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HQ 963631

August 1, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963631 jb


TARIFF NO: 6212.90.0030

Gail T. Cumins
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Seventy-five Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Classification of women’s body supporting garments

Dear Ms. Cumins:

This is in response to your letter, dated January 4, 2000, on behalf of your client, Warnaco Inc., requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) F80151, dated December 10, 1999, for certain women’s body supporting garments. A sample was submitted to this office for review, in addition to substantive documentation demonstrating how this garment is marketed and sold.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY F80151 was published on June 28, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 26. No comments were received.


The submitted sample, referenced style number 4520, is stated by you to be a “multi-functional” one piece body supporting garment. It is composed of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex knit fabric. The one piece garment features a brassiere with under-wires and adjustable elasticized straps, and a panty-girdle portion (which features a cotton liner) that extends from below the bust down over the hipline, culminating in a hook and eye closure between the legs. There are elasticized bands around the leg openings and the back of the brassiere. The subject garment, size 40 C, is sized based upon the brassiere.

In NY F80151 the subject garment was classified in heading 6108, HTSUS, which provides for, among other things, certain women’s underwear. You disagree with this classification and believe that the classification determination in that ruling disregards the established limitations as to the scope of “underwear” within heading 6108, HTSUS, and fails to recognize that this multi-functional support garment is appropriately classified in heading 6212, HTSUS, in the appropriate provision for “other” support garments.


What is the proper classification of the merchandise at issue?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Heading 6108, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, women’s or girls’ slips, petticoats, briefs and panties. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to that heading state that “this heading covers two separate categories of knitted or crocheted clothing for women or girls, namely slips, petticoats, briefs, panties and similar articles (underclothing) and nightdresses, pyjamas, negliges, bathrobes (including beachrobes), dressing gowns and similar articles.”

Heading 6212, HTSUSA, provides for, “brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether or not knitted or crocheted”. Within this heading are four subheadings which provide for the following types of garments: brassieres at subheading 6212.10, HTSUS; girdles and panty girdles at subheading 6212.20, HTSUS; corsets at subheading 6212.30, HTSUS; and other body supporting garments at subheading 6212.90, HTSUS. The EN to heading 6212, HTSUS, state, in pertinent part:

This heading covers articles of a kind designed for wear as body-supporting garments or as supports for certain other articles of apparel, and parts thereof. These articles may be made of any textile material including knitted or crocheted fabrics (whether or not elastic).

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Brassieres of all kinds.

(2) Girdles and panty-girdles.

(3) Corselettes (combinations of girdles or panty-girdles and brassieres).

(4) Corsets and corset-belts. These are usually reinforced with flexible metallic, whalebone or plastic stays, and are generally fastened by lacing or by hooks.

All of the above articles may be furnished with trimmings of various kinds (ribbons, lace, etc.), and may incorporate fittings and accessories or non-textile materials (e.g., metal, rubber, plastics or leather).

Although the subject garment is worn as a combination brassiere and girdle, i.e., as an underwear garment, it is specifically designed to provide support for the wearer’s body above the waist in addition to below the waist. Accordingly, it is more specifically provided for as a body supporting garment of heading 6212, HTSUS. We find support for the classification of this garment in heading 6212, HTSUS, in the EN to that heading which state that “corselettes” are among the articles provided for under that heading. A “corselette” is defined as:

Under-garment combining girdle or lightly-boned corset and brassiere. Also called foundation or one-piece corset. The Fashion Dictionary, by Mary Brooks Picken, (1973), at 89.

Foundation with firm support achieved by boning, power-net side panels, and front panel of non-stretch nylon taffeta. Sometimes has an inner belt which hooks separately to help flatten abdomen. Bra top is often of nylon lace with marquisette lining with adjustable shoulder straps. Foundation is fastened by hooks underneath zipper and has 6 garters. Essential Terms of Fashion, by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, (1986), at 64.

... , a one-piece garment combining brassiere and girdle, was developed in the 1930s and is still worn. 20,000 Years of Fashion, by Francois Boucher, (1983), at 652.

Accordingly, so long as the subject garment can provide the support required of a “body supporting garment” as set forth under heading 6212, HTSUS, classification in this heading is proper. Close review of the subject merchandise reveals that although the fabric is lightweight (composed of 88 percent nylon and 12 percent spandex, the fabric provides substantial support to the wearer. Additionally, the bra portion of this garment features the traditional characteristics of a brassiere such as cups that provide support by holding the bust firmly in place, and in the case of this garment, underwire for extra support; elasticized adjustable shoulder straps which provide a secure fit and an elasticized back.

Lastly, we have reviewed all of the documentation submitted to us demonstrating that this garment is in fact marketed and sold as a “body slimming” garment and conclude that this garment fits squarely within what is intended as a body support garment of heading 6212, HTSUS. As such, the proper classification for this garment is in the applicable provision under heading 6212, HTSUS.


NY F80151 is hereby revoked.

The subject merchandise, referenced style number F80151, is properly classified in subheading 6212.90.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for, brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether or not knitted or crocheted: other: of man-made fibers or man-made fibers and rubber or plastics. The applicable general column one rate of duty is 6.8 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 659.

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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status 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 applicability of any import restraints or requirements.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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