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HQ 960960

April 10,2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 960960 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6109.90.1090

Liz Rizzo
Classification Analyst
Donna Karen New York
600 Parkway
Carlstadt, New Jersey 07072

RE: Classification of women’s double layer camisole type garment; essential character imparted by the lace-like layer; 6109.90.1090; GRI 3(b); Headquarters Memorandum 084118 (4/13/89): Lining, overlay

Dear Ms. Rizzo:

This is in response to a request dated August 20, 1997, from Donna Karen New York, requesting a binding classification ruling for a garment described as a “double layer camisole with lace overlay”, your style number P472012EA. A sample of the article at issue was submitted to this office and will be returned under separate cover.


Style P472012EA is a woman's 100 percent nylon upper body garment commercially known as a camisole. The garment consists of two layers. The fabric of the outer shell is made on a jacquantronics machine and is knitted. It resembles lace. The inner layer is of a woven construction. The two layers have unfinished top edges that are joined with a lace-like edging. The garment covers the torso from the top of the bust to slightly below the waist. It features a v-neckline, 3/8 inch wide spaghetti straps, and is cut straight across in the back. The straps are of narrow man-made fiber grosgrain fabric. The knit lace-like layer of the garment is longer than and hangs below the woven layer. The woven layer has a hemmed bottom with 3-inch side vents, while the knit lace-like layer has a finished scalloped edged bottom. The back of the garment has a 5- inch long zipper attached to both layers. The garment is shaped at the bust by darts and piecing together of the two layers of the garment.


Is the article classifiable under heading 6109, HTSUSA, as a knitted garment, or under heading 6208, HTSUSA, as a woven garment.


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the remaining headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied in order of their appearance.

GRI 2(b) provides that a reference to a material in a heading shall be taken to include mixtures or combinations of that material with other materials and that any reference to goods of a given material shall be taken to include goods partly of that material; if goods consist of more than one material, then classification will be according to GRI 3.

GRI 3(a) requires that where two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials in the goods, then classification will be by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) states that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine their classification.

Normally where garments consist of both knit and woven fabrics, those garments are, pursuant to GRI's 2(b) and 3(b), described by provisions in both Chapter 61, which covers knit garments, and Chapter 62, which provides for garments of other fabrics, and classification must be in accordance with GRI 3(b) according to the component which imparts the essential character to each garment.

Customs Headquarters Memorandum 084118, dated April 13, 1989, stated:

Where garments are made from both woven and knit fabrics, or where they contain both textile and nontextile components, the classification of those garments depends on a subjective determination of which componentthe woven or the knit, or the textile or nontextileimparts the essential character to the particular garments. We have discovered that knowledgeable import specialists, when viewing the same garment, differ in their classification of that garment, even though they were instructed
that, if in doubt, they should use the tiebreakerGeneral Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(c).

As the camisole at issue has both knitted and woven components, our analysis is aided by applying a set of classification guidelines set forth in the above Memorandum. These guidelines state that, absent any unusual circumstances, the following criteria should be applied when classifying garments consisting of different fabrics:

"a. For upper or lower body garments, if one component exceeds 60 percent of the visible surface area, that component will determine the classification of the garment unless the other component:

(1) forms the entire front of the garment; or

(2) provides a visual and significant decorative effect (e.g. a substantial amount of lace); or

(3) is over 50 percent by weight of the garment; or

(4) is valued at more than 10 times the primary component.

If no component comprises 60 percent of the visible surface area, or if any of the above four listed conditions are present, classification will be according to GRI 3(b) or 3(c), as appropriate."

It is important to note, however, that the aforementioned Memorandum relates to determining the essential character of garments made up of two or more components, each of which must be considered in making that determination.

We must therefore first address whether the woven layer is merely a lining or interlining for the knit lace-like layer. It is Custom's position that a garment is normally formed or created by its outer shell. While linings, interlinings and nonwoven insulating fabrics do contribute substantially to the characteristics of a garment, they do not form or create a garment. It is our view that both the knit lace-like layer and the woven layer contribute and form the garment (camisole). Accordingly, both layers create the camisole’s identity. Therefore, in the instant case, the woven inner layer is more than a lining or interlining, and is an integral component of the camisole.

We must also address whether the knit lace-like layer is an overlay (which is a merely a decorative addition to the garment). In this instance, the knit lace-like top layer is not completely attached to the woven layer. In addition the knit lace-like layer not only completely covers the woven layer, it is longer than the woven layer of the garment. With or without either layer the subject garment remains a camisole. Without the knit lace-like layer, the garment is a camisole. With the knit lace-like layer the garment is a lace-like camisole. However, this is equally true of the woven layer, the garment remains a camisole with or without the woven layer, merely the type of camisole changes. It is our view that as such, the knit lace-like layer while enhancing the appearance of the garment, is not merely a decorative addition, an overlay, but an integral part of the garment. The knit lace-like layer is therefore an integral component of the submitted sample.

As we have determined that the woven layer is not more than a lining, and the knit layer not merely an overlay, we can now apply the guidelines in the Memorandum mentioned above.

Upon examination of the article before us it appears that the knit lace-like layer is so finely knit that it does not cover over 60 percent of the visible surface of the garment. In addition, the knit lace-like layer does not completely obscure the woven layer so that the woven layer is seen thorough over 60 percent of the visible surface of the garment. Accordingly, the woven component exceeds 60 percent of the visible surface area. However, it appears that one of the four enumerated criteria also applies to the knit lace-like layer of the garment at issue.

The knit lace-like component of this camisole is so pervasive, and creates such a revealing and intimate look, that in our view, it is accurately deemed to "provide a visual and significant decorative effect." The knit lace-like layer of the camisole defines this garment and creates a camisole of very different character from a totally woven camisole.

Following HQ 084118, as classification may be based on either the woven or lace components, and neither heading 6109 nor 6208, HTSUSA, provides for the camisole in its entirety, GRI 3 provides the relevant analysis. GRI 3 reads:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only... of the materials contained in mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) ... composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components ... which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

It is this office's opinion that the knit lace-like component of the article at issue imparts the essential character to the camisole based on the nature of the material. By providing a visual and significant decorative effect, the lace-like layer of the camisole defines this garment. Accordingly, classification of this garment is based on its knitted lace-like component and classification is proper under heading 6109, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6109.90.1090, HTSUSA, which provides for “T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: Of other textile materials: Of man-made fibers, Women's or girls': Other”, dutiable at the general column one rate of 32.8 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile category is 639.

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 that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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