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HQ 957757

April 11, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957757 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6208.21.0010, 6208.91.3010

Ms. Kathy Redey
Eddie Bauer, Inc.
15010 N.E. 36th Street
Redmond, Washington 98052

RE: Classification of certain women's woven flannel sleepwear garments; sleepwear separates; mix and match pajamas

Dear Ms. Redey:

This ruling is in response to your request of February 1, 1995, regarding the classification of certain flannel sleepwear garments. The garments will be manufactured in Hong Kong and imported through the ports of Seattle, Columbus and Chicago. Samples were received with your request.


The garments at issue consist of four matching women's garments--a pajama top, style 23203, 23230 (petite), 23233 (tall); a long pajama pant, style 23251, 23255 (petite), 23260 (tall); a pajama short, style 23269, 23276 (petite), 23278 (tall); and a nightshirt, style 23287, 23291 (petite), 23303 (tall). All of the garments are made of woven 100 percent cotton flannel yarn dyed fabric. The garments will be sold separately as mix and match pajamas.

The pajama top, style 23203, has a V-neck and full-front opening secured by six flat buttons. The garment has long sleeves, a chest patch pocket, a straight hemmed bottom, and is oversized so as to be loose-fitting.

The long pajama pant, style 23251, has a 1-« inch wide elastic waistband with a functional drawstring. The garment is oversized with wide legs and has no pockets and no fly.

The pajama short, style 23269, is similar to the long pajama pant with the exception of length. The garment has a 1-« inch wide elastic waistband with a functional drawstring. It is somewhat oversized and has no pockets and no fly. -2-

The nightshirt, style 23287, has a V-neck, a partial front opening secured by three flat buttons, long sleeves with cuffs, and a straight hemmed bottom with side vents. The garment is oversized and reaches to just below the knee.

You indicate in your letter that these garments are being purchased for sale in your 1995 Fall and Holiday catalogs and that the garments will be featured in the catalog section dedicated to bathrobes, pajamas, nightwear, and loungewear. You state that the garments were designed, manufactured and will be marketed by Eddie Bauer as garments to be worn to bed, but might also be worn while lounging around the house. The garments will be offered for sale separately giving purchasers the option of buying a different size top and bottom depending on individual needs.


Are the submitted garments classifiable as sleepwear garments of heading 6208, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


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]."

Heading 6208, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's or girls' nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes describe the scope of heading 6208, in relevant part, as follows:

The heading also includes nightdresses, pyjamas, negliges, bathrobes (including beachrobes), dressing gowns and similar articles for women or girls' (garments usually worn indoors).

The Explanatory Notes are not legally binding, but do represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level.

Based upon an examination of the submitted nightshirt, style 23287, Customs agrees that it is a nightshirt which will be principally used for wearing to bed and thus clearly falls in heading 6208, HTSUSA. -3-

The remaining garments, styles 23203 (pajama top), 23251 (pajama long pant), and 23269 (pajama short), are described as pajama components, i.e., top and bottoms. In HRL 088635 of May 24, 1991, and 089367 of July 31, 1991, Customs addressed the issue of the meaning of the term "pajamas" for tariff purposes. Each ruling cited various definitions of pajamas, including:

Essential Terms of Fashion: A Collection of Definitions, published by Fairchild, defines pajamas, at 128, as: "one or two-piece item of apparel originally designed for sleeping...".

The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, at page 893, "A loose-fitting garment consisting of trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging."

Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, (1984), at 845, "A loose-fitting garment having of (sic) trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging."

The rulings also referred to The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, published by Customs in the December 28, 1988, Federal Register, at pages 52563-52570, wherein pajamas are described as being worn by both sexes and all ages, and...:

...consist[ing] of an upper part, pullover or coat style, with long, short, or no sleeves and a lower part, short, intermediate, or long trouser-like garments or of any style panties. * * * Pajamas are sleepwear. Garments called "sleepers" (sometimes called Dr. Denton's), one or two-piece knit sleeping garments for girls', sizes 2-4 and boys' 2-7, buttoning in front or back and with drop seats in the one- piece style, are in this category. (at page 52569)

In both HRL 088635 and 089367, Customs concluded that no support could be found for the proposition that the common meaning of the term pajamas included the individual components of a pajama set standing alone. Thus, pajama bottoms imported without their matching pajama tops are not classifiable as pajamas. The same holds true for the opposite case. See, HRL 956202 of September 29, 1994, wherein Customs held that the subject sleepwear (pajama) tops and sleepwear (pajama) bottoms could not be classified as pajamas when imported in shipments of only tops or only bottoms as they failed to meet the common and commercially understood definition of pajamas, in their condition as imported.

Customs views pajamas as composite goods. See, HRL 956202 and HRL 956492 of September 19, 1994. As composite goods and based upon their condition as imported, shipments of equal -4-
numbers of matching sleepwear (pajama) tops and sleepwear (pajama) bottoms will be viewed by Customs as shipments of composite goods that form a whole which is not normally sold as separate parts and is commercially known as pajamas. Thus, garments in such shipments will be classified as pajamas of heading 6208, HTSUSA. Please note, that by the term "matching", Customs is making reference not only to design, style and coloring, but also to size. In regard to sizing, provided the bulk of the shipment consists of garments (tops and bottoms) which are matched as to size, a slight variation in sizing between a limited number of tops and bottoms will not preclude classification as pajamas.

As in HRL 956202, the sleepwear (pajama) components at issue herein, may still be classifiable in heading 6208, HTSUSA, as articles similar to the articles specifically named in the heading. In deciding if the pajama tops and pajama bottoms imported as individual articles are classifiable in heading 6208, HTSUSA, we refer to the rule of statutory construction known as ejusdem generis. In Van Dale Industries v. United States, Slip Op. 94-54, (decided April 1, 1994), in discussing ejusdem generis, the court stated:

One rule of statutory construction is ejusdem generis, which means "of the same kind, class, or nature." Black's Law Dictionary 464 (5th ed. 1979). This rule applies "whenever a doubt arises as to whether a given article not specifically named in the statute is to be placed in a class of which some of the individual subjects are named." [United States v. Damrak Trading Co., Inc., 43 CCPA 77, 79, C.A.D. 611 (1956).] Under ejusdem generis, where particular words of description are followed by general terms, the latter will be regarded as referring to things of a like class with those particularly described. Id. In other words, ejusdem generis requires that merchandise possess the particular characteristics or purposes that unite the specified exemplars in order to be classified under the general terms. See, Nissho-Iwasi Am. Corp. v. United States, 10 CIT 154, 157, 641 F. Supp. 808, 810 (1986) (citations omitted).

Heading 6208, HTSUSA, specifically provides for women's and girls' singlets and other undershirts, slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles. To apply ejusdem generis, we must ascertain the shared characteristics or purposes of the named garments in heading 6208, HTSUSA, and decide if styles 23203, 23251 and 23269 possess those same characteristics or purposes.

All of the articles named in heading 6208, HTSUSA, may be characterized as "intimate apparel". They are garments which are -5-
recognized as either underwear (the singlets and other undershirts, slips, petticoats, briefs and panties), sleepwear (the nightdresses, pajamas and negligees), or garments normally worn indoors in the presence of family or close friends (the negligees, bathrobes and dressing gowns). The explanatory note cited earlier describes the coverage of heading 6208 as including women's or girls' underclothing and, after naming the last five exemplars, "garments usually worn indoors".

Customs is of the opinion that styles 23203, 23251 and 23269, as individual articles which are marketed for use together, share characteristics and purpose with the exemplars to heading 6208, HTSUSA. You have informed Customs that these garments were designed, manufactured and will be marketed by Eddie Bauer in its catalogs as garments to be worn to bed. This information is certainly a consideration in determining what these garments are for classification purposes. However, of most importance are the garments themselves. As the court stated in Mast Industries, Inc. v. United States, 9 CIT 549, 552 (1985), aff'd 786 F. 2d 1144 (1986), "the merchandise itself may be strong evidence of use." Citing United States v. Bruce Duncan Co., 50 CCPA 43, 46, C.A.D. 817 (1963). Based upon an examination of these garments, when imported together, instead of separately, they would be clearly recognized and classified as sleepwear pajamas. As sleepwear separates, although they remain sleepwear garments, they are not classified as pajamas.


The nightshirt, style 23287, is classifiable as a nightdress in subheading 6208.21.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for women's cotton woven nightdresses with two or more colors in the warp and/or filling. The garment falls in textile category 351 and is dutiable at 9.4 percent ad valorem.

When imported together in shipments containing matching equal numbers of tops (style 23203) and bottoms (styles 23251 and/or 23269), these garments are classified as women's cotton pajamas with two or more colors in the warp and/or filling in subheading 6208.21.0010, HTSUSA, textile category 351 and dutiable at 9.5 percent ad valorem.

When imported separately, or as unmatched extras in a shipment, styles 23203, 23251 and 23269, are classifiable, ejusdem generis, as similar articles in subheading 6208.91.3010, HTSUSA, it is of the same class or kind, as the exemplars of heading 6208, HTSUSA. Garments classifiable in this subheading are subject to a rate of duty of 11.8 percent ad valorem and fall within textile category 352.

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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