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HQ 089770

August 23, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089770 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6201.93.3520; 6203.43.4020

Mr. Khem Lall
R.H. Macy Corporate Buying
Eleven Penn Plaza
New York, New York 10001

RE: Classification of Boys' Athletic-Style Garments--Are They Track Suits?

Dear Mr. Lall:

This is in reply to your letter of May 15, 1991, concerning the classification of two garments you describe as a boy's track suit, made in Taiwan. Our ruling on the matter follows.


The submitted sample (style #7513-8) consists of two garments, a jacket and trousers. The waist-length jacket, made of red, white, and blue colored fabrics, has a woven nylon outer shell and a knit nylon lining, a collar, a full front zippered opening, two large horizontal opening pockets above the elasticized waistband, and long sleeves with elasticized cuffs. There are seven large blue stars arranged in a row extending down the right sleeve and large red and blue letters that extend down the left sleeve. The unlined red, white and blue trousers (but will be lined when imported) have a woven nylon outer shell, two side seam and one rear pocket, an elasticized waistband with a drawstring, and elasticized leg bottoms. They will be imported in boys' sizes 8-20 and we assume that they will be packaged together for retail sale.


The issue presented by this ruling request is whether the garments to be imported are classifiable under the provisions for track suits, or whether they are classifiable individually as separates.


Imported goods are classifiable according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). In this instance, GRI 1 governs the classification of the merchandise. 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.

Note 13, Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that unless "the context otherwise requires, textile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own headings even if put up in sets for retail sale." Accordingly, in the absence of a provision requiring that the instant garments be classified as a set, they must be classified as separates.

To be classifiable as a unit at the heading (but not necessarily at the subheading) level, the garments must be considered to be either an ensemble or a track suit. Ensembles are required by Note 3(b), Chapter 62, HTSUSA, to consist of components of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition. The pants portion does not have the same designs (stars and decorative lettering) as the jacket so the two garments do not qualify as an ensemble.

Heading 6211 provides for "track suits." The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings). The Explanatory Notes state that track suits consist of two garments, one for the upper body and a pair of trousers, which, "because of their general appearance and the nature of the fabric, are clearly meant to be worn exclusively or mainly in the pursuit of sporting activities." (at page 841)

In Customs Headquarters Letter Ruling (HRL) 088569, dated May 31, 1991, it was held that only garments which are commonly and commercially known as "track suits" are classifiable as "track suits." These are garments that are usually associated in some manner with running or jogging.

In this instance, although Customs has previously ruled that woven track suits may have linings, HRL 087511, dated January 14, 1991, HRL 087966, dated January 30, 1991, we do not believe that the instant merchandise is classifiable as track suits. We note that due to fashion changes, many all purpose and leisure-type garments are styled to resemble warm-up and track suits. These garments can be seen being worn in grocery stores, on play grounds, etc., and are virtually indistinguishable in appearance from real warm-up and track suits. Since track suits must be worn exclusively or mainly for sporting activities (related to running and jogging), garments which are not intended for those type activities will most likely be worn for leisure and other nonrunning and nonjogging activities and only occasionally worn for activities related to running or jogging.

Accordingly, when sets of garments are stated to be track suits, but appear to Customs to be leisure or multipurpose garments, evidence should be presented to the Customs classifying officer sufficient to establish that the merchandise in question is intended for wear during running or jogging, or related activities. In the absence of such evidence, Customs may classify such garments under provisions other than those which provide for track suits.


In regard to the garments in question, we have no evidence that they are intended for use during running, jogging, or related activities. They appear to be garments that can and would be worn for nonsporting activities. Therefore, the garments are not classifiable as track suits and must be classified separately.

The jacket is classifiable under the provision for anoraks, windbreakers, and similar garments, of man-made fibers, in subheading 6201.93.3520, HTSUSA, with duty at the rate of 29.5 percent ad valorem The trousers are classifiable under the provision for other trousers of synthetic fibers, in subheading 6203.43.4020, HTSUSA, with duty at the rate of 29.7 percent ad valorem. The designated textile and apparel category applicable to the jacket is 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 before 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 that 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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