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NY C80134

November 7, 1997

CLA-2-61:RR:NC:WA:C80134 361


TARIFF NO.: 6114.20.0040

Ms. Leslie Tsuboi,
Import Manager
SST International
10415 S. La Cienega Blvd
P.O. Box 45055
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: The classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of a woman's knit romper to be made in Mexico, Honduras or Hong Kong.

Dear Ms. Tsuboi:

In your letter dated July 29, with additional information provided on October 5, and by FAX on October 30, 1997, you requested a ruling on the classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), on behalf of LCA Intimates. The sample is being returned, as you requested.

The submitted garment, style 842SR072, is romper constructed from 100% cotton knit fabric. The romper features a round capped neckline, eight button placket with left over right closure, and short sleeves.

You have stated that the garment is being marketed to buyers in the undergarment department of retail chains. However, we do not believe that this garment will be principally used as underwear in the U.S.

You have also referred to the garment as "women's" although the direction of closure is that which is commonly used on men's garments. Chapter note 9 to Chapter 61 of The Harmonized Tariff System states, in pertinent part:

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. Therefore, if a garment buttons left over right, as is the case in the submitted sample, there is a presumption that it is a men's garment. The term "cut" provides a limited exception. Consideration is given only to attributes which show that the garment is specifically structured to accommodate a woman's body. You have provided information showing that the front and back rise of the romper are specifically designed for a woman rather than a man. Therefore, although the garment buttons left over right, it is clearly a woman's garment and will be so classified. The applicable subheading for the romper will be 6114.20.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women's shirts and blouses, knitted, of cotton. The general rate of duty will be 11.3 percent ad valorem; the rate under the NAFTA will be 4 percent ad valorem. The garment falls within textile category designation 237. Based upon international textile trade agreements, this category, imported from Mexico, is not subject to a visa requirement and quota restraints; if imported from Honduras, the garment is not subject to a visa requirement and quota restraints; if imported from Hong Kong, the garment is 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.

You have indicated that the yarn and fabric will be manufactured in Mexico, and that the fabric will be cut and sewn into a completed garment in Mexico.

The garment qualifies for preferential treatment under the NAFTA because materials used in the production of the goods will undergo the change in tariff classification required by General Note 12(t)/61.39, HTSUSA.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181).

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.

Should you wish to request an administrative review of this ruling, submit a copy of this ruling and all relevant facts and arguments within 30 days of the date of this letter, to the Director, Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Ave. N.W., Franklin Court, Washington, D.C. 20229.

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


Robert B. Swierupski

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