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HQ 957066

November 17, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957066 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.59.3010

Mr. M.C. Paul
India Garments Inc.
495 Meadow Lane
Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072

RE: Classification of a woven skirt; not "India Item" exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Paul:

This ruling is in response to your request of August 18, 1994, regarding the classification of a woven skirt and whether it qualifies as exempt from quota as an "India Item". A sample was received with your request.


The garment at issue is a woven 100 percent rayon skirt, style D586. You indicate the garment is a hand-printed ghagra with an elastic waistband and drawstrings with ghunghroo. We assume this refers to the ornamentation at the end of the drawstrings. The garment is ankle-length and has a broomstick silhouette and crinkly pleating. It is manufactured in India and will be entered through JFK International Airport or the New York Seaport.


Is the submitted skirt an "India Item" exempt from quota, and how is it classified?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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]." -2-

The skirt at issue is classified in the provision for women's woven skirts of artificial fibers in subheading 6204.59.3010, HTSUSA. Its designation as an "India Item" exempt from quota is not determined by the HTSUSA, but by the language of the bilateral textile agreement between the United States and India regarding such items.

The U.S./India bilateral textile agreement describes "India Items", in part, as:

* * * traditional folklore handicraft textiles products made in the cottage industry. They comprise clothes, clothing accessories and decorative furnishings whose shape and design are traditionally and historically Indian. [Emphasis added.]

Ghagra is defined in the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement as "an ankle-length, very wide skirt with draw-string or hooks at the waist." [Emphasis added.]

In addition to the definition and language cited above, Customs has received policy guidance from the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) regarding the intent (or intended coverage) of the definition of ghagra as stated in the bilateral.

The garment at issue is held up at the waist primarily by the elastic inserted into the waistband. The drawstring serves more as an ornamental feature than as a functional feature. It is not the means by which the skirt is held up or fastened at the waist. The definition of a ghagra includes the requirement that the garment have a drawstring or hooks at the waist. To allow a garment with superfluous drawstrings or hooks to qualify as a ghagra would divest the definition in the bilateral of value or meaning.

Based upon our examination of the garment at issue and all the information provided to Customs regarding the meaning of the term ghagra as used in the bilateral, it is our belief that style D586 does not qualify as a quota exempt India item (ghagra) as defined in the bilateral textile agreement.

If you would like information regarding items which are considered "India Items", exempt from quota, under the U.S./India Bilateral Textile Agreement, we suggest you contact the Chairman of CITA. She may be reached by writing to her at:

Chairman, Committee for the
Implementation of Textile Agreements
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Her office may also be contacted at (202) 482-3737.


The garment at issue, style D586, is classified in subheading 6204.59.3010, HTSUSA, dutiable at 17 percent ad valorem. As it does not qualify as an "India Item" it is subject to textile visa/quota restraints. Upon entry, textile visas from India for category 642 will be required.

The designated textile and apparel category 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 changeable 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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