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HQ 089245

July 30, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089245 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6210.40.1035; 6210.40.1020

Ms. Maurine Cecil
Global Transportation Services, Inc.
West Bay Business Park, Bldg. F
2641 Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Redondo Beach, California 90278

RE: Classification of Coat and Pants With Thinsulate Plus

Dear Ms. Cecil:

This is in reply to your letter of March 26, 1991, on behalf of Hind, Inc., concerning the tariff status of certain cold weather coat and pants. Our ruling on the matter follows.


The two sample garments are style Cheyenne Pant No. 46302 and Glissade Jacket No. 45302. Both have outer shells of woven man-made fiber fabrics, linings of brushed knit fabrics, and Thinsulate Plus interlining insulating material. Thinsulate Plus is described as a waterproof breathable insulation made by bonding a "ultrathin, microporous matrix fully impregnated with a hydrophilic (water-loving) polymer to a . . . microfibrous insulation. The result is an insulated, waterproof package with high moisture vapor transmission."

The jacket is a pullover with a partial zippered opening extending to the top of the collar. This opening is covered by a flap that is secured with snaps. The pants have an elasticized waistband with adjustment tabs and zippered openings, elasticized hidden cuffs, and vertical zippered openings on the leg bottoms.


The issue presented is whether the two garments are classifiable under Heading 6210, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as garments made up of fabrics of 5602 (batting) and 5603 (nonwoven fabrics), HTSUSA, and if so, are they classifiable at the subheading level according to those fabrics, or according to the component which imparts their essential character.

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 in the tariff and according to any pertinent section or chapter notes. GRI 2(b) provides that a reference to a material in a heading shall be taken to include combinations of that material with other materials and that any reference to goods of a given material shall be taken to include goods partly of that material; if goods consist of more than one material, then classification will be according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) requires that where two or more headings describe the merchandise, the more specific will prevail; or if two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials in the goods, then classification will be by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) states that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine their classification.

Here, both garments are composite goods containing, in addition to their woven outer shells and linings, interlinings of nonwoven fabrics that have been laminated with plastics material. The interlinings provide significant characteristics (warmth and resistance to wind and moisture) to the garments. However, it is Customs view that usually it is the outer shells of garments which create those garments (establish their identities as coats, trousers, etc.) and which, therefore, impart the essential character to those garments.

On March 20, 1990, this office published a notice in the Federal Register (55 F.R. 10249) concerning a proposed interpretative rule relating to the classification of garments composed in part of linings or interlinings of specialized fabrics or of nonwoven fabric insulating layers.

Customs present position is that a garment is "made up of" any fabric which imparts a significant characteristic to that garment. The notice proposed, contrary to that position, that a garment not be classified under Headings 6113 or 6210, HTSUSA, which provide for garments "made up of" certain named fabrics, unless it is determined that those fabrics impart the essential character of the garment. It is anticipated that Customs will shortly announce its final decision on that proposal.

In our ruling of June 13, 1989, file 083721, a jacket with a heavy nonwoven fabric insulating layer was determined to be classifiable in Subheading 6210.40.1020, HTSUSA, which provides for other men's or boys' garments of man-made fibers, made up of fabrics of (in this case) Heading 5603. This result was obtained because the heavier-than-usual nature of the nonwoven fabric contributed significantly to the garment and could not be ignored. It should be noted that even though the garment was determined to be "made up of fabrics" of Heading 5603, the garment was not determined to have its essential character imparted by the nonwoven fabric and, therefore, was not classified under the subheading for garments of fabrics Heading 5602 and 5603. See also HRL 081134, dated April 27, 1989.


In the absence of an announcement published in the Federal Register that Customs is changing its position with regard to the classification of garments composed in part of linings or interlinings of specialized fabrics or of nonwoven fabric insulating layers, the two samples are classifiable under Heading 6210 as garments made up of fabrics of Heading 5603--the coat in subheading 6210.40.1020 HTSUSA, and the trousers in subheading 6210.40.1035 HTSUSA. Both garments are dutiable, as products of Taiwan, at the rate of 7.6 percent ad valorem. The designated textile and apparel category applicable to the coat 634 and the category applicable to the trousers is 647.

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.


1cc: Cynthia Reese John Durant, Director

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