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HQ 951299

September 1, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951299 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6110.30.3020

Ellen E. Rosenberg, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of Women's Knitwear; jacket; sweater; Heading 6110

Dear Ms. Rosenberg:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of February 5, 1992, requesting a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) on behalf of Dillard Department Stores, Inc., for three samples of women's knitwear. The samples were submitted for examination. The merchandise will be produced in Taiwan.


The garments at issue include three samples of women's knitwear. The first, Style 2217106 consists of 100 percent acrylic fibers. The second garment at issue, Style 2217009 is made from 80 percent acrylic and 20 percent nylon fibers. The third garment at issue, Style 2217000 consists of 90 percent acrylic and 10 percent nylon fibers. All of the samples are constructed from coarsely knit fabric that measures less than nine stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. All of the garments contain a full front opening without a means of closure, inside shoulder pads, long sleeves, and two inset side seam pockets below the waist. Also, all of the sweaters extend from the neck and shoulders to the top of the thighs. Styles 2217106 and 2217009 have the same capping around the neck and placket, but the sleeves and the bottoms of those garments are finished by a rib knit fabric.


Whether the instant garments are classifiable as a jacket in Heading 6102, HTSUSA, or a sweater in Heading 6110, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative Section of Chapter notes, taken in order.

Heading 6102 which is the provision for women's coats states:

Women's or girls' overcoats, carcoats, capes, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted...

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6102 state that garments classified in that heading are generally worn over other clothing for protection against the weather. However, the merchandise at issue is not necessarily classifiable under Heading 6102 simply because it is worn over other outer clothing.

Heading 6110 provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The EN to Heading 6110 state that the heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, designed to cover the upper parts of the body (jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles).

You refer to the Textile and Apparel Category Guidelines, C.I.E. 13/88 to substantiate your claim that the instant garments are classifiable under Heading 6102 as a jacket instead of Heading 6110. C.I.E. 13/88, at 5, describes women's coats as three-quarter length or longer garments and other garments such as ski jackets, parkas and waist length jackets. These garments are worn as outerwear which cover either the upper part of the body or both the upper and lower parts of the body. Garments in this category have a full or partial front opening, with or without a means of closure.

C.I.E. 13/88, at 20, defines knit sweaters and cardigans as garments that cover the upper body from the neck or shoulders to the waist or below (as far as the mid-thigh area). These garments contain essentially nine or fewer stitches per two centimeters measured in the horizontal direction.

You contend that because of the general appearance of the sample merchandise, including the heavy weight, and the length, which exceeds the mid-thigh, that the garments should be classified as an overcoat. However, as stated in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088077, dated October 25, 1990, "[G]uidelines are just that, guides to ascertaining the common or commercial designation of a textile article. C.I.E. 13/88 is not an immutable document. We believe that there may be garments which exceed the mid-thigh length criteria and which are still, because of their fabric, construction, and styling, commercially and commonly known as sweaters." Moreover, the mid-thigh length is subject to variation depending on the measurements of the wearer.

Finally, after examining the general appearance of the instant merchandise, they contain the characteristics of sweaters and not overcoats. The fabric forming the sample garments provides for warmth and not protection. There is no insulation that would protect the wearer against the elements (wind, rain, snow, etc.). Therefore, the garments in question are classifiable in Heading 6110.

We have carefully considered the information and legal positions, and prior Customs rulings which you submitted on behalf of your client, as well as the arguments you presented at a conference with members of my staff. However after looking at all of the data in its totality, we are convinced that the instant garments are properly classifiable as sweaters in Heading 6110.


As a result of the foregoing, the garments in question are classifiable in subheading 6110.30.3020, HTSUSA, which provides for sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers, other. The rate of duty is 34.2 percent ad valorem, and the textile quota category is 646.

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 the 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 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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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