Mr. Rodney Ralston, Customs Consultant
Trans-Broder Customs Services, Inc.
One Trans Border Drive
P.O. Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919
RE: The tariff classification of four skirts (Ghagras) claimed to be “India Items” from India
Dear Mr. Ralston:
In your letter dated November 27, 2000, you requested a classification ruling for submitted garments, on behalf of Evoke Apparel Group. The samples are being returned, as you requested.
You have submitted four skirts which you have described as Ghagras, with designated style numbers 4113 and 4114, 4115, and 4116. Based on the style, fabric, and method of manufacture, you are requesting confirmation that these articles qualify as traditional folklore articles per additional U.S. note 2, Section XI, HTSUS. All four garments are made from 100% rayon woven fabric.
Styles 4113 and 4114 are solid colored ankle length skirts. The skirts have a 1-½ inch elasticized waistband; a drawstring finished with metallic yarns and metal beads; and a hemmed bottom. The lower portion of the front of the skirts are also decorated with embroidery and beads in the same color as the skirt.
Style 4115 and 4116 are ankle length skirts with a floral print. The skirts have a 1-½ inch elasticized waistband; a drawstring finished with metallic yarns and metal beads; and a hemmed bottom.
Designation as an “India Item” (folklore product) exempt from quota is determined by the language of the bilateral textile agreement between the United States and India and not by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Additional U.S. Note 2 to Section XI to the HTSUSA states, in part, “Certified hand-loomed and folklore" for classification and duty purposes, as "such products as have been certified, in accordance with procedures established by the United States Trade Representative [USTR] pursuant to international understandings, by an official of a government agency of the country where the products were produced, to have been so made.” The USTR has not established such procedures pursuant to an agreement with India that would qualify any article to be classified in these "certified hand-loomed and folklore products" subheadings of the HTSUS.
The U.S./India bilateral textile agreement, at Annex E, Head Note describes “India Items”, in part as:
…traditional folklore handicraft textile products made in the cottage industry.
They comprise clothes, clothing accessories and decorative furnishings whose
shape and design are traditionally and historically Indian.
These products should not include zip fasteners and must be ornamented using
one of the following methods:
· handpainting (including Kalamkari) or handprinting or handicraft tie
and dye or handicraft Batik
· embroidered or crocheted ornamentation,
· applique work of sequins, glass or wooden beads, shells, mirrors or
ornamental motif of textile and other materials,
· extra weft ornamentation of cotton, silk, zari (metal thread in gold/silver),
wool or any other fiber yarn.
Exceptions: Churidar pyjama, salwar and gararra need not be ornamented.
In summary, in order to be considered an "India Items" the articles must meet:
1) the definition provided in the agreement;
2) be ornamented using one of the four approved methods; and
3) have a traditional Indian pattern or design.
A ghargra is defined as:
An ankle length very wide skirt with a drawstring or hooks at the waist.
In addition to the information found in the bilateral agreement, the January 15, 1995 issue of the Federal Register (60 FR 16 at 4892) contained further guidelines:
Indian items may not include closure devices such as zippers, elastic (any form),
elasticized fabric (any form), or hook-and-pile fasteners (such as “Velcro” or
other similar holding fabric). In addition, buttons (including snap buttons) may
not be used as a means of securing the waist of such Indian items as salwar,
ghagra/lahnga and pavadai.
All four skirts have an elasticized waistband, thus do not fit the requirements of a Ghagra as indicated in the above cited Federal Register. Therefore, the skirts do not qualify as quota exempt “India Items” as defined in the agreement and are not exempt from the requirement of a visa and quota restraints.
The applicable subheading for the four styles of skirts will be 6204.59.3010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for women’s…skirts: of artificial fibers. The rate of duty will be 16.4 percent ad valorem. Effective January 1, 2001, the rate of duty will be 16.3 percent ad valorem.
The four styles of skirts fall within textile category designation 642. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of India are subject to the requirement of a visa and quota restraints.
The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web Site at WWW.CUSTOMS.GOV. In addition, the designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected and should also be verified at the time of shipment.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Angela De Gaetano at 212-637-7029.
Robert B. Swierupski