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HQ 959031

July 23, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959031 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6109.90.4020

Mr. James E. Unger
CBC Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 646
Wood Dale, IL 60191

RE: Classification of women's camisoles; Reconsideration of PC 812352; 6109.90.4020,

Dear Mr. Unger:

This ruling is in reply to your request of January 12, 1996 for reconsideration of PC 812352 regarding the classification of two women's camisoles. The camisoles were classified in subheading 6109.90.4020 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The two garments in question, style numbers 179 and 189, are women's 100 percent silk, finely knit camisoles. Both styles have lace fabric inserts at the neck, narrow shoulder straps, extend below the waist and have a straight hem. A copy of a catalog page for style number 179 describes the garment as "Versatile Silk Camisole With Lace." No other information was provided for either garment, although a sample of each style was submitted for our review.

You contend that the camisoles should be classified as "lingerie" under subheading 6108.39.4000, HTSUSA.


Whether the silk camisoles are classified as "lingerie" under heading 6108 or are classified under heading 6109, which provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted?


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, taken in their appropriate order.
Heading 6108 provides for women's or girls' slips, petticoats, briefs, panties, nightdresses, pajamas, negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. Heading 6109 provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6109 state that "singlets and other vests" are included in this provision. The word "vest" is defined in Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1977), as "a knitted undershirt for women." The articles at issue are women's silk, finely knit camisole undershirts and therefore classification is prima facie provided for in heading 6109.

Furthermore, Customs ruled in a similar case that a women's silk camisole designed to be worn under a shirt or blouse and over a bra is similar to an undershirt or "singlet" and is properly classified in heading 6109. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086977, dated June 19, 1990. Moreover, Customs distinguished between the type of underwear provided for under heading 6108 and heading 6109 in HRL 089280, dated May 31, 1991. In that ruling it was determined that garments which are worn below the waist are provided for in heading 6108, whereas heading 6109 provides for women's underwear worn above the waist.

In the instant case, you state that "no lady would wear the items as outerwear." Like the garments in HRLs 086977 and 089280, the camisoles in question are designed to be worn above the waist, under a shirt or blouse, and are similar to an undershirt or "singlet." Therefore, they are classified under heading 6109.


The classification of silk camisole style numbers 179 and 189 are under subheading 6109.90.4020, HTSUSA, which provides for "T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: Containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste, Women's or girls." These items are dutiable at the column one general rate of 14.1 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 739.

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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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