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HQ 088573

April 24, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088573 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2075

Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
British Embassy
1233 20th Street, NW
Suite 504
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Ladies' knitted pullover; essential character cotton knit fabric; classifiable as sweaters and similar articles under heading 6110, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in reference to your letter of January 17, 1991, on behalf of Mast Industries Ltd., requesting classification of a ladies' knitted pullover to be imported from Hong Kong.


The sample which we obtained was provided by the Boston port as an approval sample, and is not a sample from the actual shipment imported, as confirmed by your client in their letter of March 4, 1991. The merchandise at issue, style no. 4002FO, is a woman's pullover that consists of knit and woven fabric sections. The majority of the garment is constructed of knit material, except for a woven shawl collar which extends down towards the waist where it criss crosses into the ribbed waistband. The blouse has shoulder pads and long sleeves. Customs laboratory analysis indicates that the knit fabric contains 55 percent cotton and 45 percent rayon fibers, and has a stitch count of seven stitches per centimeter measured in the horizontal direction; the woven portion of the pullover is made of 100 percent rayon fibers.

At the time of the entry, the commercial invoice for this merchandise failed to clearly describe its two materials and the fiber contents of each material. Instead it stated that the overall content of the garment was "52 percent cotton 48 percent rayon." Laboratory analysis, however, resulted in the findings noted above, and the merchandise was reclassified as man-made fiber goods based on an overall chief weight of rayon.



Whether a pullover made up of composite materials having a common fiber content is appropriately classified by chief weight or essential character, under the HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification will be determined according to the terms of the heading and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, sweaters, pullovers, and similar articles. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that this heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, without distinction between male and female wear, designed to cover the upper parts of the body. Within heading 6110, however, two separate subheadings are potentially applicable to the present merchandise which contains both cotton and manmade materials; subheading 6110.20 provides for knit garments made of cotton, and subheading 6110.30 provides for knit garments made of man-made materials.

GRI 6 states that

[f]or legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

Since the pullover is made up of materials that are separately provided for in the Nomenclature under heading 6117, GRI 3(b) applies as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components...which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:


The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The body, sleeves and waist of the present garment are made of the knit material which is in chief weight cotton. The knit fabric characterizes the blouse and provides it with the comfort and softness of a sweater. The woven rayon fabric, on the other hand, merely borders the neckline of the garment in the nature of a collar; it adds to the sophisticated styling which tinguishes this garment from a sweater, but it is nonetheless merely decorative. The essence of the garment derives from the finely knit material from which the blouse is made, and subheading 6110.20 is therefore appropriate for classification.


As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is properly classified under subheading 6110.20.2075, HTSUSA, which provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: of cotton: other, other: women's or girls', textile category 339, with duty assessed at 20.7 percent ad valorem.

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 your client check, close 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 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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