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 957670 - HQ 957791 > HQ 957753

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957753

April 11, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957753 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.52.2070

Mr. Anil Jain
Jain Associates
10-3-310/1, Masab Tank
Hyderabad-500 028
(A. P.) India

RE: Classification of woman's woven skirt; ghagra; not "India Item"; not exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Jain:

This is in response to your request of February 24, 1995, for a classification ruling on a woman's cotton woven skirt which you state is an Indian handicraft item. A sample was received with your request.


The submitted sample, no style number, is a 100 percent cotton woven skirt. The skirt has a tunnel waistband with a functional drawstring with three small bells at the end of each cord. The garment is ankle-length, wide and loose, and does not contain any elastic. It features a design pattern of various flowers and dots in alternating bands. We accept that this pattern is a typical Indian design.

In your submission, you claim that the garment is a wrinkle free skirt and is worn by tribal women in India. In a telephone conversation with a member of my staff, you indicated that the design pattern is applied to the fabric by machine and then workers fill in the rest of the print by hand. Thus, the fabric is only partially handprinted.


Does the submitted skirt qualify as an "India Item" within the terms of the United States/India bilateral textile agreement?


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 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." The submitted sample fits the cited description of a ghagra. However, it fails to meet the requirement for ornamentation.

You informed this office by telephone that the fabric from which the garment is made is partially handprinted and partially machine printed. Your description was that the pattern was initially applied by machine (sketched on the fabric) and then workers handprinted the remaining parts of the pattern.

In order to qualify as handprinted ornamentation within the meaning of the bilateral, it is the position of this office that the garment must be entirely handprinted. Any machine printing will disqualify the item, even if the machine printing is in preparation for subsequent handprinting. Therefore, when handprinting is the ornamentation method claimed for an item, unless instructed otherwise, Customs will not consider a partially handprinted, partially machine printed item as a qualifying "India Item".


The skirt at issue does not qualify as an "India Item" exempt from quota. As a woman's woven cotton skirt, it is -3-
classified in subheading 6204.52.2070, HTSUSA, textile category 342, dutiable at 8.6 percent ad valorem. The skirt is subject to quota/visa 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: