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HQ 957843

May 4, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957843 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204, 6214

Ms. Kathy Hurt
Alexander International
4799 Aviation Parkway
College Park, GA 30349

RE: Classification of four articles claimed to be "India Items"; kurta (dress), salwar (trousers), dupatta (scarf) and ohdani (cloth)

Dear Ms. Hurt:

This is in response to your request of February 13, 1995, on behalf of Araish, Siddioi & Siddiqi, Inc., regarding the classification of four articles of clothing. The articles will be imported from India through the port of Atlanta. Samples were received with your request.


The four submitted articles include a kurta, salwar, dupatta and ohdani. All of the articles are made of woven fabric. The articles will be made of varying fiber compositions--100 percent cotton, 100 percent silk, or 65 percent polyester/35 percent cotton.

The kurta is a women's loose-fitting pullover garment that extends from the neck and shoulders to below the knee. The garment features a round neckline with a stand-up collar, a placket partial front opening beginning at the neckline and extending to about the waist and secured by six hook and eye closures, 3/4-length sleeve, and a straight hemmed bottom. The garment is of a multiple panel construction, however, it still retains an almost straight, loose appearance. The front of the solid color garment is highly decorated with embroidery of contrasting colored yarns, beads, sequins, and small metal leaves.

The salwar is a pair of pants which are of the same fabric as the kurta. The pants are of a multiple panel construction with a tunnel waistband. The waist of the garment is extremely -2-
wide. The garment appears to be designed to be worn with a drawstring closure, however, no drawstring was included with the sample. The upper panels of the pants are flat and extend about seven inches down from the waistline where they are sewn to the panels which create the leg portions of the pants. The front panels of the leg portions are gathered at the top seam creating a puffy appearance at the front. The leg portions of the garment are wide at the top and narrow as they approach the ankle area. The leg openings are hemmed and feature several rows of stitching at the ankles.

The dupatta, or scarf, is made of woven fabric which appears to be silk. It measures approximately 23 inches in width and 70 inches in length. It is ornamented with gold metallic yarn fringe on the ends, a flower motif in metallic yarn along the perimeter of the scarf (about two inches in width along the lengthwise ends and six inches in width at the other ends), and small flowers in metallic yarn interspersed throughout the scarf.

The ohdani is a rectangular piece of cloth that measures approximately 36 inches (3 feet) in width and 84 inches (7 feet) in length. The cloth has selvedges on the lengthwise ends and has a very small fringe on the width ends. The cloth is ornamented by metalized yarns woven into the fabric and creating three stripes on the width ends and a repeated geometrical pattern stripe along the lengthwise ends.


What are the proper tariff classifications for the submitted articles and do the articles qualify as "India Items" exempt from quota?


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: -3-

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

(b) embroidered or crocheted ornamentation,

(c) applique work of sequins, glass or wooden beads, shells, mirrors or ornamental motif of textile and other,

(d) extra weft ornamentation of cotton, silk, zari (metal thread in gold/silver) wool or any other fibre yarn.

Exceptions: Churidar pyjama, salwar and gararra need not be ornamented.

A kurta is defined in the United States/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.

A salwar is defined as:

Loose-fitting trousers secured with drawstring or hooks, with legs that are straight or baggy with extra fullness at the thighs.

A dupatta is described as:

A scarf usually about 4 ft. long, wrapped by women along with Kurta and Churidar. This also includes other types of scarves worn in varied sizes, the characteristics being the same as above.

A ohdhani is described as:

An oblong cloth about 6 to 7 ft. long and 3 to 4 ft. wide with overall embroidery or a woven jacquard weave with traditional designs like himroo shawl or made-up of a fabric decorated with cotton/silk/zari or any other fiber yarn used to cover the body.

In addition to the information contained in the United States/India bilateral textile agreement, further guidelines regarding "India Items" were outlined in a notice published in -4-
the January 15, 1995 issue of the Federal Register (60 FR 16 at 4892). The notice, in the form of a directive to the Commissioner of Customs, stated that the Governments of the United States and India had agreed that:

Indian items may not include closures devices such as zippers, elastic (any form), elasticized fabric (any form), or hook-and-pile fasteners (such as "Velcro" or other similar holding fabric). In addition, buttons (including snap buttons) may not be used as a means of securing at the waist such Indian items as salwar, ghagra/lahnga and pavadai.

The submitted kurta fits the definition of a kurta already cited. In addition, the garment is ornamented with embroidery and applique work. Customs believes this garment meets the requirements of Annex E of the bilateral agreement. The garment has a shape and design which we believe are traditionally and historically Indian. Having met the requirements for eligibility as an "India Item", the garment is exempt from quota restraints.

The salwar is not required to be ornamented, but need only fit the cited definition. The submitted pants do fit the definition in that they are clearly designed to be secured at the waist by a drawstring (although one did not accompany the garment), and the pants are baggy with extra fullness at the thighs. The pants, or salwar, qualify as an "India Item" exempt from quota restraints.

The submitted dupatta, or scarf, meets the definition set forth in Annex E. It is more than the required length of about four feet and it is highly ornamented with gold thread creating an elaborate flower motif border with gold flowers interspersed throughout the scarf. The dupatta qualifies as an "India Item" as it is of a shape and design which we believe are traditionally and historically Indian.

The submitted ohdhani, rectangular or oblong cloth, fits the description in Annex E cited above. The cloth is ornamented with extra weft ornamentation of zari (metal thread in gold/silver) creating stripes along the borders of the cloth. Therefore, it qualifies as an "India Item" exempt from quota restraints.


The kurta, or dress, is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content of the garment:
if of cotton, in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, dutiable at 12.2 percent ad valorem;
if of silk, containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste, in subheading 6204.49.1000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 7.4 percent ad valorem;
if in chief weight of polyester, in subheading 6204.43.4030, HTSUSA, dutiable at 16.9 percent ad valorem.

The salwar, or trousers, is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content of the garment:
if of cotton, in subheading 6204.62.4020, HTSUSA, dutiable at 17.6 percent ad valorem;
if of silk, containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste, in subheading 6204.69.4010, HTSUSA, dutiable at 6.9 percent ad valorem;
if in chief weight of polyester, in subheading 6204.63.3510, HTSUSA, dutiable at 30.2 percent ad valorem.

The dupatta, or scarf, and ohdhani are classified as follows, depending on the fiber content of the articles:
if of cotton, in subheading 6214.90.0010, HTSUSA, dutiable at 11.9 percent ad valorem;
if of silk, containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste, in subheading 6214.10.1000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 6.4 percent ad valorem;
if in chief weight of polyester, in subheading 6214.30.0000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 9.5 percent ad valorem.

As the submitted articles do qualify as "India Items", an exempt certification stamp issued by the Indian government that specifically identifies the folklore articles by name should be presented with your entry documents in order for the goods to enter exempt from quota.

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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