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 0954856 - HQ 0954937 > HQ 0954873

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 954873

November 16, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954873 CMR


TARIFF NO: 6110.90.0066

Harold Grunfeld, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 245 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10167-0002

RE: Classification of certain open-work crocheted upper body garments; sweater v. vest

Dear Mr. Grunfeld:

This ruling is in response to your request of July 8, 1993, on behalf of Mast Industries, regarding the classification of certain open-work crocheted garments which will be imported by your client from Hong Kong. Four sample garments were received by this office along with your submission. You have withdrawn your request for classification regarding style LT6335. Therefore, it is not discussed herein.


The samples at issue are women's openwork crocheted, sleeveless garments constructed of 55 percent ramie and 45 percent cotton fibers. Style LT6430 has a three button, full-front opening and a V-neckline. The garment is constructed with an openwork crocheted pattern of six-petal flowers with solid petals. A smaller version of the flower pattern is used as an edging at the neck, placket, armholes and bottom.

Style LT6431 has a three button, full-front opening and a V- neckline. The garment is constructed with an openwork crocheted pattern of eight-petal flowers with open petals inside an eight- pointed circular design alternating vertically with a diamond- shaped design. The garment features scalloped edging at the neck, placket, armholes and bottom.

Style LT6432 has a seven button, full-front opening and a V- neckline. The garment is constructed with an openwork crocheted pattern featuring a recurring diamond pattern that is stitched -2-
about 3-1/2 inches apart in a vertical direction and about 3 inches apart in a horizontal direction. It has scalloped edging at the neck, placket, armholes and bottom.


Are the submitted samples classifiable as sweater vests or simply as vests of heading 6110, HTSUSA?

Is statistical note 3, Chapter 61, applicable to the garments at issue and if so, how are stitches in openwork crocheted garments to be counted?


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]."

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. It is agreed that the samples at issue, consisting of a 55 percent ramie/45 percent cotton blend, are classifiable within subheading 6110.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for the articles of heading 6110, of other textile materials. The classification issue of whether the garments are sweater vests or simply vests becomes relevant at the statistical level where a distinction is made between these articles for classification purposes. If classifiable as sweater vests, the garments fall in subheading 6110.90.0042, HTSUSA, and are subject to textile category 845; if classifiable as vests, other than sweater vests, the garments fall in subheading 6110.90.0066, HTSUSA, subject to textile category 859.

Statistical note 3 of Chapter 61 provides:

For purposes of this chapter, statistical provisions for sweaters include garments, whether or not known as pullovers, vests or cardigans, the outer surfaces of which are constructed essentially with 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters measured in the horizontal direction.

Your submission contains two arguments for classification of the subject garments as vests. The first argument is that statistical note 3 of Chapter 61 does not apply to openwork crocheted garments. The second argument is that openwork crocheted vests are commonly and commercially known as vests and not as sweater vests. We will address the latter argument first. -3-

The existence of statistical note 3, defining sweaters for purposes of chapter 61, makes your second argument irrelevant. Whether these garments are commonly and commercially known as vests or as sweater vests is immaterial to their classification at the statistical level if they meet the definition of sweaters provided in statistical note 3.

As to your first argument, Chapter 61, Note 1, provides that the chapter applies to made up knitted or crocheted articles. As the language of statistical note 3 does not limit its application to knit garments or crocheted garments not containing openwork, we reject your proposition that the statistical note does not apply to any openwork crocheted garments.

We do agree that certain crocheted garments are not subject to statistical note 3 due to the nature of the construction of the garment. In order to apply the note, rows of stitches which may be counted in the horizontal direction must exist somewhere in the construction of the body of the garment. Certain openwork crocheted garments, especially crocheted garments consisting of floral patterns linked together, do not contain rows of stitches in the body of the garment that may be counted. Samples LT6430 and LT6431 are such garments.

Sample LT6432 does contain rows of stitches in the body of the garment; however, these rows of stitches, which may be counted in the horizontal direction, exist only in a small decorative diamond pattern interspersed among the diagonal openwork stitches which make up the basic construction of the body of the garment. Rows of stitches which are only present in small, decorative patterns which are widely interspersed throughout the body of a openwork crocheted garment are not to be considered in applying statistical note 3 as the basic stitch construction of the crocheted garment does not truly consist of these stitches; they merely serve as decorative additions. Likewise, rows of stitches which are part of trim of a crocheted garment should not be utilized in applying statistical note 3. In counting stitches for determining if a garment is a sweater within the meaning of statistical note 3, stitches should be counted from the body of the garment, not from the trim.

As none of the three garments at issue contains crocheted stitches that may be counted in the horizontal direction within the construction of the body of the garment, statistical note 3 cannot be applied to them. As these garments do not meet the definition of a "sweater" within the statistical note, the garments are classifiable as vests.

The classification decision herein should not be interpreted as excluding all openwork crocheted garments from application of statistical note 3. Please note that openwork garments with limited openwork and consisting of a basic stitch construction that allows for counting of stitches in the horizontal direction from the body of the garment may be susceptible to application of the statistical note.


Styles LT6430, LT6431 and LT6432 are classifiable as women's vests of other textile materials in subheading 6110.90.0066, HTSUSA, textile category 859, dutiable at 6 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling