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 958871 - HQ 959149 > HQ 959072

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959072

April 8, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959072 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.49.9070

Ms. Fiona Chau
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
1150 18th Street, NW
Suite 475
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Classification of a woman's upper body garment; Heading 6211; Heading 6206

Dear Ms. Chau:

This is in response to your inquiry of March 22, 1996, requesting a tariff classification ruling for a certain woman's upper body garment pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your case number is V124/95. A sample was submitted for examination and will be returned to you under separate cover.


The submitted sample is a woman's upper body garment comprised of 55 percent linen/45 percent cotton woven fabric. The sleeveless garment extends from the shoulders to generally the mid-thigh area of a wearer. The garment contains a full frontal opening with a five button means of closure, a mandarin collar, two patch pockets with loop and button closures, side vents approximately six inches long, a rear, center vent, and oversized arm openings approximately eleven inches long. The garment is constructed from four panels sewn together lengthwise.


What is the proper tariff classification of the subject garment?


Classification of goods under the 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, taken in order.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, is the provision for inter alia, vests. Heading 6206, HTSUSA, is the provision for women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses.

You state that the arm openings are eight inches in length and that the subject garment is designed to be worn over underwear directly on the skin. Consequently, you believe that the subject garment is classifiable as a blouse under Heading 6206, HTSUSA.

Customs, however does not agree with your statement that the armhole openings of the subject garment is eight inches, nor that the garment is classifiable as a blouse of Heading 6206, HTSUSA. After carefully measuring the subject garment, we found that the half-curved measurement of the arm openings is approximately eleven inches; arm openings this large would render the subject garment incapable of being worn alone without another upper body garment such as a blouse or shirt. Moreover, the construction of the garment with the four panels sewn together lengthwise is not a common design feature of a blouse. Finally, the subject garment is amply sized for a "medium" indicating that it is designed as a vest since another outerwear garment can comfortably be worn underneath it. Accordingly, the subject garment is classifiable as a vest of Heading 6211, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the subject garment is classifiable in subheading 6211.49.9070, HTSUSA, which provides for women's other garments, of other textile materials, other, vests. The applicable rate of duty is 7.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 859.

The 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 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 applicability of any import restraint requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: