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HQ 966056

June 21, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966056 KSH

TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0054

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
P.O. Box 116
Bentonville, AR 72712

RE: Revocation of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 964221, dated July 10, 2002; Classification of sleeveless upper body garments; Heading 6211

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is in reference to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 964221 issued to the Port Director, Los Angeles/ Long Beach, CA, on July 10, 2002, with regard to protest 2704-99-150052, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), of an upper body garment similar to a sleeveless tank style. The article was classified in subheading 6206.30.3010, HTSUSA, which provides for “Women’s or girls’ blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other, With two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling: Women’s.” Since the issuance of that ruling, CBP has reviewed the classification of this item and has determined that the cited ruling is in error.

HQ 964221 is a decision on a specific protest. A protest is designed to handle entries of merchandise which have entered the U.S. and been liquidated by CBP. A final determination of a protest, pursuant to Part 174, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 174), cannot be modified or revoked as it is applicable only to the merchandise which was the subject of the entry protested. Furthermore, CBP lost jurisdiction over the protested entries in HQ 964221 when notice of denial of the protest was received by the protestant. See, San Francisco Newspaper Printing Co. v. U.S., 9 CIT 517, 620 F.Supp. 738 (1935).

However, CBP can modify or revoke a protest review decision to change the legal principles set forth in the decision. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 [19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)], as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub.L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), 60 days after the date of issuance, CBP may propose a modification or revocation of a prior interpretive ruling or decision by publication and solicitation of comments in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN. This revocation will not affect the entries which were the subject of Protest 2704-99-150052, but will be applicable to any unliquidated entries, or future importations of similar merchandise 60 days after publication of the final notice of revocation in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, unless an earlier date is requested pursuant to 19 CFR 177.12(e)(2)(ii). Notice of the proposed revocation of HQ 964221 was published on April 14, 2004, in Vol. 38 No. 16 of the CUSTOMS BULLETIN. CBP received no comments.


The garment at issue is a 100% cotton yarn dyed seersucker blouse, identified as Style FG 15-111. The garment is a woven, sleeveless, scoop neck shirt, part of the "Faded Glory" collection. The silhouette of the garment is shaped throughout the torso with front and back vertical darts. The garment has a full front opening with buttons running up the front. The bottom hem of the garment is slightly curved with side vents measuring approximately 1.75 inches. The armholes and the neckline have a 1" turned facing. The garment measures two and one-quarter inches at the tops of the shoulders. There is a single needle edge stitch along the front opening, and a one-inch single needle top stitch along the neckline, armhole and bottom hem. The sample submitted is a royal blue, yellow, white and teal plaid. The garment is sold in small, medium, large and extra large sizes.


Whether the subject garment is classifiable as a women's blouse of heading 6206, HTSUSA, or as an other garment of heading 6211, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), constitute the official interpretation at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings.

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's blouses. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6206 provides, in relevant part:

This heading covers the group of women's or girls' clothing, not knitted or crocheted, which comprises blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses.

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, describes shirts and shirt- blouses as:

[G]arments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full or partial opening starting at the neckline. Blouses are also designed to cover the upper part of the body but may be sleeveless and without an opening at the neckline.

The CBP Informed Compliance Publication (ICP) “What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Apparel Terminology Under the HTSUS”, (Jan., 2004) offers guidance in determining the commercial designation of articles. In regard to women's blouses, it states, in relevant part:

[Blouses] are garments designed to cover the upper part of the body and extend from the neck area to or below the waist. The amount of coverage afforded the wearer includes shoulder, armhole and neckline. These garments may have long sleeves, short sleeves or no sleeves. They may have a full or partial opening starting at the neckline, and a collar treatment of any type, including a hood, or no collar. They may have either no closure as in a pullover or a closure positioned on the front, back, or side . . .

Thus, in general, the amount of coverage afforded the wearer by the garment commonly recognized as a “blouse” of heading 6206, HTSUSA, includes shoulder coverage, armhole and neck coverage, as well as coverage to the vicinity of the waist. As the submitted garment has limited shoulder coverage, it is precluded from classification in heading 6206, HTSUSA.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for track suits, ski-suits and swimwear, and other garments. Subheading 6211.42.0056, HTSUSA, provides for blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, sleeveless tank styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206, HTSUSA. Garments at this subheading level consist of the following:

1. blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses with pockets below the waist, tightening or rib knit waistband;

2. sleeveless tank-styled garments - featuring a defined neckline (“U”, “V”, or scooped) - reaching the vicinity of the waist - providing the wearer with some (though limited) shoulder coverage;

3. similar upper body garments - garments known as “camisoles” sharing a similar silhouette as heading 6206, HTSUSA, blouses - having a defined neckline.

The submitted garment features a defined, scooped neckline, with limited shoulder coverage, and a body which reaches the vicinity of the waist. Accordingly, the subject garment is properly classified in subheading 6211.42.0054, HTSUSA.


HQ 964221, dated July 10, 2002, is hereby revoked.

The subject garment, referenced style number FG 15-111, is classified in subheading 6211.42.0054, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: other garments, women’s or girls’: of cotton: blouses, shirts and shirt- blouses, sleeveless tank styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206: with two or more colors in the warp and/or filling. The applicable rate of duty is 8.1 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 341.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, available on the CBP website at www.cbp.gov.

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 the local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status 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.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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