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June 8, 1999

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:TA:360 E82862


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3040

Allison M. Baron
Sharretts, Paley, Carter& Blauvelt, P.C.
67 Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: The tariff classification of a women’s shirt from Hong Kong

Dear Ms Baron:

In your letter dated May 28, 1999, you requested a classification ruling on behalf of Polo Ralph Lauren. The sample submitted with your request will be returned to you under separate cover.

Style 3177 (8376/RC302B) is a women’s shirt made from 100 percent cotton corduroy shirt weight fabric. The garment buttons left over right and features a shirt-type collar, long sleeves with single buttoned cuffs, two chest pockets with flaps and button closures, front and rear yokes, and a full front opening with five metal buttons. The shirt extends from the shoulders to slightly below the waist and has a banded waistband.

You have indicated that the shirt should be classified as women’s, even though the garment buttons left over right creating the presumption that it is 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 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.

It is also your contention that the garment contains construction or design details establishing that the shirt was created to accommodate the body structure of a woman thus overriding the presumption that the direction 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 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 sample, the direction of the closure sets up a presumption that the garment is constructed for men. However, in analyzing other construction features, particularly the comparative specifications previously provided, it is apparent that the above noted style is “cut” to accommodate the body structure of a woman. In comparing the chest and hip (bottom) specifications as well as 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 shirt overcomes the presumption that the garments are designed for men, and clearly indicates that this garment is cut for women.

The applicable subheading for the shirt will be 6206.30.3040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women’s or girls’ blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses of cotton. The duty rate will be 15.9 percent ad valorem.

Style 3177 (8376/RC302B) falls within textile category designation 341. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Hong Kong are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web Site at WWW.CUSTOMS.USTREAS.GOV. In addition, 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 and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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 212-637-7080.


Robert B. Swierupski

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