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HQ 081487

March 2, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 081487 LS


TARIFF NO.: TSUS 6204.39.3010, 6204.59.3010

Robert D. Stang, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Tariff Classification of women's jacket and skirt

Dear Mr. Stang:

Your inquiry on behalf of your client, Junior Gallery, dated November 30, 1987, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of a women's jacket and skirt under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) was referred to this office for a direct reply to you. Samples were submitted for examination.


The submitted sample, style 4596, consists of a women's jacket and skirt manufactured from 100 percent woven rayon fabric. The jacket features double breasted styling, two front pockets below the waist, a single breast pocket, two front panels, two side panels, and one back panel. The skirt features a rear zippered opening secured by a single button and two side seam pockets. The fabric of both components is of a twill weave construction featuring white and beige colored yarns in a herringbone pattern. The fabric of the jacket contains additional colored yarns which are dark pink and dark beige in a vertical direction, and light pink and light beige in a horizontal direction, thus creating a checked or plaid pattern.

Junior Gallery, through its attorney, states that the merchandise will be invoiced and retailed as a suit, i.e., the jacket and skirt will go to the same department in the retail outlet, will be displayed on one hanger, and will be sold together. Junior Gallery further states that the jacket and skirt will not be retailed as coordinates.

In support of its position that the jacket and skirt are properly classifiable as a suit under subheading 6204.19.20, HTSUSA, Junior Gallery contends that both components are of identical fabric, i.e., of the same fabric construction, style, color, and composition, as required by Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, Section XI of the HTSUSA. The inquirer asserts that the term "identical fabric," as used in Note 3(a), includes fabrics with minor differences or fabrics that are essentially the same. Definitions of the word "identical" are cited from several dictionaries.

With respect to the requirement in Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, Section XI, HTSUSA, that the fabric of the jacket and skirt have the same style, color, and composition, Junior Gallery states that the skirt and jacket have the same wide herringbone style, are both beige in color, and are both composed of 100 percent rayon. As to the fabric construction, the inquirer notes that both garments have a basic herringbone twill weave and the same finish. Junior Gallery asserts that the additional checked pattern in the jacket, which accounts for only a small percentage of the yarns in the jacket, constitutes only a minor variation from the fabric construction of the skirt.


Whether the subject jacket and skirt are classifiable as a suit in subheading 6204.19.2000, HTSUSA, or whether each piece is separately classifiable, the jacket in subheading 6204.39.3010, HTSUSA, and the skirt in subheading 6204.59.3010, HTSUSA?


Classification of products under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]."

Note 3(a) to Section XI, Chapter 62, states in pertinent part:

(a) The term "suit" means a set of garments composed of two or three pieces made up in identical fabric and comprising:

- one garment designed to cover the lower part of the body and consisting of trousers, breeches or shorts (other than swimwear),
a skirt or a divided skirt, having neither braces nor bibs, and

- one suit coat or jacket the outer shell of which, exclusive of sleeves, consists of four or more panels, designed to cover the upper part of the body, possibly with a tailored waistcoat in addition.

All of the components of a suit must be of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition; they must also be of corresponding or compatible size.

The Explanatory Note to heading 6204, which constitutes the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, states that the provisions of the Explanatory Note to heading 6104 apply, mutatis mutandis, to the articles of heading 6204. With regard to the jacket component of a suit, the Explanatory Note to heading 6104 states in pertinent part:

- one suit coat or suit jacket the outer shell of which (exclusive of sleeves, and facings or collar, if any) consists of at least four panels (two in front and two at the back) sewn together lengthwise, designed to cover the upper part of the body, with a full front opening without a closure or with a closure other than a slide fastener (zipper).

We agree that the jacket and skirt fabrics are identical in both construction and composition, in that they are both of a twill weave, and are made of 100 percent rayon. However, we disagree that they are identical in color and style. The skirt is clearly not the same color as the jacket, since the skirt features white and beige yarns only, while the jacket has yarns of the following additional colors: light pink, dark pink, light brown, and a darker beige. Although both the skirt and jacket have the basic herringbone weave, the jacket has an additional checked or plaid pattern created by the horizontal and vertical directions of the light pink, dark pink, light brown, and darker beige yarns, which is not present in the skirt. Thus, the skirt and jacket are not identical in style.

We also find that the jacket and skirt do not constitute a suit because the jacket does not consist of two front panels and two back panels sewn together lengthwise, which is the
interpretation of the "four or more panels" requirement set forth in the Explanatory Note to heading 6204. Instead, the jacket consists of two front panels, two side panels, and one back panel. A panel that extends from the front of the jacket over the side to the back, without a side seam, is considered a side panel.


In view of the foregoing, the jacket and skirt in question do not constitute a suit under the HTSUSA. Therefore, the jacket is classifiable in subheading 6204.39.3010, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 29 percent ad valorem, and the skirt is classifiable in subheading 6204.59.3010, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile categories are 635 for the jacket and 642 for the skirt.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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