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HQ 959135

June 20, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959135 SK


TARIFF NO.'s: 6207.21.0010

Rebecca Cheung
Federated Product Development
Eleven Penn Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10001

RE: Classification of woven cotton yarn-dyed flannel sleep tops and pants; heading 6207, HTSUSA.

Dear Ms. Cheung:

This is in response to your inquiry of February 26, 1996, in which you request a binding classification ruling for four styles of woven cotton yarn-dyed flannel garments. Four samples of the subject merchandise were submitted to this office for examination.


Four samples were submitted to this office, identified as style numbers 5577,5560, 6505 and 5585. All are constructed of woven cotton yarn-dyed flannel. Style number 5577 has a shirt collar, a full frontal opening with button closures, a breast pocket and long hemmed sleeves without cuffs. Style number 5560 is a pullover with a Henley neck having a partial opening with a three button closure and long hemmed sleeves without cuffs. Style number 6505 is a pair of shorts with a fully elasticized turned-over waistband, a functional self-fabric drawstring, a fly-front opening without a closure, side seam pockets and hemmed leg bottoms. Style number 5585 is a pair of pants with a fully elasticized turned-over waistband, a functional self-fabric drawstring, a fly front opening without a closure , side seam pockets and rolled cuffs.

In a May 9, 1996, telephone conversation with an attorney-advisor in the Textile Branch, you stated that the subject garments will be imported in equal numbers of tops and bottoms in a single shipment and that the tops and bottoms will match as to design and size. You also state, in your written submission, that the tops and bottoms will be sold at retail as "a group of flannel sleepwear separates."


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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, applied in sequential order.

Heading 6207, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, men's nightshirts, pajamas and similar articles. Customs has consistently ruled that pajamas are generally two-piece garments worn for sleeping. One-piece garments used for sleeping may be classifiable as pajamas, but such garments cover the entire torso. Other one piece garments used for sleeping are not classifiable as pajamas; instead they fall into a residual provision within heading 6207, HTSUSA, for similar articles. Garments classifiable in this residual provision include sleep shorts and sleep pants.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088635, dated May 24, 1991, and HRL 089367, dated July 31, 1991, Customs addressed the issue of the meaning of the term "pajamas" for tariff purposes. Those rulings cited various definitions of pajamas as follows:

* Essential Terms of Fashion: A Collection of Definitions, published by Fairchild, at 128, defines pajamas as, "[O]ne or two piece item of apparel originally designed for sleeping...;"

* The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, at 893, "[A] loose- fitting garment consisting of trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging;"

* Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, (1984), at 845, "[A] loose- fitting garment having of (sic) trousers and a jacket, worn for sleeping or lounging;"

* The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories (Guidelines), CIE 13/88, dated November 23, 1988, "[P]ajamas are worn by both sexes and all ages. They consist of an upper part, pullover or coat style, with long, short, or no sleeves and a lower part, short, intermediate, or long-trouser like garments or any style panties.
The lower part sometimes encloses the feet.
Pajamas are sleepwear... ."

In both HRL's 088635 and 089367, Customs concluded that no support could be found for the proposition that the common meaning of the term pajamas included the individual components of a pajama set standing alone. Thus, pajama bottoms imported without their matching pajama tops are not classifiable as pajamas; the same holds true for the opposite case. In reaching a decision on the classification of "pajamas" or similarly designed articles, Customs will examine how the garments are imported. If garments are imported in shipments of tops or bottoms only, they cannot be classified as pajamas. However, if the garments are imported in shipments consisting of equal numbers of tops and bottoms, and the tops and bottoms match in design, style, color and size, as is the case here, the garments are classifiable as pajamas. See also HRL 957862, dated December 21, 1995.


Style numbers 5577,5560, 6505 and 5585 are imported in single shipments of equal numbers of tops and bottoms that match in design and size. Accordingly, these styles are classifiable under subheading 6207.21.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for men's cotton pajamas with two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling. The applicable rate of duty is 9.4 percent ad valorem and the textile quota category is 351.

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 negotiations 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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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 status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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