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HQ 085684

January 31, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085684 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6110.30.1520

Doreen Wai
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Knitted Wool Cardigan

Dear Ms. Wai:

This is in reference to your letter of November 15, 1988, on behalf of Donna Karan Co., requesting classification of a women's knit cardigan under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, (HTSUSA). We also reply to your letter of October 3, 1988, in which you requested a review of the category number assigned to the merchandise in issue. A sample was submitted for inspection.


Style no. 214 is a woman's knit cardigan that consists of 60 percent rayon and 40 percent wool fibers. The fabric is constructed with a complex rib knit stitch that measures approximately 12 wales per inch or 9 stitches per 2 centimeters, as measured in the horizontal direction.

The sample has long sleeves that are hemmed at the ends; a full-front opening with a four button closure and a V-neckline. Other features include a one inch wide placket that extends from the waist towards and around the neck, which acts as a capping to finish the body fabric. There are two hidden-edge pockets at the front waist area. The garment extends from the neck and shoulders to the hips, and is worn over a shirt or blouse for warmth.


1. Whether the cardigan is properly classifiable as a wool overcoat under Heading 6102, HTSUSA, or as a wool sweater under Heading 6110, HTSUSA?

2. Whether the sample garment, if "knitted in fine gauge" is subject to quota category number 435 (for wool coats), or category number 446 (for wool sweaters)?


Issue 1

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 6110 provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes (EN), which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that the heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, without distinction between male or female wear, designed to cover the upper parts of the body (jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles). The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, at 1436 (1973) defines sweater as:
a knitted jacket or jersey, in pullover or cardigan style, with or without sleeves, worn during athletic exercise, for warmth, or otherwise, as for casual wear with slacks or a skirt.

Since the garment at issue is a cardigan-style sweater such as described above, and has all the horizontal and vertical elasticity normally associated with sweaters, it is classified as a sweater under this heading. Heading 6102, HTSUSA, which covers overcoats, is inapplicable per EN 61.02 (to which the provisions of EN 61.01 apply mutatis mutandis), which states that the garments enumerated in the heading are generally worn over all (bolding added) other clothing for protection against the weather. The sweater in this case is primarily worn for warmth, and does not have any of the features (e.g. thickness, insulation, impermeability) that would characterize garments intended for protection against the weather. Furthermore, it is intended and designed for wear over upper body garments only, and not as a cover for all other clothing.

Issue 2

Although the sample cardigan may be "knitted in fine gauge", this does not qualify it for classification under heading 6102 wool coats. Therefore, the application of quota category number 435, which applies to wool coats, is also precluded.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6110.30.1520, HTSUSA, which provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: of man-made fibers: other: containing 23 percent or more by weight of wool or fine animal hair... sweaters: women's or girls', textile category number 446, and dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem.

If imported in 1988, style no. 214 was classified under the provision for other women's wearing apparel, not ornamented: of wool: knit: other: girls', or infants', valued over $5 per pound, other, sweaters: other: women's, under item number 384.6371, TSUSA. The duty rate was 17 percent ad valorem, and the textile category number was 446.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest 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 for inspection 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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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