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HQ 952069

September 11, 1992

CLA CO:R:C:T 952069 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0050

William J. Ramia, Jr.
Alexander International
Memphis International Airport
P.O. Box 30209
Memphis, TN 38130

RE: Classification of four styles of women's woven warm-up suits in sizes 38-52; EN to heading 6112, HTSUSA; Additional U.S. Note 1(a); garment must be in class or kind of merchandise whose principle use is in sporting activities involving running or jogging; heading 6211, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Ramia:

This is in response to your inquiry of May 13, 1992, requesting the tariff classification of ladies' woven warm-up suits to be imported from Hong Kong. Samples were submitted to this office for examination and will be returned to you under separate cover.


Four different styles were submitted for classification. The samples are all marked size "M". Three of the styles are virtually identical in construction. Styles 1600, 3652 and 1165 are made with a woven nylon shell fabric and a jersey knit 65% polyester/35% cotton lining. The jackets have full-front zipper openings with zip-through collars, side seam pockets and elasticized cuffs and waists. The pants are all in coordinating colors with elasticized waistbands and zippers at the ankles.

Style 3650 is elasticized at the waist amd has a peplum. The garment also has slant besom pockets at the waist and a storm flap with snaps.


Whether the warm-up suits are classifiable as track suits under heading 6211, HTSUSA?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and according to any pertinent section or chapter notes.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, track suits. In determining whether this heading provides the appropriate classification for the articles at issue, our initial inquiry is whether the subject merchandise possesses the general appearance of track suits and whether the nature of the fabric is appropriate for use in track suits. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6112, HTSUSA, which apply mutatis mutandis to the articles of heading 6211, HTSUSA, state that track suits are identifiable by "their general appearance and the nature of the fabric" and "are clearly meant to be worn exclusively or mainly in the pursuit of sporting activities." The EN describe a track suit as:

"A garment meant to cover the upper part of the body down to or slightly below the waist. It has long sleeves, with ribbed or elasticized bands, zip fasteners or other tightening elements at the cuffs... it has a partial or complete opening at the front, it is generally fastened by means of a slide fastener (zipper). It may or may not be fitted with a hood, a collar and pockets.

A second garment (a pair of trousers) which may either be close or loose fitting, with or without pockets, with an elasticized waistband, drawstring or other means of tightening at the waist, with no opening at the waist... such trousers may be fitted with ribbed or elasticized bands, slide fasteners (zippers) or other tightening elements at the bottom of the trouser-legs which generally go down to ankle level. They may or may not have footstraps."

All four styles have the general appearance of track suits: they cover the upper body to the waist, have long sleeves with elasticized wrists, complete zippered frontal openings and pockets. The pant components are loose-fitting trousers with elasticized waistbands and leg openings. These garments are made from a woven nylon fabric with a lightweight knit lining. The materials from which they are fabricated are frequently used in the manufacture of track suits. Based on the physical characteristics of the subject merchandise, all four styles
exhibit the appearance of track suits and all are constructed of materials typically used in the manufacture of track suits.

We note that although style 3650 possesses a storm flap and peplum, these features do not serve to preclude classification of this style as a track suit. Track suits are currently made in a wide range of innovative styles and colors that were not previously found on earlier versions of track suits. The presence of certain features, such as peplums and storm flaps, will not necessarily preclude classification of a garment as a track suit so long as the general appearance of the article still resembles that of a track suit and so long as these features in no way interfere with the wearer's ability to engage in sporting activities.

The EN state that for an article to be classifiable as a track suit it must be "clearly meant to be worn exclusively or mainly in the pursuit of sporting activities" [emphasis added]. The terms "exclusively" and "mainly" are contradictory for purposes of setting a standard for the classification of track suits; where it is sufficient for an article to be worn "mainly" in the pursuit of sports, there is no longer any requirement that such use be exclusive.

Quantifying "mainly" in a practical sense poses some difficulties. We are asked to determine if the main use of the articles at issue is for the pursuit of sporting activities. This office recognizes that garments such as these have several uses in that they are used as sportswear and they are increasingly being used as leisurewear. The design of the subject merchandise is such that they are comfortable, presentable and now commonly acceptable for use when walking, relaxing, shopping, etc... . Nevertheless, it is this office's opinion that the design of these four styles is undeniably conducive for use in sports: the fit is loose for mobility, the lining is made from a lightweight fabric which wicks away perspiration and the body is sufficiently covered so as to provide warmth when exercising outdoors. Therefore, absent compelling evidence that these garments are being marketed primarily as leisurewear, we will not preclude their classification as track suits. The articles at issue are well- suited for use in sports and the fact that they may also be used as leisurewear is not sufficient justification to warrant a finding that the "main" use of these garments is no longer for wear in pursuing sporting activity.

These garments will be sold in Catherine's, Inc. stores which specialize in clothing for larger size women. Although Catherine's, Inc. is not a sporting goods store, it is
nevertheless a logical place for the purchase of a large size track suit for women who wear sizes 38-52. In fact, this type of store may be the only place where women of this size can purchase any of their clothes, especially sportswear. The fact that these garments are being sold in a women's clothing store, and not a sporting good store, is not persuasive evidence that these garments are not track suits.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950203, dated November 21, 1991, Customs determined that the governing standard for the classification of track suits is "principle use" as set forth in Additional U.S. Note 1(a). In order for garments to be classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA, they must be in the class or kind of merchandise whose principle use is in sporting activities involving running or jogging. As mentioned supra, the articles at issue have all the design features, as well as the appearance, of track suits. Although they may be used in some instances as leisurewear, they nevertheless are of the kind of merchandise whose principle use is in sporting activities such as running or jogging. This is evidenced by the fact that most garments which are similar in appearance to the subject merchandise, and which incorporate the same features and are made from the same fabric, are the kind of garments principally used in sporting activities involving running or jogging. Accordingly, the articles at issue are properly classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA, as track suits.


Styles 1600, 3652, 1165 and 3650 are classifiable under subheading 6211.43.0050, HTSUSA, which provides for track suits, ski-suits and swimwear: other garments, women's or girls': of man-made fibers... track suits: other..., dutiable at a rate of 17% ad valorem. The textile quota category is 635.

The designated textile and apparel categories 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 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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