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NY B82519

March 31, 1997

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:WA:361 B82519


TARIFF NO.: 6106.10.0010

Mr. L. Bertrand
First American air Services, Inc.
147-48 182nd Street
Jamaica, NY 11413

RE: The tariff classification of two women's knit shirts from Macau.

Dear Mr. Bertrand:

In your letter dated February 26, 1997, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Ralph Lauren Womenswear, L.P. for women's knit shirts. Additional information was provided on behalf of Ralph Lauren in May, 1997. This ruling replaces the ruling dated March 31, 1997, issued prior to the receipt of the information. The samples are being returned, as you requested.

The two knit shirts, styles 69005 and 29005, are constructed from 100% cotton pique fabric with more than 10 stitches per centimeter in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Both styles feature a collar, a two button placket with left over right closure, short sleeves with rib knit cuffs, hemmed bottom with side slits and a tail. There is an embroiered logo of a polo player on the left chest area.

You have indicated that the garments should be classified as women's, even though the placket buttons left over right. Documentation and information provided includes complete size specifications, and samples and specifications for comparable styles of men's shirts.

As noted, Chapter 61, note 9 states defines the manner in which men's garments and women's garments may be distinguished from each other. The note states:

9. Garments of this chapter designed for left over right closure at the front shall be regarded as men's or boys' garments, and those designed for right over left closure at the front as women's or girls' garments. These provisions do not apply where the cut of the garment clearly indicates that it is designed for one or other of the sexes.

Garments which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' garments or as women's or girls' garments are to be classified in the headings covering women's or girls' garments.

Ruling HQ 954130 of August 11, 1993, indicated that the language of the note was "clear and unambiguous," and further discussed the definition of the term "cut of the garment." Customs believes the term "cut" implies construction or design detail created to accommodate the body structure. This view is consonant with the approach of choosing the direction of closure as indicative of classification as male or female apparel. The direction of closure is an element of the construction of a garment. It follows then that only when other elements of the construction of the garment, such as the placement of darts, clearly indicate otherwise will the classification indicated by the direction of closure not prevail.

For the submitted samples, the direction of the closure sets up a presumption that the garments are constructed for men. However, in analyzing other construction features, particularly the comparative specifications provided, it is apparent that the above noted styles are "cut" to accommodate the body structure of a woman. Specifications have been provided for similarly styled men's and women's polo shirts. In comparing the chest and hip (bottom) specifications, for men's garments and women's garments, it is apparent that the men's and women's garments are cut differently, each specifically constructed with the body structure of men or women in mind. Therefore, the cut of the garment, overcomes the presumption that the garments are designed for men, and clearly indicates that these garments are cut for women.

The applicable subheading for these styles will be 6106.10.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women's or girls' blouses and shirts, knitted or crocheted, of cotton. The rate of duty will be 20.6 percent ad valorem.

The shirts fall within textile category designation 339. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of Macau are subject to a visa requirement and quota restraints.

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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.

If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Angela De Gaetano at 212-466-5540.


Paul K. Schwartz

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