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HQ 964696

August 2, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964696 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6109.10.0018

Ms. Dana N. Mobley
Customs Analyst
JCPenney Purchasing Corporation
6501 Legacy Drive
Plano, TX 75024-3698

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY G81747; Men’s knit tops from Pakistan

Dear Ms. Mobley:

This is in response to your request for reconsideration of New York Ruling (NY) G81747, which classified men’s knit tops under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Specifically, you are seeking reconsideration for only one of the garments (Style 2F99130401B) classified in NY G81747. Samples have been submitted to this office for examination along with the proposed retail packaging.


The subject article is identified as Style 2F99130401B. The sample is a man’s knit top constructed from 100 percent cotton and finely knit of 1x1 ribbed knit cotton fabric. The top is a solid color and will be imported in white, navy, and gray, in sizes “S”, “M”, “L”, and “XL”. The actual sample is a size “M” and has a round neckline in front and a high neckline in the back that reaches to the nape of the wearer’s neck. A knit binding is sewn around the neckline and armholes. The straight bottom hem of the garment has been folded over once and secured by loose overlock stitching to form the hem. The armhole circumference is 30 inches. The garment is approximately 20 ½ inches wide and 30 inches long. The shoulder straps measure approximately two inches in width. The packaging demonstrates the article’s use with men’s underwear briefs. However, we note that the top worn by the male model on the packaging appears much more narrow and close fitting along the torso.

In NY G81747, dated October 27, 2000, the subject garments were classified as men’s outerwear tank tops in subheading 6109.10.0018, HTSUSA, with a corresponding textile quota category of 338. You disagree with this classification and claim that the white tops should be classified as “Singlets, all white, without pockets, trim or embroidery” within subheading 6109.10.0007, HTSUSA, and that all the color tops should be classified as an “other” undergarment within subheading 6109.10.0009, HTSUSA.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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 heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

We have carefully examined the sample and have determined that the subject top is unsuitable as an “underwear” singlet top because it is designed with an extremely loose/boxy fit. Furthermore, it is excessively long with the bottom hem falling to the upper thighs. The armholes are wide and fall approximately 4 inches below the armpit. The total effect of these features renders the design impractical for use under clothing because the excess fabric, length, and bulk would be uncomfortable and unsightly under clothing. Generally, men’s underwear tops are designed to have a closer, narrower fit against the torso. The subject garment is oversized and provides a more relaxed fit that is suited for outerwear worn by men during exercise, athletic or leisure activities.

The retail packaging that you have provided displays a tank top style garment worn with men’s underwear briefs. However, we note that the tank top in the photograph appears to represent a narrower cut and shorter length than the samples provided. Furthermore, it has been Customs position that the wording on labels and hangtags, is not, in itself, determinative of the proper classification. See Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 961190, dated November 19, 1999; HQ 960960, dated September 25, 1998; and HQ 958254, dated October 2, 1995.

In view of the foregoing, it is our determination that NY G81747, dated October 27, 2000, correctly classified the subject top as a man’s outerwear garment in subheading 6109.10.0018, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise, identified as Style 2F99130401B, is correctly classified in subheading 6109.10.0018, HTSUSA, which provides for, “T-shirts, singlets, tank tops and similar garments, knitted or crocheted: Of cotton, Men’s or boys’: Other: Tank tops and other singlets: Men’s.” The general column one duty rate is 17.4 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 338.

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 you 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office. The Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels) is also available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin board (CEBB) which can be found on the U.S. Customs Service Website at www.customs.gov.

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


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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