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HQ 087846

January 18, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 087846 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6110.10.2030

Mr. Tommy Lai
Second Secretary
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Affairs
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20TH Street, N.W. Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20038

RE: Sweater; coat; wool; thigh; guidelines

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in reply to your letter of August 27, 1990, concerning the tariff classification of a knitted cardigan, produced in Hong Kong, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your case number HK134/90, P.B.J.N., Co.

During transit from our New York office, the sample at issue was mislaid. As a result, the factual synopsis detailed below is taken from the Memorandum from our New York office. We apologize for any delay caused by this misplacement.


The merchandise at issue consists of a women's knit cardigan, Style 2207, constructed of 70% mohair wool and 30% nylon fibers. The fabric of the garment consists of a "coarse knit" fabric, which has knit stitches on both of its sides, arranged in a back-to-back fashion, sometimes called a "doubleknit" in the textile industry. The fabric has less than 9 stitches per 2 centimeters measured in the horizontal direction. The cardigan features a full front opening with a six button closure, a stand-up rib knit collar, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs, inside shoulder pads, side-entry pockets below the waist, and a 2x2 rib knit fabric that extends approximately 4- " long, located at the bottom of the garment. The garment extends from the neck and the shoulders to the top of the wearer's thighs. It
is worn over other apparel, such as a blouse or shirt. The sample, size M, is constructed as a loose-fitting, bulky cardigan.

At entry, these garments received textile category 435 (women's coats of wool). It is your contention that category 446 (women's sweaters of wool) is more appropriate.


Whether the instant merchandise is a coat or a sweater under the HTSUSA?


Heading 6102, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, women's coats. The Customs Service periodically issues the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories. The Guidelines, most recently published at 53 Fed. Reg. 52563 (Dec. 28, 1988), CIE 13/88 (Nov. 23, 1988), note that since certain types of garments are closely related in use, the Guidelines "are to be used as an aid in determining the commercial designation and, hence, the classification of an article." Used as such, they "represent the present position of the Customs Service."

The Guidelines, at 5, describe women's coats as "[t]hree- quarter length or longer garments ... and other garments such as ski jackets, parkas and waist length jackets...." The instant merchandise is clearly not similar to any of the above garments. In addition, the Guidelines also include within the coat category "knit garments which otherwise would qualify as cardigan sweaters, but extend below the mid-thigh or have a quilted lining." Based upon these statements, it is our opinion that if the instant garments qualify as cardigans, they should be classified as such.

The Guidelines, at 20, define knit sweaters and cardigans as:

1) Included in this category are garments commercially known as cardigans, sweaters, pullovers, sweater vests, etc.
They cover the upper body from the neck or shoulders to the waist or below (as far as the mid-thigh area).

2) Sweaters in this category may have a collar treatment of any type, including a hood, or no collar, and any type of neckline; they may be pullover style or
have full or partial front or back opening; they may be sleeveless or have sleeves of any length and any type of pocket treatment. Sweaters may also have an attached scarf. Cardigans have a full-front opening. The presence of a turned down collar would not exclude a cardigan from the sweater designation.

3) Stitch count:

All garments reaching from the neck area to the waist or as far as mid-thigh, except tailored suit coats, car coats, sport coats, jackets, robes and dressing gowns, etc., having essentially 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters measured in the horizontal direction and meeting the general description herein are considered sweaters.

The instant merchandise clearly meets the above description, and is properly classifiable as a cardigan sweater.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6110.10.2030, HTSUSA, textile category 446, as sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool or fine animal hair, other, sweaters, women's. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem.


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