properly classified in NYRL 883285 as men's other knit garments of heading 6114, HTSUSA, or are they properly classified as men's underwear?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Heading 6107, HTSUSA, provides for "men's or boys' underpants, brief, nightshirts, pajamas, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state the following, at page 838, in regard to heading 6107:

This heading covers two separate categories of knitted or crocheted clothing for men or boys, namely, underpants, briefs and similar articles (underclothing) and nightshirts, pyjamas, bathrobes (including beachrobes), dressing gowns and similar articles.

The heading does not include singlets and other vests (heading 61.09).

Thus, men's knit underwear is classifiable in two possible headings depending on the type of underwear garment, i.e., "underpants, briefs and similar articles" are classifiable in heading 6107, HTSUSA, while "singlets and other vests" are classifiable in heading 6109, HTSUSA, which provides for "T- -3-
shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted". See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089205 of July 31, 1991.

These garments cover both the upper and lower portions of the torso. They are hybrid garments. While we agree that the lower portion of the garments does appear to be similar to men's underwear briefs, the upper portion is similar to athletic singlets or tops worn in the gym, on the street, etc. The design of the upper portion of these garments with the extremely large armholes or no side closure at all makes it unlikely the upper portion of either garment would serve as underwear. As these garments do not meet the description for classification in either headings 6107, HTSUSA, or 6109, HTSUSA, they are classifiable in heading 6114, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' other knit garments (not provided for elsewhere).


Styles A621 and A632 were properly classified in NYRL 883285 as men's other cotton knit garments in subheading 6114.20.0055, HTSUSA. Garments classified in this provision are dutiable at 11.4 percent ad valorem and fall within textile category 359.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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