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 0950019 - HQ 0950288 > HQ 0950212

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950212

September 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950212 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.0030

Mr. Jay Shynn
Kotap America Ltd.
10 Bayview Avenue
Lawrence, NY 11559

RE: Mesh warning vest classifiable as other made up clothing accessory of heading 6217, HTSUSA; HRL 088373 revoked.

Dear Mr. Shynn:

This office has had occasion to review the classification of warning vests, running vests and similar articles that serve to identify the wearer. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088373, issued to you on April 12, 1991, concerned the classification of a construction worker's warning vest. As a result of this review we have determined that this article was incorrectly classified; accordingly, we are revoking HRL 088373. Our decision follows below.


The article at issue is a warning vest made from PVC dipped, polyester mesh fabric. The vest is fluorescent orange in color and flame retardant. The reflector on the chest is made from PVC while the binding around the neck opening, arm holes and borders is of vinyl. There is an elastic adjustable band at the bottom sides of the vest, and a hook and loop closure at the back.

In HRL 088373 the vest was classified as an other made up article of heading 6307, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Prior to HRL 088373, the vest was classified in heading 6210, HTSUSA. See New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 848018 dated December 12, 1989, revoked by HRL 088373. However, similar articles have been classified, depending on their construction, as accessories of headings 6117 or 6217, HTSUSA. See, HRL 088056 dated February 13, 1991.


Whether a woven warning vest is classifiable as an other made up article of heading 6307, HTSUSA, or as an accessory of heading 6217, HTSUSA.


Heading 6217, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, other made up clothing accessories. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes (EN), which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state at EN 62.17, 859-860, that made up clothing accessories not specified or included in the specific headings of Chapter 62 or elsewhere in the Nomenclature are classifiable in heading 6217. Examples of articles cited by the EN include items such as labels, badges, emblems, flashes and bodice fronts.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, in contrast, provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns. Note 2(a), Chapter 63, HTSUSA, states that Subchapter 1, Chapter 63, within which heading 6307 falls, does not cover goods of Chapters 56 to 62.

In HRL 088056 dated February 13, 1991, an article made from 100 percent knit mesh nylon and described as a sports pinny (pinafore) or team identifier was classified under the provision for other made up clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted, of heading 6117, HTSUSA. There we stated, at 2:

The team identifier is not more specifically provided for elsewhere in the Nomenclature. Moreover, it is worn over other clothing, for purposes of identification, much in the way of an emblem or flash. As such, it is considered a clothing accessory, of textile material, which is properly included within heading 6117, HTSUSA.

It is Customs' view that this rationale applies equally to the warning vest of HRL 088373. The "vest," although woven rather than knit, is worn for the purpose of identification and thus is similar to the sports pinny of HRL 088056. It is worn over clothing, much in the way of an emblem or flash.

Furthermore, the warning vest is distinguishable from vests or waistcoats of heading 6211, HTSUSA, in that it is not worn for decency or adornment. Nevertheless, the "vest" is an article of apparel in that it is worn, albeit as an accessory. Since there are no more specific headings within Chapter 62, the "vest" is properly classifiable in heading 6217. Accordingly, as the warning vest is classifiable in heading 6217, it is excluded from heading 6307 pursuant to Note 2(a), Chapter 63, HTSUSA.


The instant vest is classifiable in subheading 6217.10.0030, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up clothing accessories...; accessories; of man-made fibers. It is dutiable at the rate of 15.5 percent ad valorem and is subject to textile quota category 659.

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.

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.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying HRL 088373 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if, after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within thirty days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 088373 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 088373 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 088373 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


Previous Ruling Next Ruling