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NY H82724

July 2, 2001

CLA-2-62:RR:NC:TAB:354 H82724


TARIFF NO.: 6212.10.9020

Mr. Bill Sullivan
MSAS Global Logistics Inc.
248-06 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica, New York 11422

RE: The tariff classification of a brassiere with extra shoulder straps from Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Sullivan:

In your letters dated April 17, & June 12, 2001, on behalf of Newport News Inc., you requested a classification ruling. As requested the sample will be returned to you.

Style S01-07-117 is a women’s brassiere constructed of a knitted 88% polyester 12% spandex fabric. The brassiere has removable adjustable shoulder straps made of gold colored metal chain. The item, as imported, will be packaged with two additional pairs of interchangeable shoulder straps, one of elasticized material the other of clear plastic. Additional features include underwired cups, a vertical stay on each side, an adjustable double hook & eye rear closure and elasticized edging measuring approximately 1/4 inch wide sewn to the bottom of the garment.

There is no issue regarding the classification of the bra component of style S01-07-117. There is an issue regarding the classification of the accompanying two pairs of shoulder straps because the bra and straps cannot be classified by application of the General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1.

The provisions of GRI 2 do not apply in this case and so, we must apply GRI 3. Application of GRI 3 is appropriate where, as in this case, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings. GRI 3(a) directs classification be based upon the most specific heading, however, when two or more headings each refer to only part of the components in a composite good or set, each heading is to be considered equally specific.

In this case, heading 6212.10. Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTS), describes the brassiere, and heading 6212.90., HTS describes the additional pairs of straps. Following GRI 3(a), the headings are equally specific and GRI 3(b) must be applied. GRI 3(b) provides that:

* * *, composite goods * * * or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, 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, * * *.

However, before applying GRI 3(b), we must determine if the brassiere and additional straps constitute a composite good or goods put up in a set. While this distinction will not affect the essential character determination, it may affect the quota/visa requirements for the goods.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System defines composite goods made up of different components as:
not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In regard to goods put up in sets for retail sale, the Explanatory Notes defines sets as goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

In this case, the bra and each individual pair of straps are separable components that are adapted to each other, are mutually complementary, and together form a whole that would normally not be sold as separate parts. Although the bra is complete and is of a type that would be sold separately, the attachable straps clearly would not have any use without the bra with which they were designed to be worn.

It is Customs view that the bra and one pair of straps form a composite good. The Explanatory Notes describe separable components of composite goods as "together forming a whole." In this case, one pair of straps attached to the bra forms a whole. The remaining two pairs of straps are separate from "the whole".

Since only one pair of straps may be classified with the brassiere as a composite good, Customs must determine the classification of the remaining two pairs of straps. We believe they may be classified as part of a set with the composite good consisting of the bra and one pair of straps. The composite bra and straps are classifiable in heading 6212.10, HTS, which is the classification heading applicable to the bra. This is based on a determination that the bra imparts the essential character to the composite. The two extra straps are classifiable in heading 6212.90, and 3926.20HTS. Following the definition of sets stated above, we have at least two articles (the composite bra and extra pairs of straps) which are classifiable in different headings (6212.10, 6212.90 & 3926.20HTS). The items are put together to meet a particular need, i.e., for the purpose of clothing a person, and they are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. We believe the bra imparts the essential character to the set and thus, the set is classifiable under the provision applicable to the composite, that is the heading for the bra, heading 6212.10, HTS.


Based upon the above analysis, the bra and three pairs of straps are classified as a set consisting of a composite good (the bra and one pair of straps) and the remaining two pair of straps. As the bra imparts the essential character of the composite, as well as the set, the applicable tariff provision for item will be 6212.10.9020, HTS, which provides for Brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles and parts thereof, whether or not knitted or crocheted: brassieres: other: other: of man-made fibers. The rate of duty will be 17.3 percent ad valorem.

The item falls within textile category designation 649. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Taiwan 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.

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 Brian Burtnik at 212-637-7083.


Robert B. Swierupski

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