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HQ 961405

July 22, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961405 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6109.90.8030

Ms. Fiona Chau
Trade Specialist
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs
1520 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of knitted tank tops

Dear Ms. Chau:

This is in reply to your letter of February 17, 1998, regarding the classification and textile quota category of women's knitted tank tops.

You submitted a sample of the tank top to aid us in our determination.


The tank tops under consideration are constructed of 45 percent ramie, 37 percent cotton and 18 percent rayon knitted materials.

In a pre-entry classification decision (PC B89839) dated October 9, 1997, Customs classified the garments according to the ramie materials under subheading 6109.90.8030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) as tank tops of other textile materials. The textile category for garments under that tariff provision is 838.

You state that the Hong Kong Trade Department believes that the garments are tank tops but should be classified in category 338/339(1). You letter reads, in part:

In accordance with the existing classification practice of both US and Hong Kong, a product in chief weight of silk blend or non-cotton vegetable fibre will be considered a cotton textile if the cotton in combination with man-made fibre and/or wool in the aggregate equal or exceed 50 percent by weight of the component fibres thereof and the cotton component quals [sic] or exceeds the weight of each of the total wool and/or man-made fibre components. In this regard, the Hong Kong Trade Department considered that the subject garment should be classified in Category 338/339(1).


Are the tank tops in question classifiable under subheading 6109.10.0060, HTSUSA, or under subheading 6109.90.8030, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

Heading 6109, HTSUSA, provides for "T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted."

Note 2(A) to Section XI reads, in part:

Goods classifiable in chapters 50 to 55 or in heading 5809 or 5902 and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material.

Subheading Note 2(A) to Section XI states that "[p]roducts of chapters 56 to 63 containing two or more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section for the classification of a product of chapters 50 to 55 consisting of the same textile materials."

The Hong Kong Trade Department apparently assumes that the tank tops are classifiable in a statistical annotation which provides for goods "subject to cotton restraints." Statistical Note 2(a)(ii) of Section XI, provides:

2. For purposes of the Tariff Schedule:

(a) The term "subject to cotton restraints" means articles in which:

(ii) The cotton and any wool, fine animal hair or man-made fibers in the aggregate equals or exceeds 50 percent by weight of all the component fibers thereof and the cotton component equals or exceeds the weight of each of the wool (including fine animal hair) and man-made fiber components.

Statistical Note 2(a)(ii) is not applicable in this case, however, because heading 6109 does not contain a statistical breakout for garments "subject to cotton restraints." Accordingly, we find the classification of the tank tops set forth in PC B89839 is correct.


The knitted tank tops at issue are classifiable under subheading 6109.90.8030, HTSUSA. They are dutiable at the general one column rate at 16.6 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 838.

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, you should contact your local customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durante, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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