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 > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 003941 - HQ 112816 > HQ 084628

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 084628

August 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084628 HP


TARIFF NO.: 384.3441

Ms. Doreen Wai
Second Secretary
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 504
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Classification of women's crop tops

Dear Ms. Wai:

This is in reply to your letter of July 29, 1988, your file 45/88, on behalf of S.I.M. International, requesting our review of the classification of certain garments stated to be crop tops, covered by Entry Nos. 523-0113668-6 and 523-0113646-2 at New York Jamaica. The garments are stated to be licensed as tops, but Customs is requiring a visa in category of 338/339.


Samples marked "877722", "877717", "877422" and "877417" were submitted. They are women's 95 percent knitted cotton, five percent spandex, crop tops. They have large armholes, integral shoulder straps less than two inches wide, and pronounced scoop necks. Two styles have a middle back panel drawn together vertically across the back through a loop, causing this portion of the garments to rise five inches above the front waistline. The last two styles are similar; they have a front bottom hem curved upward with a bow at the middle, causing the front waist- line to rise three inches from that of the back.


What is the classification of the garments?



The General Interpretative Rules to the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA) govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. General Headnote 10, TSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

10. General Interpretative Rules. For the pur- poses of these schedules --

(f) an article is in chief value of a materi- al if such material exceeds in value each other single component material of the article[.]

It is clear that the cotton provides the merchandise with its chief value. It composes 95 percent of the garment, and allows the wearer the ability to breathe while wearing it; a fundamental consideration in a summer garment. The spandex only provides a slight elasticity; any increased salability would be de minimis. As a result, the crop tops are considered to be of cotton for classification purposes.

We are of the opinion that the garments cannot be classified as blouses under 384.28, TSUSA. They do not reach the waist, nor do they provide the neck and shoulder coverage we have required for garments categorized as blouses. See HRL 081755 of March 9, 1988 and HRL 078515 of July 14, 1986 (classifying substantially similar garments as tops rather than blouses).


The tops are properly classified under item 384.3441, TSUSA, textile category 339, as other women's, girls', or infants' wearing apparel, not ornamented, of cotton, knit, other, tops, women's and girls'. The applicable rate of duty is 8 percent.

You state that according to a Hong Kong/United States agreement on cotton knit tops, the instant merchandise should be classified in textile category 359. You enclose a copy of a September 18, 1979, State Department letter notifying your government of the change as the basis for your request. The United States Customs Service is charged with classifying merchandise according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. As a result, we are constrained to apply those textile categories required therein. If you feel that a particu- lar agreement between the governments of the United States and Great Britain impacts upon a HTSUSA categorization, please contact the United States Department of Commerce, Committee on the Implementation of Textile Agreements, for resolution.



John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling