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HQ 962284

January 20, 1999

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 962284 gah


TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0054

Albert Tang, Assistant Director General
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
1520 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of women's cotton woven upper body garments, not classifiable in heading 6206, camisole with blouse features.

Dear Mr. Tang:

This is in response to your letter of October 9, 1998, submitted on behalf of WWK Corporation, requesting a binding ruling for five shipments of women's 100 percent cotton woven upper body garments, your case numbers V 36/98 and V 40/98.


The subject merchandise consists of four samples, referenced style numbers 1001, 4001, 5001 and 6001, all noted as in body style 5065. The garments are made up of fabric containing two or more colors in the warp and/or weft yarns. The garments are sleeveless and have shoulder straps measuring three-eighths inch in width. The shoulder straps are actually extensions of the self trim of the same width that surrounds the armholes and neckline. The neckline is slightly scooped in front and back. From above the bustline to the waistline, the garments provide full coverage. They feature front and back darts and a full back opening with five-button closure.

In five shipments, the above styles were entered under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, (HTSUSA), in subheading 6211.42.0081, carrying quota category 359. Two of the styles were inspected and classified in subheading 6211.42.0056, HTSUSA, with category 341.

You state that the goods were preclassified in determination PD B85074 of July 9, 1997. However, on examination of the facts, that ruling was on different merchandise, a blouse that did not reach the waist. Two CF29's covering all of the styles at issue were sent to the importer to notify him that the goods were being reclassified, and that visas for category 341, instead of 359, were required. These facts were discussed by JFK Customs with the importer and he apparently understood the basis of the distinction.

Nonetheless, you claim that the goods in question are properly classified in subheading 6211.42.0081, HTSUSA, because they do not have sufficient shoulder coverage to be blouses.


Whether the subject merchandise is classified in statistical breakout 6211.42.0054 as a blouse, shirt, sleeveless tank style or similar upper body garment excluded from heading 6206, with two or more colors in the warp or and/or filling, or in statistical breakout 6211.42.0081 as an other garment.


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

Heading 6206 covers women's blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses. Customs has ruled that garments without sleeves are classifiable within this heading. However, garments which are supported by narrow straps are not commercially known as blouses and are not specifically described within heading 6206. Rather, they are known as camisoles and fall to be classified in heading 6211 as other garments. See, e.g., HQ 961504, dated August 3, 1998.

Heading 6211 covers, inter alia, other garments. Subheading 6211.42.00 covers other women's garments of cotton and provides for a variety of apparel therein. Two statistical subdivisions within that tariff line are at issue, specifically, subdivision .0054 for blouses, shirts, shirt-blouses, sleeveless tank styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206, and subdivision .0081 for other garments. Following the terms of GRI 6 and by reference to GRI 3(a), those two statistical lines are competing and are to be compared when choosing the more specific provision.

Despite the lack of shoulder coverage, these woven camisoles have distinctive blouse tailoring details: darts on the front and back bodice, self trim at the neckline and armholes and a five button, full back closure. For these reasons, we find that the woven camisoles are best described as similar to blouses, shirts, shirt-blouses and sleeveless tank styles.


The woven camisoles are classified in subheading 6211.42.0054, as garments similar to blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses and sleeveless tank styles, excluded from heading 6206, with two or more colors in the warp and/or filling. This provision is dutiable at 8.4 percent ad valorem and carries a quota category of 341.

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, we suggest that your client 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, your client 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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