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HQ 957631

March 28, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957631 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.42.3050

Ms. Judy Kearney
Network Brokers International, Inc.
Airport Industrial Office Park
Building C-1D
145th Avenue & Hook Creek Blvd.
Valley Stream, New York 11581

RE: Classification of a woman's cotton woven dress; not "India Item"; not Chola; not exempt from quota

Dear Ms. Kearney:

This ruling is in response to your request of January 12, 1995, on behalf of Elias Sayour Co., regarding the eligibility of a woman's garment, style 25416, as an "India Item" exempt from quota. A sample was submitted with your request and will be returned under separate cover.


The garment at issue, style 25416, is identified by you as a ladies batik printed dress known as a chola. The garment is a woman's 100 percent cotton woven dress. The garment is a pullover dress which reaches from the shoulders to about the ankles. It features a V-shaped neck, long loose sleeves, front and back yokes (which end above the bust line), a three button opening at the rear of the neck, two side seam pockets at the hips, and a seventeen-inch ruffled flounce at the bottom of the garment. You state the fabric of the dress is hand printed in India.

The shipper believes the subject garment is a folklore product exempt from quota. The classification of the garment as a woman's cotton woven dress in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, is not at issue.


Is the woman's dress at issue, style 25416, which is stated to be a chola, an "India Item" exempt from quota? -2-


Designation of certain items as "India Items" exempt from quota is determined by the language of the bilateral textile agreement between the United States and India, and not by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The U.S./India bilateral textile agreement, at Annex E, Head Note, 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 chola is defined in Annex E of the bilateral agreement as:

An ankle-length, loose-fit, long Kurta traditionally worn by religious priests.

A kurta is defined therein 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 sleeve, with or without buttons at the neck or cuff but without out-turned shirt-style cuffs or out-turned shirt collar.

Reading the definitions given in Annex E together, for the garment at issue to qualify as a chola it must meet the definition of a kurta and be a garment "traditionally worn by religious priests."

Based upon the design of the garment at issue, Customs does not believe it meets the definition of a kurta. It is not "a loose, almost straight cut tunic", but a very full, loose garment that flares out somewhat from the body. This flaring is caused by gathers where the front and back panels are sewn to the garment yokes and by the large ruffle at the bottom of the garment.

As the garment at issue fails to meet the definition of a kurta, it cannot be a chola. Additionally, Customs has difficulty viewing this garment as one "traditionally worn by religious priests."


The dress at issue, style 25416, is classified as a woman's woven cotton dress in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, textile category 336, dutiable at 12.2 percent ad valorem. Since this garment does not meet the definitions for an "India Item" set out in Annex E of the bilateral agreement, it is subject to all applicable visa/quota restraints.

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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