United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 957531 - HQ 957667 > HQ 957633

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957633

June 8, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957633 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2075

Gene Eagles
Easyknit Enterprise Company Ltd.
70 East 10th Street
Suite 14U
New York, NY 10003

RE: Classification of a woman's garment; pullover; tank top; Heading 6110; Heading 6109

Dear Mr. Eagles:

This is in response to your inquiry of February 17, 1995, requesting a tariff classification ruling for merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, referred to as Style JK300, is a woman's sleeveless, upper body garment that extends from the wearer's shoulders to the waist area. It is constructed of 95 percent cotton/5 percent spandex material that is rib knit. The garment contains a deep U-neckline in the rear, which connects to the front of the garment by two narrow shoulder straps. The front of the garment contains two separate panels which crisscross over each other. The garment has more than nine stitches per two centimeters measured in the horizontal direction and is hemmed at the bottom, while the neck and armhole openings are capped.

In your submission, you state that Easyknit is shipping Style JK300 to Mervyn's in Haywood, California, and Mervyn's import department had Style JK300 preclassified in subheading 6110.20.2075, HTSUSA. Easyknit claims that the subject garment is a tank top and should be classified in subheading 6109.10.0060, HTSUSA. However, Easyknit failed to supply a Pre-entry Classification (PEC) reference number or the date on which the review was undertaken. Customs has searched its files and is unable to locate a PEC which classified Style JK300.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under Heading 6109, HTSUSA, as a tank top, or Heading 6110, HTSUSA, as a pullover?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted. Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, waistcoats (vests), and similar articles, knitted or crocheted.

In certain instances, as in this case, where the Harmonized System fails to offer sufficient information for Customs to make a tariff classification determination, Customs refers to lexicographic sources, as well as the Textile Category Guidelines [hereinafter The Guidelines], C.I.E. 13/88. The Guidelines state, in pertinent part:

Tank tops are sleeveless with oversized armholes, with or without a significant drop below the waist. The front and the back may have a round, V, U, scoop, boat, square or other shaped neck which must be below the nape of the neck. The body of the garment is supported by straps not over two inches in width reaching over the shoulder. The straps must be attached to the garment and not be easily detachable. Bottom hems may be straight or curved, side-vented, or of any other type normally found on a blouse or shirt, including blouson or drawstring waists or an elastic bottom. * * *

The dictionary, Essential Terms of Fashion, authored by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, (1986), defines "tank top" as "similar to men's undershirt with U-neckline and deep armholes, shaped towards shoulder to form narrow straps, named for tank suit; similar to athletic shirt."

In light of the lexicographic definition as well as information regarding "tank tops" in The Guidelines, it is apparent that the instant garment is not classifiable as a tank top under Heading 6109, HTSUSA. Neither of the sources allow for a pattern of crisscrossing fabric panels to be considered as parts of a tank top. Consequently, the subject merchandise is classified under Heading 6110, HTSUSA, as a pullover.


Based on the foregoing, Style JK300 is classified in subheading 6110.20.2075, HTSUSA, as a woman's sleeveless, knit pullover, of cotton, other. The applicable rate of duty is 20.3 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 339.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 that 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 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: