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NY B83946

April 30, 1997

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:TA:360 B83946


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3010; 6206.30.3040

Ms. Gail T. Cumins
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 67 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of women's shirts from China and/or Hong Kong

Dear Ms. Cumins:

In your letter dated March 27, 1997, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Ralph Lauren Womenswear, Company, L.P. The samples submitted with your request will be returned to you under separate cover.

Your inquiry concerns the classification of both knit and woven shirts that button left over right. The classification of the knitted garments will be considered separately in NY B83947. Submitted with your request are seven styles of man-tailored shirts with left over right closures. In addition, you have submitted comparable men's shirts, advertising and specifications for the garments at issue, as well as, for the comparable men's shirts.

The seven shirts submitted with your request are constructed from 100% cotton woven fabric. The style designations are:

24527 (striped)- button down collar
24528 (solid - button down collar
24529 (chambray)- button down collar
24593 (solid)- pointed collar
24594 (denim)- button down collar
34172 (solid)- pointed collar
34173 (chambray)- pointed collar

All of the shirts feature long sleeves with button cuffs, a seven button placket with left over right closure and a shirttail bottom. All of the styles have embroidered logos either in the chest area or on the cuff, except style 34173. Style 24593 has a left chest pocket and style 34173 has 2 chest pockets.

You note that the submitted garments are designed for women even though the garments button left over right creating the presumption that they are designed for men. Chapter 62, note 8 defines the manner in which men's garments and women's garments may be distinguished from each other. The note states in part:

Garments of this chapter designed for let 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.

It is also your contention that the garments contain construction or design details establishing that the shirts were created to accommodate the body structure of a woman thus overriding the presumption that the direction of closure is dispositive of classification.

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 that 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.

In this situation, the direction of the closure sets up a presumption that the garments are constructed for men. However, in analyzing other construction features, specifically the comparative specifications provided, it is apparent that the above noted styles are "cut" to accommodate the body structure of a woman. You provided specifications for similarly styled men's and women's woven shirts. In comparing the chest and hip (bottom width) specifications, as well as the sleeve length, 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 woman.

The applicable subheading for these styles, when imported with two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling, will be 6206.39.3010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women's or girls' woven blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, of cotton. The duty rate will be 16.1 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for these styles, when imported in a said color, will be 6206.39.3040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women's or girls', woven blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, of cotton. The duty rate will be 16.1 percent ad valorem.

The shirts fall within textile category designation 341. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Hong Kong and China are subject to a visa requirement and quota restraints.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. 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 the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Patricia Schiazzano at (212) 466-5866.


Paul K. Schwartz
Chief, Textiles & Apparel Branch

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