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HQ 084077

JULY 7, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084077 PR; NY 838442


TARIFF NO.: 6113.00.0010

Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Classification of Reversible Jackets


This ruling is in response to your letter and memorandum of March 10, 1989, on behalf of Bradley Imports, Inc., concerning a ruling of December 1, 1988 (NYRL 833200) from our area Director, New York Seaport, concerning the tariff status of two reversible girls' jackets.


No samples were received by this office. The garments in question are described in NYRL 833200 as girls' reversible jackets, each with an outer woven shell of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, with no plastics applied to it. The other outer shell on each garment consists of a knit tricot fabric coated with nontransparent plastics which obscures the underlying fabric.

The garments were determined to be classifiable under the provision for knitted girls' jackets made up of fabrics of Heading 5903, having an outer surface impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plasticS material which completely obscures the underlying fabric, in Subheading 6113.00.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The Area Director now believes that NYRL 833200 was in error and has requested that the ruling be modified.


The issue presented is whether the classification of the garments in NYRL 833200 is correct, or whether, since the garments each have more than one outer shell, they should be classified elsewhere under Heading 6113.


Although a number of issues have been raised by both the importer's representative and by our Area Director, it appears that the wording of the subheading itself resolves the matter. The provision reads:

Having an outer surface impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with rubber or plastics material which completely obscures the underlying fabric. (bolding added)

The use of the phrase "an outer surface" clearly negates any necessity that both outer surfaces of reversible garments must meet the requirement that the underlying fabrics be obscured by rubber or plastics material.

In the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, the common meaning of words must prevail. United States v. Rembrandt Electronics, Inc., 64 CCPA 1, C.A.D. 1175 (1976). While the language of the Subheading 6113.00.0010 may be similar to that contained in Headnote 5(a), Schedule 3, of the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), which has been superceded by the HTSUSA, Headnote 5(a) used the phrase "the outer surface . . . or the only exposed surface . . ." A change in statutory language imports a change in meaning unless the contrary is made plainly apparent. Fynaut & Popek v. United States, 23 CCPA 265, T.D. 48112 (1936) Where the intent of Congress is apparent, rules of construction may not be employed to circumvent that intent, Esco Mfg. Co. v. United States, 63 CCPA 71, C.A.D. 1167 (1976),and the creation of an ambiguity in an otherwise clear and unambiguous statute by reference to legislative history is improper. United States v. Corning Glass Works, 66 CCPA 25, C.A.D. 1216 (1978).

However, in this instance, while it may be assumed that there was an intention to continue the same tariff treatment under the HTSUSA for reversible garments of the type here presented, there is no evidence of what Congress intended when enacting Subheading 6113.00.0010. Furthermore, it is unimportant that a particular application of a statute may not have been contemplated by the legislators. Barr v. United States, 324 US 83, 90 (1945); 62 CCPA 10, C.A.D. 1136 (1974).


Based on the descriptions contained in NYRL 833200, the garments which were the subject of that ruling were correctly classified in Subheading 6113.00.0010, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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