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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0081729 - HQ 0084704 > HQ 0084693

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 084693

September 8, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084693 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6210.10.4020

Mr. Jack Ryan
Customs Administrator
Customs/Import Transportation Department
3M Center
P.O. Box 33250
St. Paul, Minnesota 55133-3250

RE: Outerwear with a moisture-preventing inner liner

Dear Mr. Ryan:

This is in reply to your letter of May 12, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of outerwear with a moisture-preventing inner liner, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). It is assumed that the merchandise is subject to the General Rates of Duty under Column 1 of the HTSUSA.


The merchandise at issue consists of one style of men's outerwear. The article, Style 5020, is a waist-length jacket. It has a woven nylon outer shell and inner lining, a full-front zipper opening extending to the top of the collar, covered pockets at the waist, and an elasticized waist and cuffs. It has an interlining composed of Thintech~, a plastics membrane laminated to a nonwoven textile fabric. Thintech~ is described as a microporous barrier against outside moisture which allows the transpiration of water vapor from the body.


What is the classification of the garment under HTSUSA?


Heading 6201, HTSUSA, provides for men's overcoats, anoraks, and similar articles, not knitted or crocheted. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Note 5 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, states:

[g]arments which are, prima facie, classifiable both in heading 6210 and in other headings of this chapter, excluding heading 6209 [babies' garments], are to be classified in heading 6210.

Subheading 6201.93, HTSUSA, provides for men's anoraks and similar articles, of man-made fibers. Heading 6210, HTSUSA, provides for garments made up of fabrics of, inter alia, headings 5603, 5903, or 5907. Ergo, classification must rest upon whether the garments are "made up" of "fabrics of" the above-mentioned headings.

Subheading 5603.00.3000, HTSUSA, provides for nonwovens, laminated. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Note to this heading states that "[t]his heading covers nonwovens in the piece, . . . [including] fabrics for the manufacture of . . . garment linings . . . ." Therefore, the instant merchandise is comprised of "fabrics of" an applicable heading.

Note 7 to Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that:

For the purposes of [Section XI], the expression "made up" means:

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end and piece goods composed of two or more textiles assembled in layers, whether or not padded);

The General Explanatory Note II to Section XI, HTSUSA, clarifies Note 7(e) in observing that this assembly process includes garments. Without further express limitation to the term "made up," we have previously held that
heading 6210 is interpreted to cover any assembled garment which includes a material classifiable in one of the enumerated headings, and [when such enumerated material] imparts a significant characteristic to that garment.

HRL 081134 of April 27, 1989. The merchandise would be classifiable under 6210, therefore, if the laminated interlining constitutes a significant aspect of the coats.

The General Explanatory Note to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, states:

[t]he classification of goods in this Chapter is not affected by the presence of parts or accessories of, for example, knitted or crocheted fabrics, furskin, feather, leather, plastics or metal. Where, however, the presence of such materials constitutes more than mere trimming the articles are classified in accordance with the relative Chapter Notes....

In tariff terms, the Thintech~ interlining is a laminated fabric, contemplated by the terms of Section XI and Chapter 62 to become part of a finished garment. In commercial terms, the interlining is desired by consumers who seek garments with this dual ability of shedding rain and wicking away perspiration from the body. Based upon these unique attributes, we believe that the Thintech~ interlining is more than a mere trimming or lining. Thus, the merchandise is classified, by application of Chapter Note 5, supra, under Heading 6210, HTSUSA.

It has been brought to our attention that continued application of this reasoning will result in a tariff classification without any meaningful basis. Through its extension, articles with an extremely limited amount of coated material, whether it be in the shell or lining, must be classified via Chapter Note 5. Without limitation of the term "made up" to fabrics of the garment imparting to the garment its essential character, garments will be tailored by the manufacturer to fall under Heading 6210. This result would seem to be in conflict with HRL 080817 PR of August 31, 1987, which held that, in most cases, the outer shell imparts the essential character of most outer ware.

While this is an important concern, it is our opinion that the General Rules of Interpretation mandate the above-mentioned classification. As previously stated, GRI 1 states that "... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ...." The General Explanatory Note 62.02 only requires that the fabric be "more than mere trimming" to trigger classification under Chapter 62, Note 5.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6210.10.4020, HTSUSA, textile category 659, as garments made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907, of fabrics of heading 5602 or 5603, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem.

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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling