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HQ 082068

May 3, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 082068 SR


TARIFF NO.: 9404.30.80

Jim Sprayberry, Esquire
American Overseas Transport Corporation
Box 20946 (AMF)
Atlanta, Georgia 30320

RE: Classification of a combination sleeping bag/vest

Dear Mr. Sprayberry:

This is in reference to your letter dated February 18, 1988, requesting the classification of a sleeping bag/vest under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue is a combination sleeping bag/vest composed of nylon with a polyester fiberfill. There are three separate sets of zippers which can be zipped up in different combinations depending upon whether the item is to function as a sleeping bag or as a vest. There are two sets of the zippers which each begin in the middle of the bag when it is unfolded to be a sleeping bag. One of the zippers starts in the middle and zips downward to enclose the lower half of the body. The other zipper starts in the middle and zips upward to enclose the upper half of the body, allowing the head to remain exposed if the user desires. When stretched out to function as a sleeping bag the item appears somewhat boat shaped and measures 79 inches in length.

To convert the sleeping bag into a vest all the zippers must be unzipped and disconnected. The bottom half of the sleeping bag is folded up and pushed into the top half of the bag to conform to the rounded boat-like shape. There is a set of zippers on each side of the vest which can be zipped up, meeting at the top in the middle of the hood area of the vest.

These zippers serve to hold the two halves together to form the vest shape of the item. There is a third zipper set which zips up the middle and closes the vest around the wearer.

On each section of the vest is a small zipper measuring approximately one foot in length. When the item is in the shape of a vest, two of these small zippers line up on each side, and when all four are unzipped they serve as the arm holes of the vest. When the vest is worn, the upper rounded end of the vest encircles the head like a hood. There are buttons and loops strategically placed all over the item so that it may be adjusted to fit tightly around the wearer. There are two front pockets with closing flaps and side slits.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable as a sleeping bag or as a vest.


The merchandise at issue functions as two different articles which are classifiable in two different subheadings of the tariff schedules. As a vest it is classifiable under subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, which provides for other women's overcoats, carcoats and similar articles. As a sleeping bag it is classifiable under subheading 9404.30.8000, HTSUSA, which provides for articles of bedding and similar furnishing, stuffed or internally fitted with any material, sleeping bags, other.

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings GRI 3 is applicable. Under GRI 3(a) the provision that provides the most specific description is preferred. The sleeping bag/vest cannot be classified according to GRI 3(a) because neither subheading 6206.13.4020 nor 9404.30.8000, HTSUSA, provide a more specific description.

The item cannot be considered a composite good under GRI 3(b) because it does not meet the definition of a composite good provided in the Explanatory Notes. The Explanatory Notes provide the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) describe composite goods as articles composed of mixtures or combinations of a material or substance with other materials or substances. The sleeping bag/vest has two functions, but it is not a combination of two materials or substances that provide these functions, rather it is one item that has two uses. Because GRI 3(b) is not applicable Gri 3(c) must be applied.

Under GRI 3(c), goods that cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. The subheadings that equally merit consideration are 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, which provides for women's overcoats, carcoats, and similar coats, of man-made fiber, and 9404.30.80, HTSUSA, which provides for sleeping bags.


The combination sleeping bag/vest is classifiable under subheading 9404.30.80, HTSUSA, as articles of bedding and similar furnishing stuffed or internally fitted with any material, sleeping bags, other.


John Durant, Director

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