United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089202 - HQ 0089336 > HQ 0089220

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089220

July 12, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089220 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6210.40.1020

Grant Goldin
Scope Imports, Inc.
8020 Blankenship Dr.
Houston, Texas 77055

RE: Men's nylon padded vest; classifiable as a garment of heading 6210; outer shell fabric visibly coated with plastic

Dear Mr. Goldin:

This is in reference to your letter of March 6, 1991, requesting classification of a men's padded vest under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The sample at issue is a men's nylon quilted vest measuring approximately 24 inches in length in front, and 27 inches long in back. The vest has a woven nylon outershell which is coated on one side, an uncoated woven nylon lining, and a nonwoven textile interlining quilted to the shell. The garment is sleeveless with a full front opening with seven snaps, and a 4 inch collar that may be turned up and snapped closed.

The information you provide states that the shell fabric is nylon taffeta with a 600 mm acrylic coating. The fabric weighs 62 grams per square yard before coating, and the coating weighs 6 grams per square yard. There are 114 yarns per inch in both the warp and the filling, which are both composed of 70 denier yarns.


Whether the outer shell fabric of the garment at issue is coated for purposes of classification under the HTSUSA.



Classification of merchandise under the tariff is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. According to GRI 1, the primary consideration in determining whether merchandise should be classified in a heading is given to the language of the heading and any relevant chapter or section notes. Inasmuch as the article in question is either coated or uncoated, at least two headings may apply to the nylon outer shell at issue in this case. The relevant headings include:

(a) 6201, men's or boys' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6203

(b) 6210, garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907

In part (b) above, the present merchandise is potentially classifiable as a garment made up of fabric of heading 5903. Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902.

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, that heading No. 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics,...other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color;***

The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, covered or laminated." The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual characteristic of the fabric itself; a mere change in the "feel" or luster of the material is an effect of the coating, and does not constitute a clear visual change as expressed by the drafters.


Applying the statutory test to the submitted sample, using normally corrected vision in a well lit room, we note that the visual characteristics of the fabric is changed: the weave of the sample is visibly altered and obscured by the acrylic coating. A cross section view and a tearing of the fabric confirms the results of the sight test. The shell fabric is therefore considered coated with plastics.

Having determined that this merchandise is specifically provided for as a garment of heading 6210, consideration of heading 6201 is precluded.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6210.40.1020, HTSUSA, which provides for garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907: other men's or boys' garments: of man-made fibers: other: anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles, textile category 634, and dutiable at the rate of 7.6 percent ad valorem.

Please be aware, however, that category number 634 is not consistent with sleeveless vests classifiable in other headings. Therefore, we advise you to contact the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements at (202) 377-5078. Marty Walsh of that office will be able to verify the status of your shipment under the present category.

The designated textile and apparel category may otherwise 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 you 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 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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling