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HQ 082994

November 21, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082994 PR


TARIFF NO: 6202.13.4005

Ms. Mary Ann Ost
H. Z. Bernstein Co., Inc.
One World Trade Center, suite 1973
New York, New York 10048

RE: Classification of women's raincoats

Dear Ms. Ost:

This is in reply to your letter of September 1, 1988, on behalf of Saxton Hall Ltd., concerning the tariff classification and textile and apparel restraint category applicable to certain women's raincoats.


Submitted with your request was one sample garment. The sample, style 1704P, manufactured in Korea, is a three-quarter length coat with a light-weight woven man-made fiber lining and a much heavier woven outer shell. The outer shell is stated to be sixty-five percent polyester and thirty-five percent cotton. It has a five-button full front opening with plackets, long sleeves with simulated adjustment straps near their openings, a pointed collar, epaulets, and hip area slash inserted pockets with simulated pocket flaps. The inner surface of the outer shell material appears to have a silver- colored plastics application that is discernible only under magnification. The garment is stated to be "waterproof."


The issue presented is whether there is sufficient plastics applied to the outer shell fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, or covered" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The subject garment is specifically described in Subheading 6202.13.4005, which provides for women's raincoats, carcoats, and similar garments, of man-made fibers. However, Note 5 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, where that subheading is found, provides, in effect, that garments which are, prima facie, classifiable in Headings 6210 and 6202, will be classified in Heading 6210.

Heading 6210, HTSUSA, provides for garments made up of fabrics of various headings, including Heading 5903. Heading 5903 provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plastics (except tire cord which is provided for in Heading 5902).

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(1) fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color.

It is our view that the wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("visible to the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, or covered."

Therefore, following the strict wording of Note 2(a)(1), for a fabric to be considered "impregnated, coated, or covered" within that requirement, the plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification.

Under magnification, it is obvious that, as noted above, the outer shell fabric has a plastics application on its inner surface. However, we are precluded from using magnification to determine whether a fabric is "impregnated, coated, or covered" with plastics under the HTSUSA. Note 2(a) requires that the plastics must be "seen with the naked eye" otherwise than by a change in color.

Applying this statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, the submitted sample does not meet the criterion of having the plastics application visible to the naked eye. Accordingly, the fabric comprising the outer shell would not be classifiable under Heading 5903 and the garment does not, therefore, qualify for classification under Heading 6210. Since Heading 6210 is not in issue, Note 5 to Chapter 62 has no application and the garment is classifiable under the subheading which specifically describes it.


Coats, as represented by the submitted sample, are classifiable under Subheading 6202.13.4005, with duty at the rate of 29.5 percent ad valorem. The Textile and Apparel Category applicable to this merchandise is 635. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service under the HTSUSA. If there are changes before the effective date of January 1, 1989, this advice may not continue to be applicable.

Under the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), the sample coat is classifiable under the provision for women's coats designed for rainwear, almost wholly of fabrics that have been coated or filled with rubber or plastics, in item 376.5612, with duty at the rate of 7.6 percent ad valorem and with a textile and apparel category of 635. Note that the requirements under the TSUSA for a "coating or filling" are different than the requirements for an "impregnation, coating, or covering" under the HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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