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HQ 957407

January 20, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957407 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0070

Mr. Marty Langtry
Tower Group International, Inc.
Castelazo & Associates
5420 W. 104th Street
Los Angeles, CAL. 90045-6069

RE: Classification of a 100 percent cotton woven and crocheted vest from India; not "India Item", not exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Langtry:

This ruling is in response to your letter of November 22, 1994, on behalf of your client, Creative Natural Fabric, requesting the classification and eligibility as an "India Item" of a cotton vest from India. A sample vest, style RP 275, referred to as a jawahar jacket, was submitted with your request.


In your letter, you state that the submitted sample, a 100 percent cotton vest, is a traditional Indian garment known as a jawahar jacket. The garment has a basic vest design. It is sleeveless with a V-neckline and no collar. The front panels of the vest are made up of squares, half of which are woven and half of which are crocheted. The front panels are lines with woven fabric and each panels forms a v-point at the bottom. The front panels are secured together by a four-button right-over-left placket closure. The direction of the closure indicates the garment is a woman's garment. The back panel of the vest is entirely of woven fabric. Fabric strips, creating a fabric tie, are attached at the back to adjust the fit of the garment.

In your letter you have indicated that 75 percent of the surface area of the vest is woven and 25 percent is crocheted. The value of the woven portion is 60 percent, that of the crocheted is 40 percent. The weight of the entire garment is 110 grams and the front panel weighs 40 grams.

It is your belief the garment is properly classified as a women's woven vest of subheading 6211.42.0070, Harmonized Tariff -2-

Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Additionally, you believe the garment qualifies as an "India Item" exempt from quota.


Is the submitted sample classified as a women's woven vest in subheading 6211.42.0070, HTSUSA?

Does the submitted sample qualify as an "India Item" described in the United States/India bilateral textile agreement and thus exempt from quota?


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]."

As stated in the FACTS portion of this ruling, the direction of the front closure of the garment indicates it is a woman's garment. This is based upon Note 8, Chapter 61 and Note 8, Chapter 62. These identical notes state:

Garments of this chapter designed for left over right closure at the front shall be regarded as men's or boys' garments, and those designed for right over left closure at the front as women's or girls' garments. These provisions do not apply where the cut of the garment clearly indicates that it is designed for one or other of the sexes.

Garments which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' or as women's or girls' garments are to be classified in the headings covering women's or girls' garments.

As the garment at issue has a right-over-left front closure and nothing about the cut of the garment indicates it is designed for a particular gender, the vest is classifiable as a women's vest.

The subject vest is made of woven cotton fabric and crocheted cotton fabric. Thus, prima facie, the vest is potentially classifiable as a crocheted vest of Chapter 61 or a woven vest of Chapter 62. Classification of garments made up of both knit and woven fabrics is based upon which component, the woven or knit, imparts the essential character of the garment. This is pursuant to GRI 3. In order to simplify such determinations and attempt to achieve a measure of uniformity, Customs issued Headquarters Memorandum 084118 of April 13, 1989. -3-

That memorandum established criteria for determining the classification of garments consisting of different fabrics, and provides that in the case of upper body garments, in the absence of unusual circumstances:

* * * if one component exceeds 60 percent of the visible surface area, that component will determine the classification of the garment unless the other component:

(1) forms the entire front of the garment;

As you indicate in your letter, 75 percent of the surface area of the vest consists of woven fabric. The crocheted fabric is only part of the front of the garment. Thus, Customs agrees with you that the vest is properly classified as a woven vest of Chapter 62.

Eligibility for quota exempt status as an "India Item" is determined by the terms of the United States/India bilateral textile agreement. This agreement, at Annex E, 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.]

These products should not include zip fasteners and must be ornamented in the characteristic Indian folk styles using one of the following methods:

(b) embroidered or crocheted ornamentation,

[Emphasis added].

A jawahar jacket is defined in the United States/India bilateral textile agreement as:

A loose-fitting coat or vest of waist or hip length with or without buttons traditionally worn over kurtas or Kameez by men and women.

Having examined the submitted sample, Customs believes it fails to meet the description of a jawahar jacket as defined -4-
above for two reasons: (1) the fabric tie on the back allows the garment to be tightened closer to the body so that it is not truly "loose-fitting", and (2) it fails to meet the requirement as stated in the bilateral agreement for ornamentation.

Crochet is one of the forms of ornamentation specified in the bilateral agreement. Although the front panels of the vest are feature crocheted and woven squares of fabric, these squares create the front panels; they do not merely ornament them. Support for the view that that which creates an article is not ornamentation can be found in United States case law.

In Blairmoor Knitwear Corp. v. United States, 60 Cust. Ct. 388, C.D. 3396, 284 F. Supp. 315 (1968), the United States Customs Court examined the meaning of the term "ornament". The court stated therein:

The word "ornament" has customarily been construed in accordance with its dictionary meaning, to embrace that which enhances, embellishes, decorates, or adorns.

The court in reaching its decision in Blairmoor discussed the case of Gimbel Brothers, Inc. v. United States, 27 Cust. Ct. 371, Abstract 56124, which involved the classification of beaded handbags. The court ruled in Gimbel that the handbags at issue were not ornamented because the beads were a component material in the manufacture of the bags. In discussing Gimbel, the court in Blairmoor stated:

It was further stated that an article so composed, however ornamental in character, would not be considered an ornamental article when the component claimed to constitute the ornamentation is a material and necessary portion of the article itself, without which there would be no article.

The vest at issue here is just such an article. The crocheted squares on the front panels together with the woven squares create the panels and without the crocheted squares connecting the woven squares the front panels would not exist.

The subject vest does not qualify as an "India Item" within the terms of the bilateral agreement as it is not ornamented in a characteristic Indian folk style as required. Additionally, as stated above, the presence of the fabric tie on the back allows the garment to be fitted, as opposed to "loose-fitting".


The submitted vest is classified in the provision for women's other garments, of cotton, vests, in subheading 6211.42.0070, HTSUSA. The garment is dutiable at 8.6 percent ad -5-
valorem and falls within textile category 359. As it fails to meet the requirements for qualifying as an "India Item" per the terms of the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement, visas for category 359 are required for entry.

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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