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HQ 950116

December 7, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950116 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6201.93.3510; 6201.93.3520; 6210.40.1020

Ms. Patricia McCauley
District Director
U.S. Customs Service
1717 East Loop, Room 401
Houston, TX 77029

RE: Application for Further Review of Multiple Protests. Quilted anoraks of plastics coated fabrics.

Dear Ms. McCauley:

This is in reply to your Memorandum PRO-2-H:C of August 6, 1991, transmitting documentation for sixteen (16) Protests and Applications for Further Review, as follows. Please be aware that this response is issued to your office in conjunction with HRL 952958 of this date.



The above-listed Protests were filed by Givens & Kelly, on behalf of their client, on the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of ski jackets. The liquidations have also been protested by the importer's surety, which claimed that since the entries were not liquidated within one year from the date of entry, the resulting extensions were contrary to the provisions of section 504, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. Complying with the surety's request, action on these Protests has been suspended until the importer's Protests have been ruled upon. If necessary, the surety's protests will be answered in a separate document.

The protests involve a number of styles of men's and boys' jackets entered under subheading 6201.93.3000, HTSUSA, as water resistant woven anoraks and similar garments. After entry, many samples were analyzed by the Customs Laboratory and tested in accordance with the water resistance requirements of Additional U.S. Note 2 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA. When the garments at issue failed the aforementioned test (see, e.g., Laboratory Report #5-90-10272-001 of January 26, 1990), the importer requested classification under heading 6210, HTSUSA, as garments made up of, inter alia, coated fabrics. This request was denied, and counsel entered these Protests.

Counsel has submitted a chart covering the style numbers and their applicable Protest numbers. We duplicate the consequential information on the following page. The first numeral in the Style designation indicates whether the style is men's (3XXX), boys' (4XXX), or men's "Big & Tall" (5XXX). Styles bearing the suffix MS or BU are made up of the same fabric as those of the same number without any suffix. Style 4729 is made up of the same fabric of Style 3729. Style 5X30 is made up of the same fabric of Style 5X29. Style 3727 is made up of the same fabric of Style 4727.

Style Numbers Sorted By Protest Number:

Protest Number Style Number
5301-0-000143 P3661
5301-0-000204 P3703
5301-0-000243 P4709
5301-0-000406 P3705
5301-0-000577 P3727A
5301-1-000066 P3729
5301-1-100196 P3709
5301-1-100634 T3741
5301-9-000682 P3729MS


Whether the garments at issue are water resistant; if not, are they made up of fabrics coated with plastics, as such fabrics are defined by the HTSUSA?


Water Resistant

Although the importer has requested classification of all garments at issue as water resistant, no documentation countering the aforementioned Customs Laboratory Reports has been submitted. It is appropriate, therefore, to reject importers's first claimed classification, and proceed to the alternative.

Garments Classifiable in Heading 6210, HTSUSA Quilted Garments - Styles P3661 & P3721

The Subheading Explanatory Note to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, excludes from classification in heading 6210 articles made from quilted textile products in the piece of heading 5811, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. Counsel has argued that the above-cited styles are not within the Explanatory Note's exclusion: "[r]ather, they were made up of non-quilted piece goods, similar to the other styles.... The quilting' did not occur until, and as a part of, assembly." In HRL 087274 of September 17, 1990, however, we held that notwithstanding the language of the Explanatory Note, the principle of the Note requires extension of the exclusion to all garments which are made up of quilted fabrics, whenever such quilting takes place. Therefore, irrespective of the above styles' potential coating, HRL 087274 would require that they are not classified in heading 6210, HTSUSA.

In its June 25, 1992, submission, counsel argued that HRL 087274 was decided incorrectly. Specifically, counsel noted that:

{1} excluding garments constructed of heading 5811 "quilted textile products in the piece" from classification in heading 6210 is required not by the Subheading Explanatory Note (which merely aids us in interpreting the HTSUSA), but by legal Note 2(a)(6) to Chapter 59. This Note states that irrespective of the presence of a visible coating, textile products of heading 5811 are excluded from classification under heading 5903 as coated fabrics. Since heading 6210 provides for, inter alia, garments constructed of coated fabrics of heading 5903, the exclusion from heading 6210 of garments constructed of fabrics excluded from heading 5903 is the only logical result possible.

{2} the "virtually identical garments" language in HRL 087274 is faulty, in that Congress recognized, as evidenced by the language of Note 2(a)(6) to Chapter 59, that there are significant differences between non- quilted coated fabrics and quilted coated fabrics.

{a} The quilted look in ski jackets is more a statement of style than a required assembly process.

{b} Quilted textile products in the piece are rarely used in garments, as they are much harder to assemble and fit. Quilting plain fabric during garment assembly more economically provides the
"quilted" look.

{c} Quilted textile products in the piece are made by piece goods manufacturers. Garments quilted during assembly are made by garment manufacturers. Congress has a long history, via higher tariffs and stricter quotas, of protecting one domestic industry over another.

We agree with counsel that HRL 087274 erred in holding that the "principle" of the Explanatory Note outweighed its explicit language. HRL 087274 has therefore been revoked in HRL 955466 of this date. Accordingly, these two styles will be grouped with the remaining fabrics below. To aid Customs field personnel in distinguishing between "jackets quilted during assembly" and "jackets made from quilted-in-the-piece' fabric" (hereinafter "QIP fabric"), we are incorporating the following descriptions. As always, statements by the importer as to when quilting takes place may be considered as evidence of final classification.

Jackets Quilted During Assembly

These jackets are assembled of two components, an interliner and a shell, one or both of these having been quilted as they are assembled. The interliner and the shell are then sewn together in an inside-out fashion to create a bag that is completely sealed, except for a six inch section of the sleeve seam that is left unsewn. These inside-out components are then reversed by pulling the bag through the whole in the sleeve wall. The jacket assembly is completed when six inches of "suture" stitches close the hole in the sleeve and create the jacket's only readily visible seam. The exposed suture stitches confirm that the jacket has been quilted in assembly. A second indication is the near symmetrical quilting stitches in the different jacket parts (e.g., fronts and backs) that are often situated to match up carefully where the two parts are joined.

Jackets Made From "Quilted-in-the-Piece" Fabric

The components of these jackets are cut from QIP fabric (heading 5811, HTSUSA). The two stitches that are used to assemble these components are indicators that one or more components are QIP. These stitches appear on inside seams and are either not readily visible (the "security" stitch), or are totally invisible (the "overlock" stitch) when viewing the seam from the outside shell side.

Security Stitch

A security stitch is applied on the inside of the jacket to pierce, in turn, the first component's interliner, its shell, and then the second components shell and interliner. The security stitch serves to join the components of the jacket. The stitch is hardly visible when viewing the resulting seam from the outside shell side of the jacket.

Overlock Stitch

An overlock stitch is designed to prevent unraveling and is placed along the cut edges of the four or more fabrics that have been sewn in place by the above- described security stitch. The overlock stitch, which is added parallel to the security stitch, neatly wraps the cut edges of the four fabrics and keeps those edges from fraying. The overlock stitch is visible only when one views the seam from the inside of the jacket.

Remaining Garments

Heading 6210, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, garments made up of fabrics classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA. Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902. Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading No. 59.03 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, ... other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of colour; * * *

The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with the naked
eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. Any change in the "feel" of the material is not taken into account. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual characteristic of the fabric in order for the fabric to be considered coated with plastics.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, we have come to the following conclusions. Garments whose fabrics styles are considered coated are classifiable in subheading 6210.40.1020; those of uncoated fabrics are appropriately placed in subheading 6201.93.3510, HTSUSA, if men's, or 6201.93.3520, HTSUSA, if boys'.



As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified as follows:

Styles P5729, P3721, P3661, P4727, P4727BU, P4727MS, P4721, P3725, P3729MS, P3727, P3727A, P3727MS, P4725, P4729BU, P4729MS, P5730

... under subheading 6210.40.1020, HTSUSA, textile category 634, as garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907, other men's or boys' garments, of man-made fibers, other, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles. The applicable rate of duty is 7.6 percent ad valorem.

Styles P4701, P3703, P3733, T3741, P3705, P3709, P4703, P4709

... if men's, under subheading 6201.93.3510, HTSUSA, textile category 634, as men's or boys' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6203, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), of man-made fibers, other, other, other, other, men's. The applicable rate of duty is 29.5 percent ad valorem.

... if boys', under subheading 6201.93.3520, HTSUSA, textile category 634, as men's or boys' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6203, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), of man-made fibers, other, other, other, other, boys'. The applicable rate of duty is 29.5 percent ad valorem.

The Protests should be granted or denied as follows:

Protest Number Style # . Results of Style #. . . . . Disposition of Protest
5301-0-000143. P3661 . . Coated. . . . . . Denied in Part . . P3721 . . Coated. . and Granted in
. . P4701 . . Uncoated. Part
5301-0-000204. P3703 . . Uncoated. . . . . Denied in Full . . P3705 . . Uncoated.
5301-0-000243. P4709 . . Uncoated. . . . . Denied in Part . . P4725 . . Coated. . and Granted in
. . P4727 . . Coated. . Part
. . P5729 . . Coated. .
5301-0-000406. P3705 . . Uncoated. . . . . Denied in Part . . P3709 . . Uncoated. and Granted in
. . P3725 . . Coated. . Part
. . P3727 . . Coated. .
. . P3727MS . . . Coated. .
. . P3729 . . Coated. . . . . . Denied in Part . . P3733 . . Uncoated. and Granted in
. . P4703 . . Uncoated. Part
. . P4721 . . Coated. .
. . P4727 . . Coated. .
. . P4729 . . Coated. .
. . P4729MS . . . Coated. .
5301-0-000577. P3727A. . . . Coated. . . . . . Denied in Part . . P4727 . . Coated. . and Granted in
. . P4727BU . . . Coated. . Part
. . P4727MS . . . Coated. .
. . P4729BU . . . Coated. .
. . P5729 . . Coated. .
. . T3741 . . Uncoated.
5301-1-000066. P3729 . . Coated. . . . . . Denied in Part . . P4701 . . Uncoated. and Granted in
5301-1-100196. P3709 . . Uncoated. . . . . Denied in Part . . P3721 . . Coated. . and Granted in
. . P4709 . . Uncoated. Part
. . P5730 . . Coated. .
5301-1-000634. T3741 . . Uncoated. . . . . Denied in Full 5301-9-000682. P3729MS . Coated. . . . . . . . Granted in Full

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to the mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations & Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS, and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis , Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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