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NY E85143

October 28, 1999

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:TA:360 E85143


TARIFF NO.: 6204; 6206; 6214

Ms. Radha Kolli
590 Pinehurst Drive
Canton, MI 48188

RE: The tariff classification of three articles claimed to be “India Items”; Kurta (blouse), Ghagra (skirt) 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, a Kurta, a Ghagra and a Dupatta. You have identified the articles as traditional garments worn by women in northern India consisting of a blouse, skirt and scarf 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 woven fabric and will consist of varying fiber compositions: 50% silk and 50% cotton, 100% silk, 100% rayon, 100% cotton and 100% polyester.

The first article, the Kurta, is a tunic-styled blouse that extends from the shoulders to approximately the hips. It has long sleeves, side slits, shoulder pads, a V-neckline and a full front opening secured by hook and eye fasteners. Above the wrist area is a contrasting colored, pieced-in segment of fabric, approximately two inches in width. This fabric is shirred and matches the skirt fabric that is embellished with metallic yarn. The garment is solid colored and has no other ornamentation other than the two-inch wide piece of skirt fabric located on the sleeve.

The Ghagra, or skirt, has a tunnel waistband with a functional drawstring. The garment is floor length, fully lined, wide and loose, and does not contain any elastic or zip fasteners. The skirt contains metallic yarns woven in the warp and weft creating an all-over diagonal grid design. Sewn to the bottom edge is a piece of metallic yarn hem binding used to cover the raw edge.

The third article is a piece of fabric approximately 45 inches wide by 90 inches long, which the inquirer states is worn to cover the blouse much like a shawl or scarf . The scarf is ornamented with beads, embroidery and metal threads. In the middle of the shawl and along the bottom edges is a design consisting of an embroidered applique. The sides and bottom edge of the scarf feature embroidered openwork designs and metal beads. The scarf has selvedges along the lengthwise ends while the bottom edges have rolled hems.


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 Items" 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.

A kurta is defined as:

A loose, almost straight tunic of any length from the hips to the ankles with quarters, half or full length narrow or loose sleeves, with or without buttons at the neck or cuff but without out-turned shirt-style cuffs or out-turned shirt collar.

A ghargra is defined as:

An ankle length very wide skirt with a drawstring or hooks at the waist.

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 Kurta and Ghagra fit the definitions provided in the agreement. The cut and shape of the garments is consistent with the traditional design of a “Kurta” and a “Ghagra”. Although the blouse and skirt contain ornamentation using metallic thread, we do not consider them to be ornamented in a pattern characteristic of the traditional Indian folk styles. The grid-like pattern is more contemporary than historical. The garments do not qualify as quota exempt “India Items” as defined in the agreement. The Dupatti or scarf fits the definition of a Dupatti already cited. The scarf has an extensive design that is characteristic of traditional folk styles and is ornamented using several of the approved methods, i.e., embroidery, beading and metal thread. The Dupatti qualifies as an “India Item” exempt from quota restraints.


The Kurta or blouse is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content:

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate Category

If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6206.30.3040 15.9% 341 If 100% silk 6206.10.0040 7.2% 741
If 100% rayon 6206.40.3030 27.8% 641
If 100% cotton 6206.10.0040 7.2% 741
If 100% polyester 6206.40.3030 27.8% 641

The Ghagra or skirt is classified as follows, depending on the fiber content:

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate Category

If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6204.59.4010 6.9% 342 If 100% silk 6204.59.4040 6.9% 742
If 100% rayon 6204.59.3010 16.5% 642
If 100% cotton 6204.52.2070 8.4% 342
If 100% polyester 6204.53.3010 16.5% 642

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

Fiber Content HTS Duty Rate
If 50% silk/50% cotton** 6214.90.0010 11.3% If 100% silk in 6214.10.1000 1.2%
If 100% rayon 6214.40.0000 5.3%
If 100% cotton 6214.90.0010 11.3%
If 100% polyester 6214.30.0000 5.3%

As the blouse and skirt 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 Dupatti 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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