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HQ 954810

November 9, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954810 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6211.31.0045

Manny Seligmann, Esq.
Tower Group International, Inc.
4111-A Rose Lake Drive
P.O. Box 19169
Charlotte, North Carolina 28219

RE: Classification of a woven and knit wool garment for men; Memorandum 084118, dated April 13, 1989; Note 8 to chapter 62, HTSUSA; garment similar to a cardigan; HQ 087043, dated July 30, 1990

Dear Mr. Seligmann:

This is in response to your letter, dated July 22, 1993, on behalf of your client, Tweeds, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of a men's woven and knit wool garment. A sample was submitted to this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The submitted sample, referred to as Style number 34973, has a knit wool back, knit wool sleeves and a woven wool front. The woven portion is lined with woven acetate. The percentage breakdown between knit and woven portions is as follows:

69 / 31 67 / 33 47 / 53

The garment has a full frontal opening with button closure and two pockets at the waist. When buttoned, the upper portion of the garment features a V-shape neckline extending from the collarbone to the top button. The sample garment buttons left over right. You state that the garment is unisex and may be worn by both men and women.


What is the classification of the submitted garment?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

GRI 2(b) states that goods consisting of more than one material are to be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) states that the heading which provides the most specific description is to be preferred to one that is more general. However, when two headings each refer to only part of the materials in mixed goods, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific. Consequently, goods which are not classifiable under 3(a) are analyzed as per GRI 3(b) which directs that the goods be classified as if they consisted of the material which gives them their essential character.

In a garment such as the present, comprising of a combination of woven and nonwoven components, a determination must be made to establish the essential character of the garment as directed by GRI 3(b). In Memorandum 084118, dated April 13, 1989, Customs stated that certain criteria shall be applied in the classification of garments consisting of different fabrics or of textile and nontextile components. The memorandum states in pertinent part:
a. For upper or lower body garments, if one component exceeds 60 percent of the visible surface area, that component will determine the classification of the garment unless the other component:

(1) forms the entire front of the garment; or (2) provides a visual and significant decorative effect (e.g. a substantial amount of lace); or
(3) is over 50 percent by weight of the garment; or (4) is valued at more than 10 times the primary component.

If no component comprises 60 percent of the visible surface area, or if any of the above four listed conditions are present, classification will be according to GRI 3(b) or 3(c), as appropriate.

The subject garment features the knit component exceeding 60 percent of the visible surface area as well as exceeding 50 percent by weight of the garment. However, as the woven component forms the entire front of the garment, a condition explicitly stated in Memorandum 084118 as affecting the essential character determination of a garment, classification must be determined by application of GRI 3(b) or 3(c), as appropriate. It is the opinion of this office that the woven wool component attributes a substantial visual impact to the garment and thereby imparts the essential character of the garment.

Note 8 to chapter 62, HTSUSA states that garments designed for left over right closure shall be regarded as men's garments unless the cut of the garment clearly indicates that it is designed for one or the other of the sexes. As the subject garment, a size medium, is large enough to be an amply cut men's medium and has no features indicating that it is other than a men's garment, it is classified as a men's garment.

For classification purposes, this garment is not the type of jacket classified in either heading 6201 or 6203, HTSUSA. Heading 6201, HTSUSA, provides for men's or boys' overcoats, car- coats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), wind- cheaters and similar articles. Heading 6203, HTSUSA, provides for inter alia, men's or boy's suits, ensembles, jackets and blazers.

As was determined by Customs in HQ 087043, dated July 30, 1990, regarding a similar garment:

The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state for Heading 6201 that the Explanatory Notes to Heading 6101 are applicable. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 6101 state the following:

This heading covers a category of...garments for men or boys, characterized by the fact that they are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather...

The garment at issue, which is similar to a cardigan sweater, is not specifically provided for in Heading 6201 and is not included in the category of articles listed in the Explanatory Notes applicable to Heading 6201. In addition, although it would be worn over a shirt, the garment at issue would not generally be worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather, since a jacket could be worn over this garment outdoors. Therefore it is not classifiable in heading 6201.

Similarly, in the instant case, the garment is not the type of garment intended by either heading 6201 or 6203, HTSUSA. The subject garment neither provides protection against inclement weather as anticipated by the garments in heading 6201, HTSUSA, nor features the structured styling or tailoring normally attributed to suit-type garments of heading 6203, HTSUSA.

As no heading specifically provides for the sample garment, classification devolves to heading 6211, HTSUSA, which includes a breakout for jackets and jacket-type garments.


The submitted garment, referred to as Style number 34973, is classified in subheading 6211.31.0045, HTSUSA, which provides for men's other woven wool garments, jacket-type garments. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 434.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), and issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) categories, your client should contact the local Customs Office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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