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HQ 961204

April 10, 2000



TARIFF NO: 6110.20.2020

Radhika Imports Inc.
Mr. Roshan Khandpur
1147½ S. Santee St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

RE: Crocheted woman’s cotton vest imported from India; not “India Item” exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Khandpur :

This letter is in response to correspondence, received by Customs on November 24, 1997, which was submitted to this office on your behalf by U.S. Brokers (LAX) concerning the proper classification of a ladies’ crocheted sweater vest made in India. We regret the delay in responding to your request and hope that you have not been inconvenienced.


The sample, which has a fiber content of 100% cotton, is constructed with an openwork crocheted fabric. It is worn over the upper torso as a ladies’ sweater vest. The sample is sleeveless and it has full-front, five button opening and a v-neckline. There is a decorative, scalloped edging which finishes the armholes, v-neckline, front placket and the bottom of the sweater vest. It extends from the wearer’s neck and shoulders to below her waist. A handtag, with the logo “Just Cruising” found on the sample identifies the style number as 1190.

The garment is a product of India. On November 24, 1997, U.S. Brokers submitted a request on your behalf to determine if the vest can be considered a “choli” for purposes of qualifying for a visa exemption as an India item under the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement.


Does the subject sweater vest qualify for visa exemption as an India item under the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (“EN”) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The garment at issue is classified under the provision for knitted or crocheted cotton sweaters in subheading 6110.20.2020, HTSUSA. However, the designation as an “India Item” exempt from quota is not determined by the HTSUSA, but by the language of the bilateral textile agreement between the United States and India regarding such items.

The U.S./India bilateral textile agreement 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. [Emphasis added.]

Annex E of the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement sets forth a specific list of 39 items which are considered traditional folklore handicraft textile products of India, i.e., “India Items”. Under Annex E, the “Choli” is defined as “a short blouse ending at or above the waist, with or without sleeves, without an out-turned collar.” Further, the “Head Note” to Annex E, states that “India Items” should not include zip fasteners and must be ornamented in the characteristic Indian folk styles using one of the following methods:

(a) handpainting (including Kalamkari) or handprinting or handicraft tie and dye or handicraft Batik,

(b) embroidered or crocheted ornamentation,

(c) applique work of sequins, glass or wooden beads, shells, mirrors or ornamental motif of textile and other,

(d) extra weft ornamentation of cotton, silk, zari (metal thread in gold/silver) wool or any other fibre yarn.

With respect to the subject merchandise the shape and design of the merchandise does not include ornamentation of any kind much less of the type required by the U.S./India bilateral agreement. Moreover, the vest resembles other vests available on the market for commercial sale rather than merchandise that is considered unique to the traditions or history of India as is required by the U.S./India bilateral agreement to receive a visa exemption as a folklore item. Thus it is our determination that the subject vest would not qualify as an “India Item” subject to visa exemption as a folklore item.

If you would like additional information regarding items which are considered “India Items,” exempt from quota, under the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement, we suggest that you contact the Chairman of CITA. She may be reached by writing to her at:

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements U.S. Department of Commerce
14th & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Her office may also be contacted at (202) 482-3737.


The subject merchandise is not a quota exempt “India Item” under the U.S./India bilateral textile agreement. It is classifiable under the provision for “Sweaters, knitted or crocheted, of cotton: Other: Other: Sweaters: Women’s”, subheading 6110.20.2020, HTSUSA. The general column one rate of duty is 18.2 percent ad valorem. The textile restraint category is 345.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to 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 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.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification ) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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