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HQ 957531

May 8, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957531 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3040

Mr. R. S. Barot
Hobnob Inc.
109 West 38th Street
Suite 600
New York, New York 10018

RE: Classification of a woman's shirt known as a Kurta; not "India Item"; not exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Barot:

This ruling is in response to your request of December 12, 1994, regarding the classification of a woman's woven shirt, style 2354. You request that the garment be considered a non- quota item because you believe it qualifies as an "India Item" known as a kurta. A sample was received with your request.


The garment at issue, style 2354, is a woman's 100 percent cotton woven shirt. The pullover-style shirt features a round neck with a partial front opening (measuring about 5 inches) with a two-button right-over-left closure, short hemmed sleeves, and a straight hemmed bottom with four inch side slits. The garment has a straight, loose, and unfitted appearance. It features a handprinted design which includes birds, elephants and flowers. In length, it reaches to about mid-thigh.

The garment will be imported from India through the ports of Newark or JFK Airport.


Is style 2354 an "India Item" described in the United States/India bilateral textile agreement and thus exempt from quota?


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]."

The shirt at issue is classified in the provision for women's woven cotton blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses in subheading 6206.30.3040, 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.]

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

(a) handpainting (including Kalamkari) or handprinting or handicraft tie and dye or handicraft Batik, [Emphasis added].

A kurta is defined in the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement as:

A loose, almost straight cut tunic of any length from the hips to the ankles with quarters, half or full length narrow or loose sleeves, with or without buttons at the neck or cuff but without out-turned shirt-style cuffs or out-turned shirt collar.

An examination of the garment at issue shows that it fits the above definition for a kurta. However, although the garment has a shape and design which we believe is traditionally and historically Indian, the garment is not ornamented by handprinting as claimed.

This office submitted the sample garment to the Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services for analysis. Based on their examination, that office concluded that the fabric from which this garment is made does not have the characteristics of handpainting, handprinting, tie and dye, or batik. Thus, the garment is not ornamented as required under the Annex E of the bilateral agreement to qualify as an "India Item".


Style 2354, a woman's 100 percent cotton woven shirt or blouse, known as a kurta, does not qualify as an "India Item" and is therefore subject to quota. The garment is classified in subheading HTSUSA, which provides for women's cotton woven shirts. Garments classified in this provision are dutiable at 16.3 percent ad valorem and fall within textile category 341.

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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