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HQ 958094

August 21, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 958094 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6208.92.0030

Mr. B.S. Yeung
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
1150 18th Street, N.W.
Suite 475
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of woven slip-like liners for dresses; HK Case #HK 21/94 and #HK 22/94

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in response to your request of July 1, 1994, that Customs review the classification of certain woven slip-like liners to be sold with and worn under complementary dresses made of sheer fabric. Samples were received by this office for review and will be returned as requested. These samples are the same type of garments as those under dispute in cases #HK 21/94 and #HK 22/94. The samples from those cases were sent to, but never received by, this office.


The samples at issue were described in your letter of July 1, 1994, as ladies' 100 percent polyester woven dress liners, imported by Donna Karan Company. These one-piece garments are sold with and worn under complementary dresses which are made of sheer fabric. You indicated the dresses are about 53 inches in length, while the dress liners are about 56 inches in length, creating a layered look. For this reason, you believe the dress liners cannot be classified as slips (underwear) as they are exposed to view.

Since the original samples were never received by Customs, you submitted styles F157015LB and F157044LB for Customs review. These samples were the subject of District Decision 807439 of March 22, 1995, wherein the dress liners were classified as garments similar to slips, in the provision for other articles of man-made fibers in subheading 6208.92.0030, Harmonized Tariff -2-

Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), textile category 652. The dress liners for these styles do not extend beyond the length of the dress with which they are sold. Thus, they have been submitted to illustrate the garments at issue because they are the same type of garments, but they differ in their length. Your concern is basically the classification of these dress liners which extend three inches beyond the length of the dress with which they are sold.

The submitted samples each consist of a dress and an accompanying woven liner. The liners are made of 100 percent polyester woven fabric. Each woven liner, while a separate garment, attaches to its companion dress by means of loops and snaps at the inside shoulders.


Are woven dress liners which extend three inches beyond the length of the dress with which they are sold, so as to create a layered look, classifiable as slips or similar to slips, in heading 6208, HTSUSA, or are they classified as other garments of heading 6211, 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 6208, provides for, among other things, slips and similar garments. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state in regard to heading 6208, in part:

This heading covers underclothing for women or girls (singlets and other vests, slips, petticoats, briefs, panties and similar articles), not knitted or crocheted.

You believe the woven liners are not classifiable in heading 6208 as slips or similar articles because the garments extend three inches longer than the dresses with which they are worn. Because the liners are partially visible and intended to be so, you believe they cannot be classified as underwear since underwear is generally understood to refer to garments which are not meant to be seen.

In your letter, you make reference to U.S. classification guidelines. We assume you are referring to the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (hereinafter, Guidelines). The Guidelines address "underwear", at page 25, in part as follows:

The term "underwear" refers to garments which are ordinarily worn under other garments and are not exposed to view when the wearer is conventionally dressed for appearance in public, indoors or out-of-doors.

The 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 and may be used as an aid in determining the commercial designation of articles. It is important, however, to remember that the Guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but guidance in drawing distinctions between classes of garments.

"Slip" is defined, in relevant part, in Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, (1984), at 1095, as:

* * * 6. A woman's undergarment, serving as a lining for a

The woven linings at issue appear to largely meet this definition. The garments serve as linings for the dresses with which they are imported and sold. However, these liners also are designed to be longer than the dresses with which they are sold so that the liners are partially and intentionally visible. In this feature, they differ from the common understanding of "slips" as undergarments which are generally not visible to view.

Customs believes the garments are classifiable as similar to slips because of their function as dress liners. While you believe the Guidelines definition of "underwear" should preclude classification of the liners in heading 6208, HTSUSA, as similar to slips, Customs emphasizes the Guidelines are merely guidance and the language of the tariff determines classification. Heading 6208, HTSUSA, provides for slips and similar articles, and based upon the above analysis, we believe these liners are similar to slips. Thus, they are classifiable in heading 6208, HTSUSA.


The woven dress liners at issue are classifiable as women's woven garments which are similar to slips, of man-made fiber, in subheading 6208.92.0030, HTSUSA, textile category 652, dutiable at 16.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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