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HQ 954707

October 14, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954707 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6204.19.2000

Mr. Jeffrey Wilson
Spiegel, Inc.
3500 Lacey Road
Downers Grove, Illinois

RE: Classification of a woman's jacket and skirt set; jacket with a detachable lapel

Dear Mr. Wilson:

This ruling is in response to your request of June 28, 1993, regarding the classification of a woman's jacket and skirt set. The garments will be imported from China.


The submitted sample, style 38-8022, consists of a jacket and skirt made of 50 percent polyester/50 percent acetate woven crepe fabric. Both garments are lined with 100 percent acetate woven fabric.

The jacket is constructed with eight panels sewn together lengthwise (two front, two back and four side). It has long sleeves without cuffs, besom pockets at the waist, hidden shoulder pads, and a full front double-breasted opening secured by one of the two visible buttons and one hidden button. The jacket features a detachable lapel designed to be worn on the right side of the garment. The lapel is made with the same 50 percent polyester/50 percent acetate woven fabric used to make the jacket and skirt and a woven satin-like fabric which is stitched to the outer surface of the lapel. Simulated rhinestones, plastic beads and plastic gold balls are sewn onto the outer surface of the lapel for a decorative effect. The lapel features five button holes for attachment to the jacket which has five buttons just on the inside of the right front panel. The lapel also attaches to the jacket with two metal snaps; one on the inside of the jacket and one at the shoulder. When the lapel is removed, only the metal snap at the shoulder is visible. -2-

The skirt is a straight design and features a one and one- half inch waistband with four belt loops, a zipper closure at the back which is also secured by a button at the waistband, and a slit in the front at the left side. The skirt is shaped with two darts in the front and four darts in the back. The skirt is plain without rhinestones, plastic beads, plastic gold balls, or any other decorative trimming.


Is style 38-8022 classifiable as a suit in heading 6204, HTSUSA?

How is the detachable lapel classified?


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]."

Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, Section XI, states, in pertinent part:

For the purposes of headings Nos. 6203 and 6204:

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 trousers, breeches or shorts (other than swimwear), a skirt or a divided skirt, having neither braces nor bibs, 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, possibly with a tailored waistcoat in addition.

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.

Although a metal snap is visible on the jacket when the lapel is removed, the snap is of the same color as the jacket and is extremely small making it virtually unnoticeable; therefore, in our view, it is de minimis, not affecting the classification of the garment. [See, HRL 084849 of February 23, 1990 in which 1/8-inch wide same color piping on jacket alone ruled not to preclude classification as suit.] The jacket (with the lapel removed) and the skirt meet the requirements set out in Note 3(a) for classification as a suit, i.e. the jacket consists of four or more panels and the jacket and skirt are of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition.

As to the removable lapel, General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 provides that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, whether by application of GRI 2(b) or for any other reason, the goods are to be classified according to the provisions of GRI 3. Since the suit is classifiable in heading 6204, HTSUSA, and the lapel is, prima facie, classifiable in heading 6217, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up clothing accessories, application of GRI 3 is necessary.

GRI 3(a) provides, inter alia, that "when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific. . . ." GRI 3(b) provides, in pertinent part, "composite goods . . . made up of different components, . . ., which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the . . . component which gives them their essential character, . . . ." The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, define composite goods as follows:
composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The lapel is an accessory item to the suit. It is specially adapted by the button-holes and snaps and matching buttons and snaps to be attached to the jacket of this suit. Therefore, Customs views the suit and removable lapel as composite goods. The lapel is specially adapted for use with the suit, is not of a class or kind of accessory that would normally be sold separately and is mutually complementary with the suit.

Classification of the removable lapel and suit as composite goods follows Customs position in earlier rulings regarding suits entered with pinned on handkerchiefs (not of the kind normally offered for sale separately). See, HRL 086009 of February 7, 1989, modified by HRL 086690 of July 23, 1990; HRL 950563 of February 14, 1992.

GRI 3(b) provides that classification of composite goods is to be determined by that component which imparts the essential character to the good, if that can be determined. In the case of garments with accessories, such as is the case here, Customs believes it is the garment which imparts the essential character as the accessory merely acts to enhance the garment in some way. Therefore, the suit and removable lapel are classified together under the provision for the suit in heading 6204, HTSUSA.

The suit at issue is 50 percent polyester and 50 percent acetate. A women's woven polyester suit would be classifiable in subheading 6204.13.20, HTSUSA; one of acetate would be classifiable in subheading 6204.19.20, HTSUSA. Subheading note 2(A) provides:

Products of chapters 56 to 63 containing two or more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section for the classification of a product of chapters 50 to 55 consisting of the same textile materials.

Note 2, Section XI, provides, in relevant part:

(A) Goods classifiable in chapters 50 to 55 or in heading 5809 or 5902 and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single material.

When no one textile material predominates by weight, the goods are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which is covered by the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Based on your submission that the suit is of 50 percent polyester/50 percent acetate fabric, following Note 2(A), Section XI, the suit is classifiable as of acetate (an artificial fiber).


Style 38-8022 is classifiable in subheading 6204.19.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for women's woven suits of other textile fibers, of artificial fibers. Goods classified in this subheading fall within textile category 644 and are dutiable at 37.5 cents per kilogram plus 27.5 percent ad valorem.

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 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

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