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HQ 088476

MAY 10, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088476 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6204.32.2010

Robert T. Stack, Esquire
Tompkins & Davidson
One Whitehall Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Classification of a Woman's Upper Body Garment--Blouse vs. Suit-type Jacket; Modification of DD 858052

Dear Mr. Stack:

This is in reply to your submission of January 10, 1991, on behalf of May Department Stores International, Inc., requesting reconsideration of a Customs Service ruling, DD 858052, dated November 30, 1990.


The submitted sample, style 5300, is a woman's cotton woven upper body garment which extends to just below the waist. It has long sleeves without cuffs, a full lining, nondetachable shoulder pads which are sandwiched between the lining and the outer shell, a jewel neckline, and a full frontal opening secured by four 3/4- inch-in-diameter buttons. The outer shell, which is made from a lightweight corduroy fabric, consists of, in addition to the sleeves, two front panels, two rear panels, and two 5-inch wide panels below the armhole seams.


In DD 858052, the garment was classified under the provision for other women's cotton blouses, in subheading 6206.30.3040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The inquirer believes that the garment should be classified under the provision for women's suit-type cotton jackets, in subheading 6204.32.2010, HTSUSA.


Imported goods are classifiable according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any pertinent section or chapter notes. In this instance, since the garment is classifiable under one of two eo nomine provisions, we need to proceed no further through the GRI's--GRI 1 governs the classification of the subject garment. It remains only to determine whether the garment is a blouse or a jacket.

A number of advertisements have been submitted to show that the same or similar garments are commercially sold as jackets. Further, the inquirer points out that if the instant garment were imported with a matching skirt (or pants), the combination would be classified as a suit. We agree with this statement. This is pertinent because, even though the subject merchandise is not imported in that manner, Note 3 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, requires that a suit be a two or three piece set, one piece of which is a coat or jacket.

The Guidelines for Reporting Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, C.I.E. 13/88 (53 F.R. 52563, December 28, 1988), at page 4, state:

Suit-type coats must (1) be tailored, (2) have a full frontal button or snap opening, (3) have sleeves (of any length), (4) be designated for wear over a lighter outer garment, and (5) have three or more panels (excluding sleeves), of which two are in the front, sewn together lengthwise. They may be waist length * * * The bottom part of the front opening is usually rounded on single breasted models * * *

In our examination of the sample garment, it appears that (1) the garment is tailored (e.g. the two back panels measure 16 inches across the back and 14 inches across the hem); (2) it has a full front buttoned opening; (3) it has long sleeves; (4) the garment is of a weight which enables it to be worn both with or without a blouse underneath; however, it is our view that it would most often be worn in the manner of a jacket and even when worn without a blouse, it retains the appearance of a jacket; and (5) the body of the garment is made of six panels sewn together lengthwise. Further, we note that the garment has the following additional jacket features: (1) The sleeves have no cuffs; (2) the garment is fully lined; (3) the shoulder pads are located between the lining and the outer shell; and (4) the bottom portions of the front opening are rounded.


In view of the above, we find that the submitted sample is a jacket and, pursuant to GRI 1, classifiable under the provision for women's woven corduroy suit-type jackets, of cotton, in subheading 6204.32.2010, HTSUSA, with duty, as a product of Sri Lanka, at the rate of 10 percent ad valorem. The textile and apparel category applicable to this merchandise is 335.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying DD 858052 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if, after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you may have with respect to this matter. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice is a modification of DD 858052 pursuant to Section 177.9(d)(1) (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)). It is not retroactive. However, DD 858052 will not be valid for importations of the subject merchandise arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected (i.e. merchandise previously ordered and arriving in the United States subsequent to this modification will be classified accordingly. If it can be shown that you relied on DD 858052 to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

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