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HQ 953298

June 14, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953298 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6204.11.0000

Kimberly Kotchka
The Leslie Fay Companies, Inc.
1400 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10018

RE: Reconsideration of District Ruling 880616 (12/22/92); modified in part; garments at issue classifiable as a suit; GRI 3(b); Note 3 to Chapter 62; HRL 086009 (2/7/90); HRL 086690

Dear Ms. Kotchka:

On December 22, 1992, the Customs district office in Chicago issued you District Ruling (DD) 880616 which classified four styles of women's two piece garments. Upon review, we are of the opinion that the classification of one of the styles, Style 836N, is in error and is accordingly modified. Our analysis follows.


Style 836N consists of a tailored women's jacket and skirt with a color coordinated scarf. The jacket and the skirt are manufactured from identical 100 percent woven wool fabric. The jacket consists of six panels sewn together lengthwise (two in the front, two at the sides, and two in the rear). The garment is fully lined and features a full front opening that is secured by three buttons. The jacket has a notched lapel, shoulder pads and long hemmed sleeves without cuffs. The bottom of each sleeve is decorated with two buttons. The jacket also has two chest pockets and two patch pockets below the waist. The skirt is fully lined and has a waistband with one button and partial zipper back opening, a kick pleat and a hemmed bottom. The jacket and skirt are made of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition. A 100 percent polyester woven print scarf, which measures approximately 14 x 56 inches with fringed ends, is pinned to the shoulder of the jacket. The scarf, which is not permanently attached to the jacket, serves as an accessory item.


Whether the articles at issue are classifiable separately as a jacket, skirt and a scarf, or as a suit?


Classification of merchandise under the tariff is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.

The threshold issue is whether the subject merchandise meets the requirements of a suit as set forth in Note 3 to Chapter 62 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). This provision reads:

"[F]or purposes of headings 6203 and 6204:

(a) The term "suit" means a set of garments composed of two or three pieces made up in identical fabric and comprising:

- one garment designed to cover the lower part of the body and consisting of ... a skirt ... and,

- one suit coat or jacket the outer shell of which, exclusive of sleeves, consists of four or more panels, designed to cover the upper part of the body ... .

All of the components of a suit must be of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition; they must also be of corresponding or compatible size ... ."

The garments at issue meet the requirements set forth above: the jacket has six panels and the jacket and skirt are made up from identical fabric which has the same construction, styling, color and composition. Accordingly, the jacket and skirt components of Style 836N comprise a suit classifiable under heading 6204, HTSUSA.

Our next inquiry is whether the scarf is classifiable with the suit, or whether it is classifiable separately. We note that although the scarf is sold at retail together with the suit as an accessory item, it nevertheless is prima facie classifiable under a different heading than the suit. Accordingly, GRI 3 provides the relevant analysis in this instance.

GRI 3(a) mandates that of several applicable headings, the one that provides the most specific description shall be
preferred. Where two or more headings each refer to part only of the items put up in a set for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific. In this case, heading 6214, HTSUSA, which provides for scarves, and heading 6204, HTSUSA, which provides for, in pertinent part, suits, are equally specific inasmuch as both pertain to only a part of the subject merchandise. Our analysis therefore continues with GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(b) provides that:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In applying the above criteria to the merchandise at issue, it is clear that the jacket and skirt components overwhelmingly impart the essential character to the set and classification of the jacket, skirt and scarf as a suit under heading 6204, HTSUSA, is proper.

Although the scarf is of a different fabric from the jacket and skirt, we note that this office has previously held that accessory articles similar to the scarf at issue were deemed to constitute sets and were no bar to classification as a suit or ensemble. See Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRL's) 086009, dated February 7, 1990 and HRL 086690, dated July 23, 1990.


DD 880616 is modified in part.

The jacket, skirt and scarf comprising Style 836N are classifiable as a suit under subheading 6204.11.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for women's or girls' suits, of wool or fine animal hair, dutiable at a rate of 17 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category for the jacket and skirt is 444. For entry purposes, the scarf is classifiable under subheading 6214.30.0000, HTSUSA, with a textile quota category of 659.

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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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 the local Customs office.

In order to ensure uniformity in Customs' classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1), DD 880616 is partially modified to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.

This partial modification is not retroactive. However, DD 880616 will not be valid for importations of Style 836N arriving in the United States after the date of this notice. If it can be shown that you relied on DD 880616 to your detriment, you may apply to this office for relief. However, you should be aware that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other agencies.


John Durant, Director

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