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HQ 960423

September 12, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960423 jb


TARIFF NO: 6207.19.0000

Ms. Fran Livingston
Joe Boxer Corporation
984 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

RE: Supersession of Pre-classification 885849; men's woven silk boxer shorts; underwear

Dear Ms. Livingston:

On May 14, 1993, Customs issued to you Pre-classification decision (PC) 885849, which included the classification for four styles (style numbers 70, 121, 129 and 138) of men's woven boxer shorts. This is to inform you that upon review of that ruling we have found that the classification determination for the woven shorts is incorrect. The appropriate analysis and classification is set forth below.


The subject shorts (representative of all the referenced styles), consist of a pair of men's size Medium woven shorts made of 100 percent silk lightweight fabric. The shorts feature a covered elasticized waistband, a placketed fly front secured by a one button closure, hemmed leg openings, and side seams measuring 13 inches. The hemmed leg opening exceeds the relaxed waist by approximately one inch. In PC 885849, the subject merchandise was incorrectly classified in subheading 6203.49.3050, HTSUSA, which provides for men's outerwear shorts.


Whether the garment is classifiable under subheading 6207.19.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for men's underpants and briefs, of silk, or subheading 6203.49.3050, HTSUSA, which provides for men's outerwear woven silk shorts?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in order.

In HQ 087940, dated September 16, 1991, Customs enumerated accepted attributes of nonunderwear garments:

1. Fabric weight greater than 4.2 ounces per square yard;

2. An enclosed or turned over waistband;

3. Lack of a fly or presence of a lining;

4. A single leg opening greater than the relaxed waist;

5. The presence of belt loops, inner or outer pockets or pouches;

6. Multiple snaps at the fly opening;

7. The side length of a size medium should not exceed 17 inches.

Customs has ruled on virtually identical merchandise in the past. Those rulings have determined that garments which display more than one of the above features give rise to the presumption that the garment is not underwear. However, this presumption is rebuttable where it can be shown that criteria such as marketing or other physical attributes are determinative. .
Although the submitted sample does exhibit two of the enumerated features above (an enclosed waistband and a single leg opening greater than the relaxed waist), it is the opinion of this office that the physical appearance of the subject shorts makes them unsuitable as an outerwear garment. The sample is too flimsy and lightweight to be worn outdoors, easily revealing the contours of the wearer's body. For purposes of modesty, it would be inappropriate for the wearer to wear this garment someplace other than the privacy of his home. See also HQ 956360, dated July 8, 1994, which classified a similar garment as underwear in heading 6207, HTSUS, because of the flimsy and lightweight nature of the silk fabric. Furthermore, we note that Hoser Imports dba Joe Boxer, is recognized in the industry as an "underwear" company.

Accordingly the subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 6207.19.1000, HTSUSA.


PC 885849 is superseded to reflect the proper classification of this merchandise in subheading 6207.19.1000, HTSUSA. This decision is effective 60 days from the date of this ruling letter.

The subject merchandise, referenced styles 70, 121, 129 and 138, are correctly classifiable under subheading 6207.19.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' singlets and other undershirts, underpants, briefs, nightshirts, pajamas, bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles: underpants and briefs: of other textile materials: containing 70 percent or more by weight of silk or silk waste. The rate of duty is 8.4 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 752.

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 the 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 the 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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