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HQ 957977

July 25, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957977 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6108.91.0030

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

RE: Modification of DD 806295 of February 22, 1995; classification of a woman's knit robe

Dear Ms. Redey:

This ruling is in response to your letter of March 16, 1995, requesting Customs reconsider the classification of a woman's knit garment classified in District Decision (DD) 806295 as a woman's knit dress of heading 6104, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You claim the garment is a woman's knit robe and should be classified in heading 6108, HTSUSA. A sample garment was received with your submission.

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of DD 806295 was published June 21, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 25.


The garment at issue, item 10672, is identified by you as a jersey pullover robe. The garment is made of 100 percent cotton brushed jersey knit fabric. The pullover garment is ankle-length and features a hood, long sleeves, a large double patch pocket in the front at about the waist to hip region (a kangaroo pouch pocket), nine inch slits on both sides extending upward from the bottom of the garment, and a plain, hemmed bottom. The garment is sized for a roomy, loose fit.

The garment will be manufactured in Hong Kong and entered through the ports of Seattle, Chicago and Columbus.


Is item 10672 properly classified as a woman's knit dress of heading 6104, HTSUSA, or as a woman's knit robe of heading 6108, HTSUSA?


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]."

Heading 6104, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's knit dresses. Heading 6108, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's knit bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, do not offer any helpful elaboration regarding knit dresses or robes.

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (hereinafter Guidelines) were developed and revised in accordance with the HTSUSA to insure uniformity, to facilitate statistical classification, and to assist in the determination of the appropriate textile categories established for the administration of the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles. They offer guidance to the trade community and Customs personnel as to various characteristics of garments. It is important, however, to remember that the Guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but guidance in drawing distinctions between classes of garments. As the EN offer no assistance in this case, it is proper to look to the Guidelines.

The Guidelines indicate that a dress is considered to be a one-piece garment appropriate for wear without other outer garments. In regard to robes, the Guidelines identify certain physical characteristics generally found in these garments, such as, looseness, long length (generally reaching to mid-thigh or below), and the usual presence of sleeves and a frontal opening. The Guidelines also indicate that these garments are worn in the home for comfort and are inappropriate for wear on social occasions in and outside the home.

The Essential Terms of Fashion by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta defines "dress", in relevant part, at page 48, as: "Customarily the main item of apparel worn by women and girls in the Western hemisphere. May be made in one piece, cut in two -3-
pieces and joined with a waistline seam, or made in two separate pieces with each piece finished separately. * * * " From the same source, "robe" is defined, in relevant part, at page 156, as: "Informal clothing usually styled like a loose coat; may be sashed, buttoned, zipped, or hang loose. Worn over pajamas or nightgown, at the beach, or for informal entertaining at home. Current meaning of the word is a shortened form of the word bathrobe or dressing robe."

We agree with your arguments that the garment has characteristics associated with robes and has the appearance of a robe. You submit this garment will be sold only via your catalog and will be described therein as a "pullover robe" and marketed as a robe. The presentation in the catalog makes clear the intended use of the garment as a robe and we agree that all factors indicate it will be principally used as such.


Item 10672 is properly classified as a woman's knit cotton robe in subheading 6108.91.0030, HTSUSA, textile category 350, dutiable at 9 percent ad valorem.

DD 806295 is modified to accord with the above.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR

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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