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 957792 - HQ 957977 > HQ 957940

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957940

June 30, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957940 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.3060

Barinco International Corp.
5777 West Century Blvd., Suite 990
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: Classification of baseball slider pants

Dear Sir:

This is in response to your request, on behalf of Hillerich & Bradsby Co. Inc., for a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on baseball slider pants, model #LSA127. The garment will be imported through the port of Los Angeles. A sample was received with your request.


The garment at issue, baseball slider pants, model #LSA127, is a short pant-styled garment made with 72 percent nylon/28 percent spandex knit fabric. The garment measures 18 inches from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the hemmed leg openings. The garment features a two-inch exposed elastic waistband, and two rectangular foam pads (13 inches X 9 inches) sewn to the inside of the garment and covered with knit fabric. The foam pads extend from the top of the hip to two inches above the bottom of the garment. The garment is designed with leg panels and a center panel. The knit fabric with a high percentage of spandex causes the garment to be form fitting. The sample indicates the garment is made in Taiwan.


Are the baseball slider pants at issue classifiable as men's knit underwear of heading 6107, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS); as a girdle or similar article of heading 6212, HTSUS; or, as an other garment of heading 6114, HTSUS?


Classification of goods under the 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]."

At first glance, three headings appear to merit consideration for classification of the subject garment--heading 6107 (men's underwear), heading 6212 (girdle or similar article), or heading 6114 (an other garment). The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, provide guidance regarding the scope of the various headings. In the case of heading 6107, the EN does not elaborate much beyond the language of the heading, simply stating in part that the heading covers, among other things, men's or boys' knitted or crocheted underpants, briefs and similar articles.

The EN for heading 6212 does offer pertinent information regarding the scope of that heading and the articles classified therein. The EN to heading 6212 states, in relevant part:

This heading covers articles of a kind designed for wear as body-supporting garments or as supports for certain other articles of apparel, and parts thereof. These articles may be made of any textile material including knitted or crocheted fabrics (whether or not elastic).

All the above articles [girdles and panty-girdles are the second named articles) may be furnished with trimmings of various kinds (ribbons, lace, etc.), and may incorporate fittings and accessories of non-textile materials (e.g., metal, rubber, plastics or leather).

[Emphasis added.]

The EN for heading 6114 state, in part:

This heading covers knitted or crocheted garments which are not included more specifically in the preceding headings of this Chapter.

The heading includes, inter alia:

(5) Special articles of apparel used for certain sports or for dancing or gymnastics (e.g., fencing clothing, jockeys' silks, ballet skirts, leotards).

Note 2, Chapter 61, directs that Chapter 61 does not cover, among other things, goods of heading 6212. Thus, if the garment at issue is classifiable in heading 6212, it cannot be classified in headings 6107 or 6114.

Customs Headquarters issued a classification ruling on certain baseball sliding pants from Japan under the previous tariff, i.e., the Tariff Schedules of the United States. In that ruling, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083876 of March 8, 1990, Customs ruled the baseball sliding pants at issue therein were classified as baseball equipment in item 734.56, Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA). [Classification in the comparable HTSUS provision for sports equipment is precluded by Note 1(e), Chapter 95, which excludes sports clothing of chapter 61 or 62 from classification in Chapter 95.] The garment at issue in HRL 083876 was similar to the garment here in that it had padding along the hip and outer thighs to protect against injury when sliding. The garment differed though in the fabric used to make it. The garment in HRL 083876 was made of a 50 percent polyester/50 percent cotton mesh fabric. The sliding pants at issue here are made of a 72 percent nylon/28 percent spandex knit fabric.

Customs believes the difference in fabric composition and construction of the sliding pants at issue imparts a significant feature to the sliding pants that was not present in the garments at issue in HRL 083876. It is Customs' view that the tightly knit fabric containing 28 percent spandex causes the subject sliding pants to hold in and support the body. Customs also believes the support offered by the subject garment is an intended feature and not mere happenstance. It may be argued that sliding pants are designed for wear as body-protecting garments, not body-supporting garments. However, Customs believes that the subject sliding pants are designed for both purposes. Without the pads, Customs would view the garment before us as a girdle. With the permanently sewn-in pads, the garment offers support and protection, thus giving it a feature not associated with girdles or other support garments.

Support garments of heading 6212 are not considered protective garments. They are support garments and any protection afforded the wearer is a consequence of the support provided. Customs believes the subject sliding pants have a character which is beyond that of a body-supporting garment -4-
because although the sliding pants support the body like a girdle, they are designed to protect the body when sliding. Customs believes the presence of the permanent protective pads makes the sliding pants of a different character than the support garments of heading 6212 and thus, they cannot be classified in heading 6212 as a girdle or similar article.

In HRL 083876, Customs stated the following in determining that the garments at issue therein were not classifiable as underwear:

While the sliding pants have the appearance of underwear, because of the padding, it is obvious that they are only worn when a player has the expectations of sliding into base--during a game or during practice. Further, we do not envision that this merchandise will be worn without an athletic supporter beneath it. In our view, because of the limited and specialized usage of this merchandise, and the manner of its usage, sliding pants are neither commonly nor commercially known as underwear. Since tariff terms presumable carry the meaning given them in trade and commerce, this merchandise cannot be classified as underwear. S.G.B. Steel Scaffolding & Shoring Co. v. United States, 82 Cust. Ct. 197, C.D. 4802 (1979).

Although the subject sliding pants differ somewhat from the garments at issue in HRL 083876, Customs believes that the above cited statement is true for the subject sliding pants. We do not believe the sliding pants are similar to men's or boys' underpants or briefs, nor are they commonly or commercially known as underwear. Therefore, the subject sliding pants cannot be classified in heading 6107.

The remaining heading for classification of the subject sliding pants is heading 6114, as an other garment. The garment is marketed and commonly known as baseball sliding pants, although Customs recognizes it may be used for other sports. As Customs acknowledged in HRL 083876, sliding pants are generally worn only when a player has the expectation of sliding.

As noted above, heading 6114 includes special articles of apparel used for certain sports. Since the baseball sliding pants are not more specifically provided for elsewhere, they are classified in heading 6114.


The garment at issue, baseball slider pants, model #LSA127, is classified as an other garment of man-made fiber in subheading 6114.30.3060, HTSUSA, textile category 659, dutiable at 16 percent ad valorem. -5-

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: