CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 0 PR
Mr. Marty Langtry
Castelazo & Associates
5420 west 104th Street
Los Angeles, California 90045
RE: Modification of DDRL 854707; Classification of T-Shirts With
Dear Mr. Langtry:
This is in reply to your letter of February 7, 1991,
requesting that this office reconsider DDRL 854707, dated July
31, 1990, which held that a T-shirt with shoulder pads (style No.
200) is classifiable under the provision for women's or girls'
knit cotton garments similar to T-shirts, in subheading
6109.10.0070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
Annotated (HTSUSA). Our ruling on the matter follows.
No sample was submitted. Style No. 200 is described in DDRL
854707 as a pullover garment with a rounded close fitting rib
knit neckline, close fitting hemmed short sleeves, a close
fitting hip length body, a hemmed bottom, a patch pocket in the
upper left front, and shoulder pads tacked in at the shoulder
seam. It is made from lightweight knit cotton fabric which
contains more than 10 stitches per centimeter in both the
horizontal and vertical directions. An identical garment without
the shoulder pads, style No. 100, was classified under the
provision for women's cotton T-shirts, in subheading
6109.10.0040, HTSUSA. The classification of style No. 100 is not
The issue presented is whether a garment which would
otherwise be classifiable as a T-shirt is classifiable as an
article similar to a T-shirt when it is imported with shoulder
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 6109, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States Annotated (HTSUSA), provides for knit T-shirts, singlets,
tank tops, and similar garments. The Harmonized Commodity
Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, which are the
official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level
(for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings), describes
T-shirts as "lightweight knitted or crocheted garments of the
vest type." In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQRL) 087211,
dated October 9, 1990, it was stated that the phrase "garments of
the vest type" means underwear-type garments.
HQRL 085695, dated October 17, 1989, which ruled that
certain T-shirts with shoulder pads were not classifiable under
Heading 6109, contained the following statement:
The presence of, or provision for, attached or
detachable shoulder pads, is incongruous with the
requirement that garments be "constructed of the
underwear type." Therefore, classification of the
instant merchandise as T-shirts is precluded.
That statement is clear and definitive, and represents the
position of the Customs Service. The addition of shoulder pads
to what would otherwise be classifiable as a T-shirt changes the
character and use of that T-shirt from an "underwear-type"
garment to an article of outer wear apparel. As an outer wear
garment, the subject merchandise is not considered to be similar
to an underwear-type T-shirt.
HQRL 087492, dated July 12, 1990, classified merchandise
similar to the instant sample under the provision for women's or
girls' pullovers and similar articles, in subheading
6110.20.2075, HTSUSA. Following that ruling, the instant
merchandise is also classifiable under that provision.
The submitted sample, style No. 200, described above, is
classifiable under the provision for women's or girls' pullovers
and similar articles, in subheading 6110.20.2075, HTSUSA, with
duty, if entitled to column one rates of duty, at the rate of
20.7 percent ad valorem. The designated textile and apparel
category applicable to this merchandise remains 339.
In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of
this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, pursuant to Section
177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)), DDRL
854707 is modified to reflect the above classification effective
with the date of this letter. If, after your review, you
disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to
submit any arguments you may have with respect to this matter.
Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days
of the date of this letter.
This modification is not retroactive. However, DDRL 854707
will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise
arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We
recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected
(i.e. DDRL 854707 will not be applicable to merchandise
previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent
to this modification). If it can be shown that you relied on
DDRL 854707 to your detriment, you may apply to this office for
relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances
involving import restraints, such relief may require separate
approvals from other government agencies.
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.
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 that 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.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division