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HQ 088549

September 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088549 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6117.80.0035

Mr. John Canellakis
Vice President
Beijing Trade Exchange, Inc.
701 E Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

RE: Reflective vests are classifiable as other made up clothing accessories. DD 856608 revoked.

Dear Mr. Canellakis:

This office has had occasion to review DD 856608 issued to you by the District Director, St. Albans, Vermont, concerning the classification of a safety vest under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). As a result of our review this ruling has been revoked. Our decision follows below.


The merchandise in question is a mesh safety vest made from knit polyester fiber mesh fabric coated with polyvinyl chloride. A cloth binding covers all exposed edges and adjustable hook and loop fasteners are located in the middle of each full side and frontal opening. The body of the vest is fluorescent orange and reflective plastic strips which extend over the shoulders from the bottom hems. The vest is designed to be worn for visibility.

The vest was the subject of DD 856608 dated October 17, 1990, and was classified as an other made up article of heading 6307, HTSUSA. A similar article, a runner's safety vest was ruled on in DD 856714 dated October 17, 1990. However, in New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 843952 dated August 14, 1989, and NYRL 848018 dated December 21, 1989, reflective vests were classified in heading 6117, if knit (heading 6217, if woven).


Whether knit safety vests are classifiable as other made up articles of heading 6307, HTSUSA, or as other made up clothing accessories of heading 6117, HTSUSA.


Heading 6117, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes (EN), which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state at EN 61.17, 844-845, that made up knitted clothing accessories not specified or included in the specific headings of Chapter 61 or elsewhere in the Nomenclature are classifiable in heading 6117. Examples of articles cited by the EN include items such as labels, badges, emblems, flashes and bodice fronts.

In contrast, heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns. Note 2(a), Chapter 63, HTSUSA, states that Subchapter 1, Chapter 63, within which heading 6307 falls, does not cover goods of Chapters 56 to 62.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088056 dated February 13, 1991, an article made from 100 percent knit mesh nylon and described as a sports pinny (pinafore) or team identifier was classified in heading 6117, HTSUSA. There we stated, at 2:

The team identifier is not more specifically provided for elsewhere in the Nomenclature. Moreover, it is worn over other clothing, for purposes of identification, much in the way of an emblem or flash. As such, it is considered a clothing accessory, of textile material, which is properly included within heading 6117, HTSUSA.

It is Customs' view that this rationale applies equally to the safety "vest" which was the subject of DD 856608, as well as to the police vest of HRL 084341 and the runner's safety vest of DD 856714. Safety and police "vests" are worn for the purpose of identification and thus are similar to the sports pinny of HRL 088056. They are worn over clothing for the purpose of identification, much in the way of an emblem or flash.

Moreover, the safety "vest" at issue is distinguishable from vests or waistcoats of heading 6110, HTSUSA, in that it is not worn for decency or adornment. Nevertheless, the "vest" is an article of apparel in that it is worn, albeit as an accessory. Since there are no more specific headings within Chapter 62, the "vest" is properly classifiable in heading 6117. Accordingly, as the mesh safety vest is classifiable in heading 6117, it is excluded from heading 6307 pursuant to Note 2(a), Chapter 63, HTSUSA.


Knit mesh vests of man-made fibers as described above are classifiable in subheading 6117.80.0035, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted . . . ; other accessories; of man-made fibers; other. They are dutiable at the rate of 15.5 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile quota category 659.

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.

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

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking DD 856608 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 might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within thirty days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of DD 856608 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to DD 856608 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, DD 856608 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


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