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HQ 953109

February 24, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953109 ch


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2046

Donald A. Keller
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
19700 Susana Road
Compton, California 90221

RE: Classification of garment as shirt or jacket; heading 6201 v. 6205; men's jacket v. men's shirt; garment having features of both a jacket and shirt classified as a shirt; presence of hood not determinative when there are several shirt features.

Dear Mr. Keller:

This is in response to your letter dated November 13, 1992, requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for a hooded upper body garment. A sample was provided to our office.


The subject merchandise, reference number N109197, is a woven doublecloth garment designed to be worn over the upper part of the body. The garment has a full front opening with button closures, a breast pocket and long sleeves with shirt-style cuffs. It is yarn dyed and lightly brushed, with two or more colors in the warp. The sample has a permanently attached knit hood with a drawcord. The hood is comprised of 85% cotton and 15% polyester fleece. The body of the article is comprised of cotton.

Notwithstanding the representations of your client, we are of the opinion that the garment is relatively lightweight and possesses shirt-style buttons.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable under heading 6201, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' overcoats...windbreakers and similar articles, or heading 6205, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' shirts?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

The subject article possesses features found in both men's jackets and shirts. The provisions of the HTSUSA and the relevant Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (which are the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level) do not address this overlap. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to look to the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, for guidance.

The Guidelines were developed and revised in accordance with the HTSUSA to insure uniformity, to facilitate statistical classification, and to assist in the determination of the appropriate textile categories established for the administration of the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles. They offer guidance to the trade community and Customs personnel as to various characteristics of garments. Although the Guidelines set forth persuasive distinctions between classes of garments, they are not binding rules.

The Guidelines, at pages 5 and 6, offer guidance with regard to the classification of shirt-jackets:

Category designation: Other coats, men's and boys'

Three-quarter length or longer garments commonly known as coats, and other garments such as...waist length jackets fall within this category...A coat is an outerwear garment which covers either the upper part of the body or both the upper and lower parts of the body. It is normally worn over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for the wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both. (Emphasis added).

Shirt-jackets have full or partial front openings and sleeves, and at the least cover the upper body from the neck area to the waist...The following criteria may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for its wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both:

1. Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard.

2. A full or partial lining.

3. Pockets at or below the waist.

4. Back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams.

5. Eisenhower styling.

6. A belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets.

7. Large jacket/coat style buttons, toggles or snaps, a heavy-duty zipper or other heavy- duty closure, or buttons fastened with reinforcing thread for heavy-duty use.

8. Lapels.

9. Long sleeves without cuffs.

10. Elasticized or rib-knit cuffs.

11. Drawstring, elastic or rib-knit waistband.

Garments having features of both jackets and shirts will be categorized as coats if they possess at least three of the above listed features and if the result is not unreasonable...Garments not possessing at least three of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis.

The instant garment does not appear to possess any of the features enumerated above. Although your client points out that this article is constructed of double cloth woven together "to give the effect of a jacket lining," it in fact is without such a lining. The button closures are not of the large, oversized, jacket/coat variety which are normally found on an outer garment. Although we have not been provided with the weight of this article, it appears to be of a lightweight construction commonly found in men's flannel shirts. As the garment does not possess three of the listed features, we must decide whether it would be normally worn over another garment on an individual basis.

The principal jacket feature of the sample is the permanent hood stitched to its body and the corresponding absence of a shirt collar. In HRL 950777, dated March 2, 1992, we ruled that a men's woven pullover with a permanently attached hood was classifiable as a shirt on the basis of other features. Thus, the presence of a permanent hood on the instant garment is not dispositive of its classification.

On the other hand, the garment has shirt-style cuffs and buttons, as well as a shirt placket. Excluding the hood, its appearance is that of a man's flannel shirt, with a shirttail that can be tucked inside the waistband of a pair of pants. Moreover, the fabric is soft to the touch and would be comfortable worn against the skin. The fit of this article is such that a coat could be worn over it with ease. We find that this garment possesses attributes that make it unlikely that it will be worn over another garment. Hence, it is classifiable in the category for men's shirts.

Where a textile garment is classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected pursuant to the terms of GRI 3. In this case the garment is comprised of a woven cotton body, and a knit hood which is 85% cotton and 15% polyester fleece. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. It is the body of the instant garment that gives this article its essential character, and not its hood. The body of this article consists of cotton. It follows that the subject merchandise is classifiable under heading 6205, men's or boys' shirts, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6205.20.2046, HTSUSA, which provides for men's or boys' shirts, of cotton, with two or more colors in the warp and/or the filling, napped. The applicable rate of duty is 21% ad valorem. The textile quota category is 340.

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 the subject of frequent negotiations 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 issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the 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 the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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