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HQ 967334

October 25, 2004

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE 967334 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6104.42.0010

Carolyn B. Malina
Import/Export Manager
5 Lands’ End Lane
Dodgeville, WI 53595

RE: Request for Binding Ruling; classification of woman’s sleeveless garment

Dear Ms. Malina:

This is in response to your request on behalf of Lands’ End, Inc., dated August 17, 2004, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a woman’s sleeveless garment. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has received the sample that you provided.


The sample is a size “s” (small) woman’s pullover styled garment made from 100 percent cotton jersey knit fabric. The subject garment is identified as Style #78044. This is a sleeveless garment made with a front and back panel. The two panels are joined by side seams and at the shoulders. The garment measures approximately 35.5 inches from shoulder to hem. The hem descends to the knee. The garment also features a rib knit V-shaped neckline, rib knit trimmed armholes, and a hemmed bottom with side slit openings that are approximately 5 inches in length. There are also spacious slit pockets on either side that are outlined in an oval shape with a single seam on the front of the garment. The pockets fall below the waistline of the garment.


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).

You have asserted that the merchandise is marketed as a “beach cover-up”, i.e., beach robe. However, we do not agree that the catalog you submitted, in and of itself, supports a finding that the subject garment is intended for use as a beach robe classifiable under subheading 6108.91.0030, HTSUSA. We have reviewed the catalog you submitted and find that the advertisement for the subject article merely displays the garment’s use as a casual dress that provides complete coverage and modesty for the wearer. There is no indication that a swimsuit is being worn under the garment. Furthermore, the model in this advertisement is not wearing pants with the subject garment, which suggests that it is not designed as an oversized top to be worn with pants.

Heading 6108, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, “Women’s or girls’ . . . bathrobes, dressing gowns and similar articles”. The EN to 6108 specifically states that the provision includes beach robes. The characteristics of garments that qualify as “beach robes” under heading 6108, HTSUSA, is set forth in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 966816, dated May 19, 2004. HQ 966816 stated that “beach robes” generally extend from shoulder to mid-thigh or below, serve to absorb water, provide warmth, and are of a loose, simple design.

In this instance, the subject garment is constructed of a lightweight knit fabric and provides no absorbency and little warmth. Furthermore, HQ 966816, determined that a distinction should be made between garments designed to be
worn over or with swimwear that are beach robes or similar to beach robes, and those that are casual wear. This distinction was set forth 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.”

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

The length of the subject garment is also significant. The hem of the size “small” sample garment descends to the top of the knee. As such, the side slit only exposes to mid-thigh. In a recent ruling, HQ 967052, dated September 27, 2004, we noted that the garment’s length, which extended to just above the knee, provided the additional coverage of a dress. HQ 967052 classified the woven garment as a woman’s dress in subheading 6204.42.3050, HTSUSA, and cited to the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, C.I.E., 13/88, November 23, 1988 (Textile Guidelines), which states 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 view of the foregoing, we find that the subject garment is classified as a woman’s dress in subheading 6104.42.0010, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 6104.42.0010, 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), knitted or crocheted: Dresses: Of cotton, Women’s.” The general column one duty rate is 11.5 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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