CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952707 jb

District Director of Customs
909 First Avenue, Rm 2039
Seattle, WA 98174

RE: Request for Further Review of Protest No. 3001-92-100597, dated June 26, 1992; classification of women's knit blouse; EN 4, chapter 61, HTSUSA; strict interpretation of phrase "tightening at the bottom of the garment"; subheading 6106.20.2010, HTSUSA

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed on behalf of Lamont's Apparel Inc, on June 26, 1992, against your decision regarding the classification of a women's knit upper garment. The entry was liquidated on June 19, 1992. Neither a sample nor the sketches noted on the protest were received as part of the package.


Based on the information provided by the District office and the importer, the garment at issue, Style number 22494,is a blouse with more than 10 stitches per centimeter, a hemmed bottom and a drawstring threaded waist. It does not have pockets below the waist.

The protestant questions the interpretation of chapter 61, Explanatory Note 4, HTSUSA, specifically with regard to the phrase "...having a ribbed knit waistband or a tightening at the bottom of the garment."


Whether the knitted garment at issue is classifiable as a blouse in heading 6106, HTSUSA, or as other pullovers in heading 6110, HTSUSA?

LAW AND ANALYSIS: Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Note 4 to chapter 61, HTSUSA, states:

4. Headings Nos. 61.05 and 61.06 do not cover garments with pockets below the waist, with a ribbed waistband or other means of tightening at the bottom of the garment, or garments having an average of less than 10 stitches per linear centimeter in each direction counted on an area measuring at least 10cm x 10cm. Heading No. 61.05 does not cover sleeveless garments. (Emphasis added)

The protestant believes that the drawstring waist featured on the garment at issue should be interpreted as meeting the criteria set out in Note 4, to chapter 61, HTSUSA. Based on this interpretation, classification of the article in heading 6106, HTSUSA, would be precluded.

In support of his claim, the protestant cites an earlier ruling on which, he states, a similar garment was classified in heading 6110, HTSUSA. Without the benefit of samples or other evidence, it is not possible to determine whether the garments which were the subject of that ruling were substantially identical to the garment at issue.

As such, we must adhere to the strict interpretation given to the phrase "with a ribbed waistband or other means of tightening at the bottom of the garment", in EN 4 to chapter 61, HTSUSA. That is, the tightening described must be at the bottom of the garment, regardless of whether it is ribbed knit or some other type of tightening, such as a drawstring.

The garment at issue features a drawstring threaded waist which is several inches above the bottom of the garment. As this does not represent a "tightening at the bottom of the garment", as intended in EN 4 to chapter 61, HTSUSA, the garment is not excluded from classification in heading 6106, HTSUSA.


Style 22494 was properly classified in subheading 6106.20.2010, which provides for women's or girls' other blouses and shirts, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers. You are instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be appended to the Form 19 Notice of Action furnished to the protestant.


John Durant, Director