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HQ 085683

January 25, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085683 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6110.10.2080

Ms. Doreen Wai
Second Secretary
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 504
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Cardigan-like garment with heavy knit, and where overall appearance is of a sweater, is classified as such. suit-type jacket;double breasted

Dear Ms. Wai:

This is in reply to your letter of November 15, 1988, concerning the tariff classification of women's wool jacket-like garments, produced in Hong Kong, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please note your reference number HK117/88, R.H. Macy Corporate Buying.


The merchandise at issue consists of a women's upper body outer garment composed of 100% wool fibers. It is constructed of a 1 x 1 rib knit stitch that has greater than 9 stitches per 2 centimeters, as measured in the horizontal direction. The full front opening cardigan-like garment features long sleeves, a deep V-neck opening that ends in a close-fitting, 4-button double breasted closure at the waist. Other features include shoulder pads, a 2 x 2 rib knit waistband, and capping around the neck and along the placket. The garment extends from the neck and shoulders to the waist.


Whether the instant merchandise is considered a jacket or a sweater under the HTSUSA?

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, knitted or crocheted. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Statistical Note 3 to Chapter 61, HTSUSA, defines sweaters as follows:

For the purposes of this chapter, statistical provisions for sweaters include garments, whether or not known as pullovers, vests or cardigans, which are constructed essentially with 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters measured in the horizontal direction. [Emphasis added.]

At issue is whether this statistical note precludes classification of all garments with greater than 9 stitches per 2 centimeters.

Classification of an article must begin at the four digit heading level, and, following the hierarchical system of classification embodied in the HTSUSA, that article must then be classified under the appropriate six and then eight digit subheadings, and finally under the proper statistical annotation. Once it is determined that a garment is classifiable under one four digit heading, it may not be classified under a different four digit heading because, for one reason or another, a subheading or statistical annotation does not seem appropriate.

In this situation, while there is a statistical note which states what the statistical provisions for "sweaters" includes, that note does not (and at that level can not) control the definition of a sweater at the four digit heading level. Conceivably, a garment may be commonly and commercially known as a sweater and yet not fall within the requirements of the statistical note for inclusion under a sweater annotation.

Memorandum to HRL 082943 PR of November 29, 1988.

It is our opinion, therefore, that the statistical note does not preclude classification of the instant merchandise as a sweater under heading 6110, HTSUSA.
Linton's The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary (4th ed. 1973), defines a sweater as "... a knitted outer garment on the order of a jacket, heavy or light in weight, and made in many styles." He goes on to state that, of the four basic types of women's sweaters,

[a] CARDIGAN [is] ... usually a button-front garment.... There may be a high-neck closure, plunging V, or rounded collar. Most cardigans have long sleeves....

The heavy knit of the garment does not lend itself to suit- type jackets, and the garment's overall appearance is of a sweater. But see HRL 086245 (overall appearance is as a suit-type jacket). It is our opinion, therefore, that the instant merchandise meets the description of a cardigan-like sweater.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6110.10.2080, HTSUSA, textile category 438, as sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool or fine animal hair, other, other, women's or girls'. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that the importer check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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