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HQ 953467

June 2, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953467 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6202.13.4005

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
1000 2nd Avenue
Suite 2200
Seattle, Washington 98104-1049

RE: Application for Further Review Protest 3001-92-100653 of August 4, 1992; overcoats, carcoats, etc. and similar coats vs. anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles; 6202.13.4005, HTSUSA v. 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Holland:

This is in response to Protest 3001-92-100653 against your decision to classify certain garments entered as subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, garments (water resistant anoraks, windbreakers or similar articles, of man-made fibers) in subheading 6202.13.4005, HTSUSA, as raincoats.


Two garments are at issue--style 7024 and style 7022. Style 7024 is made of 100 percent woven nylon fabric. The garment extends to the lower-thigh area and features long sleeves with elasticized cuffs, an attached hood that rolls up to form a collar, a partially elasticized bottom, a full front opening with button closure, slash pockets on each side, three buttons on each side which close vents that reach from the bottom of the garment to about the waist, shoulder pads and a full nylon lining.

Style 7022 is made of 65 percent polyester/35 percent cotton woven fabric. The garment extends to the mid-thigh area and features a full front opening with button closure, a collar, long sleeves with buttoned straps at the cuffs, a drawstring at the bottom, large shoulder pads, on each front panel an extra large patch pocket with a three-button closure and on the patch pocket a smaller patch pocket with a flap cover.

Both garments are claimed to be water resistant and that claim is not at issue herein.


Are styles 7024 and 7022 classifiable as similar to anoraks or windbreakers (water resistant) in subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, dutiable at 7.6 percent ad valorem or as raincoats in subheading 6202.13.4005, HTSUSA, dutiable at 29.5 percent ad valorem?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Raincoat is defined in Mary Brooks Picken's The Fashion Dictionary (1973) at page 295, as "[l]ightweight coat of water- proof fabric;" and at page 73, as "[w]aterproof coat worn over other garments as protection against the weather." However, anorak is defined in Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1984) at 111, as:

1. A heavy, hooded jacket: PARKA. 2. A light, waterproof, hooded jacket.

The same source defines raincoat as: "A waterproof or water- resistant coat."

The protestant has tried to differentiate the garments at issue from raincoats by drawing a distinction between water resistant and water repellant. If Customs were to follow precisely the above cited definitions, the garments at issue would not be classifiable as either raincoats or similar to anoraks. We believe, however, that it is generally recognized that many garments commonly viewed as rainwear are water resistant garments and the same is true of garments recognized as anoraks or similar to anoraks. We find little basis to reject classification as raincoats based on a distinction between water resistant versus water repellant.

The distinction upon which this classification issue truly turns is that between jackets versus coats. In a letter from the company that designed and merchandised the garments at issue, an effort is made to distinguish coats from jackets based upon -3-
function versus fashion. We find such a distinction to be a fallacy. In apparel, fashion and function are generally equally important to all concerned, i.e., manufacturer, retailer and consumer.

Customs has issued rulings dealing with the classification of garments as jackets versus coats. The classifications, however, appear to have been based on the overall appearance and impression of the garments concerned. In HRL 085294 of October 25, 1989, quoting from HRL 083536 of October 23, 1989, Customs distinguished parka-type garments and anoraks from coats by stating:

Like anoraks, parkas are worn by those engaging in outdoor winter sports, or by those who prefer casual styled outerwear. This distinguishes parkas and anoraks from overcoats, carcoats, storm coats, etc., which are normally cut long and full to fit over a sports jacket, suit, dress, etc.

The goods at issue were classified by the port as coats based on their length and generous cut so as to permit wear over other outer garments.

Customs views the length of a garment to be sometimes an influential factor in determining what a garment is. For instance, if these garments reached below the knee, their classification would not likely be an issue; most likely, all concerned would consider the garments to be coats. However, the garments extend to mid-thigh and lower-thigh lengths. This makes their classification more difficult because coats and jackets are both normally available in these lengths.

As to the fullness of their cut, coats and jackets alike must be cut to allow wear over other outer garments. Therefore, this characteristic is not particularly helpful.

The Court of International Trade in Pollak Import Export Corp. v. United States, Slip-Op 92.12 (Decided February 14, 1992), held that "the common meaning of a 'coat' is a garment chiefly worn outdoors, over other clothing, to provide protection from the elements." Unfortunately, this definition is not helpful in distinguishing coats from anoraks or windbreaker jackets.

In the instant case, both garments are treated so as to be water resistant and thus give the wearer some protection against inclement weather. Both garments are designed to be worn over other outer garments. The garments' lightweight fabric is often seen in anorak and windbreaker type garments, but the button closures and the type of pockets, in the case of style 7022, and -4-
length in the case of style 7024, are generally associated with coats. These garments have features which may be used to argue for classification as either coats or jackets.

As the port and the National Import Specialist for this merchandise, both believe these garments to be properly classified as coats, and the protestant has failed to present this office with presuasive evidence on which to rule otherwise, we concur with the decision of the port.


As the garments at issue meet the common definition of raincoat cited above, i.e., a water resistant coat, the classification decision of the port was correct and this protest should be denied in full.

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 which is forwarded to the protestant.


John Durant, Director

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