United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0954486 - HQ 0954637 > HQ 0954607

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 954607

October 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954607 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0078

Mr. Robert J. Mele
Director of Imports
CSI Industries, Inc.
450 Winks Lane
Bensalem, Pa 19020

RE: Classification of a woman's upper body garment made of 65% polyester and 35% rayon that has long sleeves without cuffs; shoulder pads and a full front opening with shawl-like lapels; headings 6102, 6202, 6204 and 6211; Explanatory Notes to headings 6202 and 6102; jacket; blazer; Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88; HRL 952270

Dear Mr. Mele:

This is in response to your letter of June 9, 1993, in which you requested a tariff classification ruling for a woman's upper body garment, imported from Hong Kong, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was provided for our examination and will be returned to you with this ruling letter.


The garment at issue, style no. 414-933543 is a woman's unlined upper body garment that is made of 65% polyester and 35% rayon woven fabric. It has a full front opening, long sleeves without cuffs and shoulder pads. The garment has shawl-like lapels which fall free from the chest area and are held in place on the front panels by a matching fabric loop. The shawl-like lapels can be tied and would provide a closure around the hip area. The garment will be sold in sizes ranging from 14/16 to 26/28.


Is the subject upper body woven garment classifiable as a anorak, windbreaker, or similar article in heading 6202, HTSUS, as a blazer in heading 6204, HTSUS, or as an other garment of heading 6211, HTSUS?

The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (Guidelines) offer guidance to the trade community and Customs personnel as to various characteristics of garments. The Guidelines were developed and revised in accordance with the HTSUS 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. It is important to remember that the Guidelines are not hard and fast rules, but guidance in drawing distinctions between classes of garments. When determining the classification of garments such as those at issue here, we believe it is appropriate to look to the Guidelines.

The subject garment appears to possess some characteristics of a shirt and some features generally associated with jackets. In regard to garments such as this, the Guidelines list, on page 6, various features generally associated with jackets. Provided that the result is not unreasonable, if a garment possesses at least three of the listed features, it would be considered a jacket. In addition, according to the Guidelines, garments that do not possess at least three of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis.

In determining whether the instant garment is a jacket, we look to the garment's features. The garment exhibits two of the listed features: lapels and long sleeves without cuffs. The garment does not possess three features which would trigger classification as a jacket. However, taking into consideration the above features and the fact that the garment is designed to be worn over other outerwear garments and it provides the overall impression of a jacket, Customs views it reasonable to consider this garment a jacket.

The next issue to be decided is the proper heading under which this garment is classifiable. The first heading to consider is heading 6202, HTSUS, which provides for "[w]omen's or girls' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6204." The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) provide in regard to heading 6202, referring back to the ENs for heading 6102, that the garments of this heading are "characterised by the fact that they are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather." The subject garment does not have the general appearance, construction and weight normally associated with garments similar to those described in the above EN. The subject garment is not designed to protect the wearer from the elements and is, therefore, not similar to windbreakers or anoraks and is not classifiable in heading 6202, HTSUS.

The next possible heading under which this garment could be classified is heading 6204, HTSUS, which provides for "[w]omen's or girls' suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets, blazers..." The garment at issue is not classifiable in this heading as it does not have the structured styling or tailoring associated with jackets and blazers of this heading.

The third possible heading under which this garment could be classified is heading 6211, HTSUS, which provides for "[t]rack suits, ski suits and swimwear; other garments." Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 952270, dated February 1, 1993, classified a men's upper body woven garment that was made of 55% linen and 45% cotton in heading 6211, HTSUS. Customs determined that the garment was considered to be a jacket because it had pockets at or below the waist, a back vent and large jacket/coat style pockets. In addition, the garment created the overall impression of a jacket. However, this garment was excluded from classification in heading 6201, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, men's or boys' anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles, as the styling of the garment was not typical of garments worn for protection against the weather and it was not similar to the listed garments. As there was no more specific heading within which the garment could be classifiable, it was classifiable in heading 6211, HTSUS.

The subject garment is similar to the garment classified in HRL 952270. It is considered a jacket pursuant to the Guidelines and it is not classifiable as a garment similar to an anorak or windbreaker because it is not typical of those garments worn for protection against the weather. Furthermore, there is no more specific heading within which this garment could be classified. As a result, this garment is also classifiable in heading 6211, HTSUS.


The subject garment is classifiable in subheading 6211.43.0078, HTSUS, which provides for "[t]rack suits, ski- suits and swimwear; other garments: [o]ther garments, women's or girls': [o]f man-made fibers: [j]ackets and jacket-type garments
excluded from headings 6202." The rate of duty is 17% ad valorem and the textile category code 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 the importer 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 changeable 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: