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HQ 967052

September 27, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 967052 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6204.42.3050

Ms. Amanda Wilson
Dillard’s Customs Compliance
Dillard’s, Inc.
1600 Cantrell
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY K80928, regarding classification of a woman’s upper body garment; woven cotton gauze fabric

Dear Ms. Wilson:

This is in response to your letter, dated April 5, 2004, on behalf of Dillard’s Inc., requesting reconsideration of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) New York Ruling Letter (NY) K80928, dated January 20, 2004, involving the classification of a women’s upper body garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample has been submitted to this office for examination.


The sample is identified as “style S41MW340” and is a woman’s upper body garment constructed of 100 percent woven cotton gauze textile fabric. The garment has a round neckline with capping along the top edge. There is a partial front opening with a button placket and seven functional buttons/button-holes. The front opening extends approximately ten inches from the neckline. The garment also features long sleeves and 6.5 inch slit openings at each side seam. The garment is constructed in six panels. The main front and back panels are each approximately 17.5 inches wide. The four smaller side panels are each approximately 3 inches wide and have been joined to the main panels with visible seams and at the side seams. The underarm of the garment has been fitted with an additional piece of fabric or gusset that joins the sleeve to the side seam with a diamond shaped fabric panel. The garment is approximately 23.5 inches wide (at the waist) x 33.5 inches long (from shoulder to bottom hem) and has been designed so that the bottom hem extends to just above the knee on a person of average height. There is no size label on the garment.

In NY K80928 the subject article was classified as a women’s dress in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA. You disagree with CBP’s classification and state that “Based on the explanatory notes to chapter 62 of the HTSUS, the listed guidelines, and the evidence that it will be marketed and sold exclusively as a beach robe, we feel our submitted garment, style S41MW340, should be classified under 6202.91.1010, quota category 350.”


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the 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 begin by noting that you have proposed classification of the subject garment in heading 6202, HTSUSA, which covers women’s or girls’ coats, jackets, windbreakers, and similar articles. In fact, we believe you intended to assert that the garment is classifiable as a “beach robe” of subheading 6208.91.1010, HTSUSA, based on the exemplar provided in the ENs to heading 6208.

Heading 6208, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, “Women’s or girls’ . . . bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles”. The EN to 6208 specifically states that the provision includes beach robes. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 966816, dated May 19, 2004, the characteristics for “beach robes” were set forth as garments which extend from shoulder to mid-thigh, serve to absorb water, provide warmth, and are of a loose, simple design. In this instance, the subject garment is constructed of a lightweight woven fabric and provides no absorbency and little warmth.

You have submitted copies of the hangtag labels that will be attached to the subject garment and include the following: “Westbound Beach”. However, we do not agree that the hangtag label, in and of itself, supports a finding that the garments are intended for use as beach robes. In fact, the washing instructions contained on the hangtag label suggest that the garment be washed in “non-chlorine bleach”. Thus, it would seem that the garment could not withstand regular wear as a beach robe to be used after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Furthermore, the interior label, which is sewn to the back inside of the sample neckline, merely bears the word “richa”.

Once again, we cite to HQ 966816, which determined that a distinction should be made between garments designed to be worn over or with swimwear that are beach robes or similar, and those that are casual wear by stating as follows:

We note that your submission completely ignores an entire range of garments that are like the beach shift, items of apparel specifically for use at the beach, often designed to be worn over or with swimwear, to allow the wearer to be appropriately dressed in areas of a resort or cruise ship, or shops along a boardwalk, other than when actually on the beach or at a pool, while not getting fully dressed.

While we recognize that the subject garment may be designed as casual wear which allows the wearer to be appropriately dressed in public areas outside the beach or pool, we do not believe it has the requisite characteristics of absorbency and/or the warmth of a beach robe.

You have asserted that NY K80928 is inconsistent with a previously issued Headquarters Ruling to your company. Specifically, you cite HQ 965874, dated February 6, 2003, which classified a knit garment (style S31DW272) as a beach robe in heading 6108, HTSUSA. However, as noted in HQ 965874, the beach robe identified as style S31DW272, was of knit construction and served to absorb water and provide warmth.

Heading 6204, HTSUSA, provides for “Women’s or girls’ suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear)”. The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, C.I.E., 13/88, November 23, 1988 (Textile Guidelines), state that “Woven garments styled like shirts or blouses which extend below mid-thigh may be included in this category if they are designed and/or are intended for wear as dresses and provide the coverage dresses require.”

In the instant case, the length of this garment is significant in that it descends to just above the knee on an individual of average height. Furthermore, it provides the additional coverage that dresses require. In this case, the subject garment is constructed in panels that provide added width and volume to the garment. Due to the added width and length of this garment, the side slits only reveal to the lower thigh. For all practical purposes, the garment provides full coverage and modesty for the wearer to appear in public places, e.g., a restaurant located outside the beach or pool area.

The classification of the subject article as a “dress” in heading 6204, HTSUSA, is consistent with prior CBP ruling letters. In HQ 954703, dated March 25, 1994, garments constructed of woven cotton fabric, extending below the knee, having a full front opening, and shirt tail hem, were determined not to be big shirts but were properly classified as dresses in heading 6204, HTSUSA. It was further noted that the styling, length and coverage provided by the garments rendered them suitable as dresses.

In view of the foregoing, we find that NY K80928, correctly classified the merchandise as a dress in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA.


NY K80928, dated January 20, 2004, is hereby affirmed.

The subject merchandise, identified as style S41MW340, is correctly classified in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, which provides for, “Women’s or girls’ suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (other than swimwear): Dresses: Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: Other: Women’s”. The general column one duty rate is 8.4 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 336.

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 that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, previously available on the CBP Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB), which is available now on the CBP web site at www.customs.gov.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification), you should contact the local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


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