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NY E85142

October 28, 1999

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:TA:360 E85142


TARIFF NO.: 6204; 6214

Ms. Radha Kolli
590 Pinehurst Drive

Canton, MI 48188

RE: The tariff classification of three articles claimed to be “India Items”; Kameez (dress), Salwar (trousers) and Dupatta (scarf) from India

Dear Ms. Kolli:

In your letter dated August 6, 1999, you requested a classification ruling. The samples submitted with your request will be returned under separate cover. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request.


You have submitted three articles, which you refer to as a “Salwar-Kameez” along with a Dupatta. You have identified the articles as traditional garments worn by women in northern India consisting of a dress, pants and a veil/shawl and ask for confirmation that these articles qualify as "India Items" and therefore, exempt from quota.

No style designations were provided for the submitted articles. All of the articles are made of identical woven fabric and will consist of varying fiber compositions: 50% silk and 50% cotton, 100% silk, 100% rayon, 100% cotton and 100% polyester. All three pieces exhibit a floral print created by a chemical burnout printing process.

The “Kameez” is a pullover dress extending from the shoulders to approximately the calf area. It is constructed from many panels and features long sleeves, a V-neckline and a hook and eye opening at the left shoulder.

The “Salwar” is a pair of trousers with a multiple panel construction with a tunnel waist. The waist of the garment is extremely wide and is adjusted by a drawstring. The upper panels of the pants consist of a plain piece of fabric (not the printed fabric on the remainder of the garment) that are flat and extend approximately seven inches down from the waistline where they are sewn to the panels that create the leg portions of the pants. The top portion of each leg is pleated. The legs are wide at the top and narrow as they approach the ankle. The leg openings are hemmed and feature several rows of stitching at the ankle.

The “Dupatta” is a scarf or veil that is 44 inches wide by 82 inches long, which the inquirer states is worn to cover the head or breast much like a shawl.


Designation as an “India Item” exempt from quota is determined by the language of the bilateral textile agreement between the United States and India and not by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The U.S./India bilateral textile agreement, at Annex E, Head Note describes “India Items”, in part as:
traditional folklore handicraft textile products made in the cottage industry. They comprise clothes, clothing accessories and decorative furnishings whose shape and design are traditionally and historically Indian.

These products should not include zip fasteners and must be ornamented using one of the following methods:

· handpainting (including Kalamkari) or handprinting or handicraft tie and dye or handicraft Batik
· embroidered or crocheted ornamentation, · applique work of sequins, glass or wooden beads, shells, mirrors or ornamental motif of textile and other materials, · extra weft ornamentation of cotton, silk, zari (metal thread in gold/silver), wool or any other fiber yarn.

Exceptions: Churidar pyjama, salwar and gararra need not be ornamented.

In summary, in order to be considered an "India Item" the articles must meet:

1) the definition provided in the agreement;

2) be ornamented using one of the four approved methods; and

3) have a traditional Indian pattern or design.

The term “Kameez” is not listed as an approved item in the bilateral agreement.

A Salwar is defined as:

Loose-fitting trousers secured with drawstring or hooks, with legs that are straight or baggy with extra fullness at the thighs.

A Dupatta is described as:

A scarf usually about 4 ft. long, wrapped by women along with Kurta and Churidar. This also includes other types of scarves worn in varied sizes, the characteristics being the same as above.

In addition to the information found in the bilateral agreement, the January 15, 1995 issue of the Federal Register (60 FR 16 at 4892) contained further guidelines:

Indian items may not include closure devices such as zippers, elastic (any form), elasticized fabric (any form), or hook-and-pile fasteners (such as “Velcro” or other similar holding fabric). In addition, buttons (including snap buttons) may not be used as a means of securing the waist of such Indian items as salwar, ghagra/lahnga and pavadai.

The submitted dress that you designated as a Kameez is not defined in the bilateral agreement. The garment does not fulfill the requirements for eligibility as an “India Item”.

The Dupatti or scarf fits the definition of a Dupatti already cited. The scarf is ornamented using a printing process. The printing however does not appear to be hand printed. If a silk screening process were used to accomplish the design, the articles might have been “hand printed”, however, we did not detect any flaws. The pattern appears to be too uniform to have been applied by hand and is most similar to a chemical process known as “burnout”. This article fails to meet the requirement for ornamentation and does not fulfill the requirements for eligibility as an “India Item”.

The Salwar or trousers is not required to be ornamented, but need only fit the cited definition. The submitted trousers do fit the definition in that they are clearly designed to be secured at the waist by a drawstring and they are baggy with extra fullness at the thighs. The trousers, or Salwar, qualify as an “India Item” exempt from quota restraints.


The Kameez or dress is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content:

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate Category

If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6204.49.5050 7.2% 836 If 100% silk 6204.49.1000 7.2% ---
If 100% rayon 6204.44.4010 16.5% 636
If 100% cotton 6204.42.3050 10.5% 336
If 100% polyester 6204.43.4030 16.5% 636

The Dupatti or scarf is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content:

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate Category

If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6214.90.0010 11.3% 359 If 100% silk in 6214.10.1000 1.2% --
If 100% rayon 6214.40.0000 5.3% 659
If 100% cotton 6214.90.0010 11.3% 359
If 100% polyester 6214.30.0000 5.3% 659

**As this blend is almost nonexistent, the inquirer should be cautioned that the slightest fiber content variation may result in a change of classification, as well as, visa and quota.

The Salwar or trousers is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content:

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate

If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6204.69.6010 7.3% If 100% silk 6204.69.4010 4.3%
If 100% rayon 6204.69.2510 29.5%
If 100% cotton 6204.62.4020 17.2%
If 100% polyester 6204.63.3510 29.5%

As the dress and scarf are not “India Items”, based upon international textile trade agreements products of India 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.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.

As submitted only the salwar qualifies as an “India Item” and is exempt from quota. An exempt stamp issued by the Indian government that specifically identifies the folklore by name should be presented with your entry documents in order for the goods to enter exempt from quota.

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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