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HQ 955083

January 24, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955083 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6110.10.2080

Mr. Tommy Lai
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 475
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of a women's knit wearing apparel; Statistical Note 3 to chapter 61, HTSUSA; both knit and purl stitches must be counted in rib knit fabrics

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in response to your letter, dated September 27, 1993, on behalf of W.A.I.T., Inc., requesting classification of a women's knit garment. A sample was provided to this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The sample submitted, referred to as style number 326W5, is a women's knit turtleneck pullover with long sleeves. The pullover consists of 100 percent wool fibers with an overall fabric construction of 1 X 1 rib knit structure, with more than nine stitches per two centimeters measured in the horizontal direction. The garment also features two side slits extending upward from the bottom of the pullover approximately six inches.

This garment was the subject of Pre-Classification Ruling (PC) 885504, dated
May 12, 1993, which classified the garment in subheading 6110.10.2080, HTSUSA, as a pullover, with visa category 438. PC 885504 took note of the rib knit fabric and indicated that the stitch count was greater than nine stitches per two centimeters.

You dispute the finding in PC 885504 and claim that the garment has a construction of eight stitches per two centimeters and accordingly should be classified as a sweater, with visa category 445/446.


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.

Chapter 61, HTSUSA, provides for articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted. Statistical Note 3 to chapter 61, HTSUSA, states:

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.

In a Headquarters' telegram, reference 009776, dated October 17, 1985, dispatched to import specialists, the issue of how to count knit stitches on rib knit fabric was addressed. That telegram stated:

For rib knits, which have wales that have knit stitches and wales that have purl stitches, both must be counted, since both represent recognized stitches in knitting technology. This can be accomplished simply by counting both the wales of knit stitches and the purl stitches in one inch of fabric, using one side of the fabric. In the simplest terms you are counting the number of columns of stitches in both the ridge and the valley (a 1 X 1 rib would be 2, whereas a 2 X 1 rib would be 3 in each ridge and valley). The count should be accomplished across the full inch.

Both Statistical Note 3 to chapter 61, HTSUSA, and the instructions in the telegram reflect the importance of accurate stitch counting for proper classification determination. The stitch count analysis undertaken by our Customs officers, following the parameters outlined above, results in a finding of more than nine stitches per two centimeters in the horizontal direction. This is a stitch count which precludes classification as a sweater. It is thus our belief that the garment is correctly classified as a pullover, other, and not as a sweater.


The submitted women's knit garment, referred to as style number 326W5, is classified in subheading 6110.10.2080, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of wool or fine animal hair, other, other, women's or girls'. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 438.

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), an 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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