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HQ 957910

July 14, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957910 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6211.32.0060

Ba-Sang Yeung
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 475
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of a men's sleeveless garment; Federal Register Vol. 56 No.107; features of a shirt; subheading 6211.32.0060

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in regard to your letter, dated March 27, 1995, on behalf of D.J. Industries Inc., regarding the classification of a men's sleeveless garment. A sample was received by this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The submitted sample, referenced style number 6F314, is a woven cotton men's sleeveless garment featuring a banded collar, a full frontal opening with button closures, and two chest pockets with button through flaps.

The submitted garment was the subject of Pre-classification ruling (PC) 804327, dated December 7, 1994, wherein the merchandise was classified in subheading 6211.32.0060, HTSUSA, with the appropriate textile category 340, as a shirt excluded from heading 6205, HTSUSA. Subsequently, upon entry at the port of Atlanta, the entry was rejected because of a classification/visa mismatch, i.e., the export license stated that the visa for the subject merchandise was for category 359(2) as a vest, instead of 340.

In your opinion, the garment has oversized armholes and should be worn over another garment other than underwear. Additionally, you state that the Textile Category Guidelines, CIE 13/88 (Guidelines), provide that men's or boy's shirts classified under category 340 must have sleeves. As the subject merchandise is sleeveless, you believe the garment should be subject to visa category 359(2) as an outer vest.

Whether the subject merchandise should be classified as an other woven cotton garment or as a vest?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the rules of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

The Guidelines describe men's shirts as male outer garments which extend from the neck and shoulder areas to or below the waist, and featuring a full or partial front opening. Although the Guidelines also stated that shirts must have sleeves, in Federal Register Vol. 56, No. 107, dated June 4, 1991, the Guidelines were amended to include sleeveless shirts.

Although it is true that a vest is a garment which is worn over another garment, it is also true that this requires oversized armholes in order to accommodate the article of clothing that is to lie underneath the vest. In the case of the subject garment, when it was placed on a men's "Medium" size mannequin, the garment fit quite snugly. When completely buttoned, the garment fit like a shirt, i.e. there was no additional space for another garment to be worn underneath. We also note that although the submitted garment was labeled as a men's size "Large", it fit snugly on our "Medium" size mannequin. Additionally, the fabric of the submitted garment is unlike the denim fabric often used in the manufacture of denim shirts.

Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that the submitted merchandise was correctly classified in PC 804327 with textile category 340 as a shirt excluded from heading 6205, HTSUSA. See also New York ruling (NY) 895523, dated April 5, 1994 and NY 889854, dated September 30, 1993, where similar men's sleeveless woven garments were classified as shirts excluded from heading 6205, with textile category 340.


The submitted merchandise, referenced style number 6F314, is properly classified in subheading 6211.32.0060, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, other garments, men's or boys': of cotton; shirts excluded from heading 6205. The applicable rate of duty is 8.6 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 340.

The designated 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, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the 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 the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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