Leave it to a company controlled by lawyers and engineers to plaster their products with vague, confusing, and grammatically questionable statements. Not that I'm picking on Sq D .... it's hard for mt to recall any product whose labeling and instructions were a joy to read; "clear as mud" seems to be a universal these days.
Yet ... let's look at that statement a bit closer ... assuming, of course, that you repeated it correctly!
"Branch circuit connector" would seem to refer to the point where the branch circuit wire, uh, connects to the panel. That would be the 'out' screw / clamp on the breaker. By extension, it might also apply to where the breaker attaches to the buss. Before that point, it's not a 'branch' anymore; it's a 'feed.'
"Handle rating" is a bit more questionable. I have yet to see a handle that was expected to carry ANY current. I think they mean the number printed on the handle, indicating the rating of the breaker.
"Total" suggests the sum of more than one. I can see this situation, when the 'tandem' breakers let you hang two breakers off the same buss tab.
"185" is a strange figure. I can't say I've ever seen a 185, 190, or 195 amp breaker. Just 175 and 200. They can't be referring to the 200 amp main breaker that came with the unit; not even Sq D would deliberately break their own rules
. Naturally, if the main was 175 amps, it would not be a '200 amp' panel anymore.
Tandem breakers? I've seen tandem 30's .... but never tandem 90's. It would be a challenge connecting a pair of #3 wires in a single breaker space!
So, we're left peering at fine print that says, in effect, don't use equipment that doesn't exist in this panel.
Why couldn't they just say 'don't mount breakers with ratings in excess of 176 amps on this panel?'