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 955389 - HQ 956749 > HQ 956508

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956508

October 13, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956508 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2065

S. Diemal
Tee Plus Inc.
5 South Circle Drive
Great Neck, NY 11024

RE: Classification of men's upper body garment; Heading 6109; Heading 6110; NAFTA

Dear Mr. Diemal:

This is in response to your inquiry of May 20, 1994, requesting a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for men's upper body garments. A sample was submitted for examination.


The submitted sample is a 100 percent cotton knit pullover. The garment contains a crew neckline, short sleeves, and a hemmed bottom. The garment is also loose-fitting, has dropped shoulders, and contains a general over-sized appearance.


Whether the subject garment is classifiable under Heading 6109, HTSUSA, as a T-shirt, or as an article similar to a T-shirt, or as a pullover under Heading 6110, HTSUSA?


Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted. 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 state, in pertinent part:

The term "T-shirt" means lightweight knitted or crocheted garments of the vest type, of cotton or man-fiber,...in one or more colors, with or without pockets, with long or short close-fitting sleeves, without buttons or other fastenings, without collar, without opening in the neckline, having a close-fitting or lower neckline (round, square, boat-shaped or V-shaped).

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, waistcoats (vests), and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. In this instance, the garment at issue does not conform to the description of a T-shirt specified in the EN to Heading 6109, HTSUSA. For example, the subject garment is not close-fitting, it is oversized, and the length is longer than what is commonly found on a T-shirt. Consequently, the subject garment is classifiable as a pullover under Heading 6110, HTSUSA. This determination is in accordance with Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRLs) 950192, dated April 23, 1994, and 951484, dated August 11, 1994, where Customs classified loose-fitting upper body garments, containing short sleeves, a hemmed bottom, and an oversized cut under Heading 6110, HTSUSA, as pullovers.

In your submission, you state that the pullover is constructed of cotton grown and spun into yarn in the United States and then the yarn is transported to Mexico where it is knit into fabric. You further state that the knit fabric is used in the assembly of the pullover garment and exported to the United States as greige garments where they are finished. You fail to state, however, where the knit fabric is cut into garment pieces. If the fabric is cut into garment pieces in the territory of one of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) parties, and meets certain requirements, then it is entitled to a free rate of duty.

The basic rules of origin in Chapter 4 of the NAFTA, as well as the specific rules of origin found in Annex 401 of the NAFTA, are set forth in General Note 12, HTSUSA. (See 58 Fed. Reg. 69460 (Dec. 30, 1993)).

Subdivision (b) of General Note 12, HTSUSA, sets forth the rules of origin for determining whether an imported good is an originating good. This note provides, in pertinent part:

For the purposes of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for the tariff treatment and quantitative limitations set forth in the tariff schedule as "goods originating in the territory of a NAFTA party" only if--

(i) they are goods wholly obtained or produced entirely in the territory of Canada, Mexico and/or the United States;...

As stated above, if the fabric used to make the pullover at issue is cut into garment pieces in a NAFTA country, then the finished goods will be considered an "originating good" as set forth in General Note 12(b)(i), since it will be produced entirely in a NAFTA country. As an originating good from a NAFTA country, the pullover would be entitled to the NAFTA tariff preference.


Based on the information submitted, the subject pullover is classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA, which provides for men's other cotton pullovers. The applicable rate of duty is 20.7 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 338.

As stated above, if the subject pullover is cut into garment pieces in a NAFTA country, then it is entitled to a NAFTA tariff preference, upon compliance with all the applicable regulations.

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 applicable to textile merchandise, 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
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: