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HQ 965105

November 14, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965105 mbg


TARIFF NO: 6304.92.0000

Mr. Mannie Birk
Singh Universal Networks, Inc.
P.O. Box 66571
Chicago, IL 60666-0571

RE: “Gaddiposh” imported from India; “India Item” exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Birk:

This letter is in response to your request for a binding ruling on behalf of your client, Marketplace, concerning the classification of merchandise from India. Specifically, your request concerns two samples of gaddiposhes made in India and whether or not the subject items would qualify as “India Items” under the provisions of the United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement as notified to the Textile Monitoring Body under Article 2.1 of the Agreement on Textile and Clothing (“Agreement” or “U.S.-India Bilateral Agreement”) which would exempt the items from quota. Samples were submitted to this office for review.


The first sample, referred to as “Gaddiposh Type 1”, is made from 100 percent cotton woven fabric. The face side of the item is a patchwork of rectangular and triangular pieces of several fabrics. The back is made from a single piece of fabric. The edges of these two layers are joined and finished with strips of fabric folded to create a 2-inch wide border. The item measures approximately 50 x 75 inches. The fabrics used are block printed and resist dyed. The face side features eight tufts or tassels of what appears to be acrylic yarn.

The second sample, referred to as “Gaddiposh Type #2”, measures approximately 92 x 85 inches and is made from two layers of fabric joined along three sides. The open fourth side features 9 sets of self fabric ties. There is an interior flap at the opening that is used to help enclose and secure the item. One side of the item has a resist dyed design.

Both of the articles are products of India. Accompanying these items are certificates from various Indian agencies and authorities which certify on behalf of the Indian government that each of these articles qualifies as a gaddiposh under the traditional folklore provisions of the U.S.-India Bilateral Textile Agreement. A request was submitted for a binding ruling to determine if the merchandise can be considered a gaddiposh for purposes of qualifying for a visa exemption as an “India Item” under the agreement.


Do the garments qualify as “India Items” exempt from quota under the U.S.-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel 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 headings 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 Harmonized System at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The merchandise at issue is classified under the provision for other furnishing articles of cotton in subheading 6304.92.0000 HTSUSA, and as such the tariff classification of the subject merchandise is not in question. However, the designation as an “India Item” exempt from quota is not determined by the HTSUSA, but by the language of the United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement regarding such items. (See United States-India Bilateral Textile and Apparel Agreement, Dec. 17 & 19, 1991, Annex E.)

Under paragraph 1 of Annex D of the Agreement, certain products may enter the U.S. free from quota restrictions, provided they qualify as: (B) Traditional folklore handicraft textile products made in the cottage industry of India as defined in the list of "India Items" agreed between both the parties and attached herewith at Annex E.

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 “Gaddiposh” (or “Ghandai”) is defined as “a decorative floor covering also used sometimes as cover on wooden Takhat (sort of Divan). 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.

In determining the eligibility of merchandise subject to the Agreement, Customs is bound to rely upon the terms of the Agreement which provides a definition of an “gaddiposh” which is acceptable for purposes of qualifying as an India Item and therefore not subject to textile quota restraints. However, the definition of an “gaddiposh” must be read in conjunction with the Head Note to Annex E which further determines what qualifies under the terms of the Agreement. The Head Note to Annex E states in part:

* * * 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.]

In determining what is considered a traditional and historical Indian shape and design, Customs has consulted publications which you have provided to this office upon request and has also extensively researched publications on Indian textiles from a variety of sources. Customs recognizes that specific styles and patterns of traditional “India Items” differ within India from region to region. All of the pictures of items similar to gaddiposhes in the books consulted by Customs were very similar in basic shape and design to the subject samples. All had a basic rectangular shape with varying thickness and were printed in traditional designs and prints. Customs therefore believes that the subject merchandise would meet the “India Items” requirement as historically and traditionally Indian as required by the U.S.-India Bilateral Agreement to receive a visa exemption as a folklore item.

The importer of the subject merchandise has provided “exempt certificates” issued by the Indian government for the subject merchandise. However, the Indian Handicraft Board certification is only one requirement for qualifying as an “India Item.” The merchandise must meet the terms of Annex E, discussed supra. See generally, Libas, Ltd. v. United States, 944 F. Supp. 938, 20 Ct. Int’l Trade 1215, SLIP OP. 96-164, 18 Intl’l Trade Rep. (BNA) 2403 (1996), aff’d in part and vacated in part by, remanded by, Libas, Ltd. v. United States, 193 F.3d 1361, 21 Int’l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1545 (Fed. Cir. 1999).

If you would like 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. His office may be contacted at (202) 482-3737 or by sending a written request to:

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements U.S. Department of Commerce
14th & Constitution Ave., N.W.
Room H-3100
Washington, D.C. 20230


The subject merchandise is exempt from quota as “India Items” under the U.S.-India Bilateral Textile Agreement. It is classifiable under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Not knitted or crocheted, of cotton.” The general column one rate of duty is 6.6 percent ad valorem.

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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