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 > 1996 HQ Rulings > HQ 958512 - HQ 958635 > HQ 958614

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 958614

January 23, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958614 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6114.30.3060

The Dreier Company
P.O. Box 117
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

RE: Modification of 884713, dated May 6, 1993; Heading 6114; baseball slider pants

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

This is in reference to the New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 884713 issued to you by New York Customs on May 6, 1993. After reviewing this ruling, Customs Headquarters believes that it was in error in part. NYRL 884713 classified baseball sliding underpants, in subheading 6107.12.0010 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Customs believes that NYRL 884713 should be modified in part to reflect the correct tariff classification in subheading 6114.30.3060, HTSUSA. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization), of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. No. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 884713 was published on December 6, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin,Volume 29, Number 49.


The garment at issue is described as a pair of protective underpants constructed of knit man-made fabric. The garment measures 47 cm, contains an exposed elasticized waistband, and hemmed leg openings. Two-ply quilted inserts measuring 19 x 17 cm extend down from the waistband on both sides of the garment. The garment is intended to be worn under a pair of pants and provides protection for a baseball/softball player while sliding into bases.


What is the proper tariff classification for the garment at issue?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

The subject article is potentially classifiable under two distinct headings, Heading 6107, HTSUSA, which provides for men's underwear, or Heading 6114, HTSUSA, which provides for other garments. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6107, HTSUSA, does not elaborate 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 to Heading 6114, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent 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).

Customs Headquarters issued a classification ruling on certain baseball sliding pants from Japan under the previous tariff, the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA). In HRL 083876, dated March 8, 1990, Customs determined the baseball pants at issue were classified as baseball equipment in item 734.56, TSUSA. Classification in the comparable HTSUSA 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.

In HRL 083876, Customs stated the following when concluding that the garments at issue 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 presumably 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).

Customs is of the opinion that the aforementioned cited statement is true for the subject sliding pants. Customs does 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 under Heading 6107.

The remaining heading for classification of the subject sliding pant 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, HTSUSA, includes special articles of apparel used for certain sports. Since the baseball sliding pants are not more specifically provided for elsewhere, they are classified under Heading 6114, HTSUSA.

This determination is in accordance with HRL 957940, dated June 30, 1995, where Customs was confronted with the issue of the proper tariff classification for baseball slider pants very similar in construction to the instant article. Customs concluded that the article therein was classifiable under Heading 6114, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the subject garment is classified as an other garment of man-made fiber in subheading 6114.30.3060, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 16 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 659.

NYRL 884713 is hereby modified.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from 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 177.10(c)(1)).

The designated textile 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, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that 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 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
Tariff Classification

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: