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HQ 953069

April 5, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953069 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6211.42.0025

Margarete E. Bronhard
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Sixty-seven Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Classification of a girls' romper; composite good v. set

Dear Ms. Bronhard:

This ruling is in response to your submission of December 7, 1992, on behalf of your client, Andover Imports, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of a girls' romper with a string tie. The garment will be imported from Korea or the Philippines.


Style numbers 5A4711/5A7711 consist of a girls' woven cotton romper with a string tie. The romper is a one-piece garment extending from the shoulders to slightly above the knees and joined between the legs. The upper portion of the garment resembles a white shirt with a frontal opening extending from the collar to the waist and secured by four buttons. This mock shirt portion of the garment features a pointed collar, long sleeves with elastic at the wrist, a ruffle sewn to the front panels creating a V-shape from the shoulders to just below the chest area, and embroidered flowers appearing just above the ruffle. The lower portion of the garment has the appearance of baggy shorts and is sewn to the bottom of the mock shirt at the waistline. The waistline of the romper has about a 1 1/2 inch waistband which is elasticized and has two belt loops on the front and one belt loop on the back of the garment. The romper is sold with a string tie, which is made of the same fabric as the lower portion, i.e., mock baggy shorts. The romper also has a western style plastic belt.

The romper will be imported from Korea or the Philippines in sizes 4-6x and 7-14.


Is style 5A4711/5A7711, the romper, string tie and belt, classifiable as a composite good or as a set?


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]."

Style 5A4711/5A7711 consists of a romper (classifiable in heading 6211, HTSUSA), a string tie (classifiable in 6215, HTSUSA) and a plastic belt (classifiable in heading 3926, HTSUSA).

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 is applicable in this situation. It provides, in pertinent part, that when by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings and each heading refers to only part of the items which are part of a composite good or set, then each heading is to be regarded as equaly specific and classification is to be according to GRI 3(b).

General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) provides that:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

However, before applying GRI 3(b), we must determine if the romper, tie and belt combination constitute a composite good or goods put up in a set. While this distinction will not affect the essential character determination, it will affect the quota/visa requirements for the goods.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System defines composites goods made up of different components as:
not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are -3-
adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In regard to goods put up in sets for retail sale, the Explanatory Notes defines sets as goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

The romper, tie and belt are separable components. Therefore, to be considered composite goods, they must be (1) adapted one to the other, (2) be mutually complementary, and (3) form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In this case, the string tie is made of the same plaid fabric as the lower portion of the romper (mock baggy shorts). We believe the string tie most properly meets the definition of composite goods, i.e, it is designed or adapted for wear with the romper and is of a matching fabric which makes the two mutually complementary. In addition, the tie is not particularly durable or tailored and therefore, is not of a type normally offered for sale separately.

In regard to the belt, Customs had issued several rulings addressing the issue of the classfication of garments with accompanying belts. In HRL 084423 of August 3, 1989, which involved the classification of a trousers, belt and suspenders group, Customs stated therein:

[T]he addition of the PVC blet to the trousers does not conform to the definition of composite goods as previously interpreted. While it is true that textile belts sold with garments may be treated as composite goods, the sample belt is of a different material that the garment (PVC to the garment's 100 % cotton), is a completely different color than the garment (brown to the garment's primary blue), and could easily be sold separately to match an indeterminable number of clothing articles. It is our opinion that the belt is not mutually complementary to the articles it is imported with, and must be classified as part of the trousers-suspenders set.

This position is repeated in HRL 084355 of August 3, 1989 and 084184 of July 28, 1989, among others.

The belt in this case is similar to that at issue in HRL 084423. This belt is of a different material that the garment (the belt is plastic, the garment is 100 percent cotton); it is of a completely different color (the belt is black, the garment is primarily red plaid and white); and, the belt is of a type which could easily be sold separately for wear with an indeterminable number of clothing articles. Therefore, the belt is classifiable as part of a set with the romper and tie.

Having determined that the string tie and romper constitute a composite good and that together with the plastic belt form a set, it is necessary to determine which of the three articles gives the set its essential character. As the string tie and the belt are merely accessories to the romper, it is the romper which determines the essential character.


The romper, string tie and belt are classifiable under the provision applicable to the romper. The romper is classified in subheading 6211.42.0025, HTSUSA, textile category 237, dutiable at 8.6 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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