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HQ 950918

March 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950918 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6203.43.4010

Norman Katz, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10016

RE: Classification of duck hunting pants made of woven cotton and woven nylon fabrics; 6204, HTSUSA; essential character; HRL 084118 of April 13, 1989

Dear Mr. Katz:

This ruling is in response to your submission of November 25, 1991, on behalf of Nelson/Weather Rite Inc., seeking the classification of a pair of men's duck hunting pants. A sample garment, style S30041, was received by this office and will be returned as requested.


The submitted sample, style S30041, is a pair of men's duck hunting pants. The pants are made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric with woven nylon fabric overlays on strategic sections of the garment. The nylon fabric overlays are sewn onto the exterior front leg sections from the upper thigh and crotch area to the bottom of the legs and onto the exterior rear portion of the legs from about the knee to the bottom of the legs. Nylon fabric is also stitched to the inside of the seat of the pants. The pants feature a fly front opening secured by a zipper and single button closure, a two-inch waistband with seven belt loops, two side pockets, and two rear pockets (one of which has a single button closure).

The cotton fabric in the pants costs $3.42, weighs .6 kilograms, and makes up 919 square inches of the surface area of the garment. The nylon fabric costs .85 cents, weighs .096 kilograms, and makes up 865 square inches of the surface area.

The garment will be imported from China through the ports of New York, the West Coast and Kansas City. -2-


Are the submitted duck hunting pants classifiable as men's cotton trousers or as men's trousers of synthetic fibers?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

It is clear the sample garment is classifiable as men's woven trousers of heading 6203, HTSUSA. The issue is simply whether they are classifiable as of cotton or as of synthetic fibers.

In an effort to assure a measure of uniformity in classification in cases such as this, Customs Headquarters issued a memorandum on April 13, 1989, (file #084118) which set out the following criteria for, among other things, classification of lower body garments consisting of different fabrics or of textile and nontextile components.

For upper or lower body garments, if one component exceeds 60 percent of the visible surface area, that component will determine the classification of the garments unless the other component:

(1) forms the entire front of the garment; or (2) provides a visual and significant decorative effect (e.g. a substantial amount of lace); or
(3) is over 50 percent by weight of the garment; or (4) is valued at more than 10 times the primary component.

If no component comprises 60 percent of the visible surface area, or if any of the above four listed conditions are present, classification will be according to GRI 3(b) or 3 (c), as appropriate.

In this case, neither component comprises 60 percent or more of the visible surface area. Additionally, neither component meets any of the above listed conditions. Therefore, classification is to be determined utilizing GRI 3(b), i.e., that component which imparts the essential character, or GRI 3(c), i.e., the heading which appears last in the tariff schedule from among the headings which equally merit consideration.

The importer contends the essential character is imparted by the cotton fabric because it is greater in value, weight and surface area. However, the differences between the fabrics in these factors is not overly great. It must be noted that the nylon fabric serves an essential function with respect to these pants. The nylon fabric provides the duck hunter with added protection from the elements and better wear. Without the nylon fabric, the garment would simply be another pair of cotton trousers. It is the nylon fabric which makes the garment what it is, i.e., duck hunting pants. Therefore, Customs believes the essential character of this garment is imparted by the nylon fabric.


The garment at issue, style S30041, is classifiable as men's woven trousers of synthetic fibers in subheading 6203.43.4010, HTSUSA, textile category 647, dutiable at 29.7 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may 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 internal 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

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