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HQ 967034

June 21, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 967034 KSH

TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0056

Mr. Thomas Caldecot Chubb, III
Oxford Industries, Inc.
222 Piedmont Avenue, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NY) B89011, dated September 26, 1997; Classification of sleeveless upper body garments; Heading 6211

Dear Mr. Chubb:

New York Ruling Letter (NY) B89011 was issued to you on September 26, 1997, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), of an upper body garment similar to a sleeveless tank style among other women’s upper body garments not at issue. The article, style 4254, was classified in subheading 6206.30.3040, HTSUSA, which provides for “Women’s or girls’ blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: 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. Therefore, this ruling modifies NY B89011 with regard to the classification of style 4254.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 919 U.S.C. 1625(c)), 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, 2186 1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY B89011 was published on April 14, 2004, in Vol. 38 No. 16 of the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.


The garment at issue is a 100% cotton woven upper body garment, identified as style 4254. The sleeveless garment extends from the shoulders to the vicinity of the hips. It measures two and one-half inches in width at the shoulder seams and features a front and rear square neckline, a full front opening secured by ten buttons, seven tiny tucks on the front panels and has a ruffle trim around the neck opening and along the bottom.


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 6211.42.0056, HTSUSA.


NY B89011, dated September 26, 1997, is hereby modified.

The subject garment, referenced style 4254, is classified in subheading 6211.42.0056, HTSUSA, which provides for ” 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: other.” 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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