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HQ 084849

February 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084849 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.13.2010, 6114.30.1020

Gail Cumins, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P. C. Sixty-seven Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Classification of a women's suit--reconsideration of NYRL 840454

Dear Ms. Cumins:

This ruling is in response to your submission of June 12, 1989, on behalf of Sassco Fashions, Division of Leslie Fay, requesting reconsideration of NYRL 840454 of May 18, 1989. In that ruling, the jacket and skirt components of style L-512, a women's suit, were separately classified. The reason the components were classified separately, as opposed to classification as a women's suit, was the presence of piping on the jacket and lack thereof on the skirt.


The merchandise at issue, style L-512, consists of a women's suit-type jacket, skirt, and sleeveless top. The jacket and skirt are lined with 100 percent acetate woven fabric and the outershell of each is made of 95 percent rayon and 5 percent silk woven fabric. The top is cut and sewn from portions of warp-knit fabric and woven fabric. The warp-knit fabric, which forms the outer layer on the front portion of the garment, is composed of 50 percent rayon, 30 percent acetate, and 20 percent nylon. The woven fabric, which forms the rear portion and the inner layer of the front, is made of 100 percent polyester satin.

The jacket is double-breasted and features long sleeves with two buttons tacked down near the sleeve edges; a full frontal opening secured by three snap closures; a V-shaped neckline without collar or lapels; and textile piping extending around the neck and down the edges of the front panels. The piping on the jacket has the appearance of shiny satin fabric and has no counterpart on the skirt. The sample jacket submitted for our review varies slightly
from the sample submitted with the original ruling request; however, the differences are minor and are of no consequence to the issue at hand.

The skirt features two, flounce-like, self-fabric segments which give it a "triple-layered" appearance; a partial opening on the side which is secured by a zipper closure; a single-button closure on the waistband, located directly above the zipper; and a vented bottom.

The top is supported by shoulder straps and lacks a neckline. Its top edge extends across the chest and back, leaving the shoulders and upper back bare. The garment also features spangles and beads on the front and a fully elasticized top edge on the back. The outer layer of the front is stitched to the inner layer along the top edge and at the side seams; the bottom edge of the outer layer is not stitched down.


Are the jacket and skirt components of style L-512, a women's suit, separately classifiable due to the presence of the piping on the jacket, or should the piping be disregarded and the components classified as a women's suit?


Classification of products under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 GRIs taken in order].

Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, Section XI, 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, Explanatory Note (A) 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). * * *

The jacket and skirt components appear to meet all the requirements of the above provisions if the piping on the jacket is disregarded. If the piping is not disregarded, then the components fail to meet the requirement of being made up in identical fabric.

The General Explanatory Notes for Chapter 62 contain the following language:

The classification of goods in this Chapter is not affected by the presence of parts or accessories of, for example, knitted or crocheted fabrics, furskin, feather, leather, plastics or metal. Where, however, the presence of such materials constitutes more than mere trimming the articles are classified in accordance with the relative Chapter Notes * * *, or failing that, according to the General Interpretative Rules.

The Explanatory Notes, which serve as guidance only, are read in conjunction with the Legal Notes. Should any conflict arise between the two, the Legal Notes, of course, take precedence.

In this case, the piping on the jacket is 1/8" wide and is the same color as the fabric of the jacket and skirt. Customs believes that this jacket and skirt are classifiable as a suit, despite the piping, within the meaning of Note 3(a) and the Explanatory Notes.


Pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d) (1989), NYRL 840454 of May 18, 1989, is hereby modified. The jacket and skirt components of style L-512 are classified together as a women's suit in subheading 6204.13.2010, HTSUSA, textile category 644, dutiable at 37.5 cents per kilogram plus 27.5 percent ad valorem. The top component remains classified in subheading 6114.30.1020, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' knit tops of man-made fibers. The textile category is 639 and the rate of duty is 30 percent ad valorem.

We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for temporary relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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