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HQ 955218

March 4, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955218 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6202.93.4500

Donna L. Shira, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter
& Blauvelt, P.C.
Sixty-seven Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Classification of women's upper body garments; 6202.13 vs. 6202.93; GRI 3(c)

Dear Ms. Shira:

This is in response to your inquiry of October 15, 1993, requesting a tariff classification ruling concerning women's jackets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You are requesting this binding ruling on behalf of your client, Foreign Resources Corporation. Two samples were submitted for examination.


The jackets at issue are referred to as Style Nos. R5418 and R5423. Both garments are reversible. One side is constructed of woven fabric comprised of 70 percent man-made fiber/30 percent wool blend, while the other side of each jacket is constructed of woven 100 percent cotton twill fabric. Also, both jackets contain an interlining of woven fabric which you state is water resistant due to a plastics application.

Style R5418 is approximately 34 inches in length. It contains a full-front zipper opening with a reversible pull, a drawstring cordlock means of tightening at the waist, at the bottom of the jacket, and around the hood. On the man-made fiber/wool blend side of the jacket, there is one flap which covers the zipper and a second flap over the first. There are also toggle closures and snaps, slant pockets at the chest, and combination patch pockets with flaps at the waist. On the cotton twill side of the coat, there are patch pockets with flaps at the waist, false pocket opening at the chest, and contrasting elbow patches.

Style R5823 is approximately 34 inches in length. It has a full-front zipper opening with a reversible pull, a drawstring cordlock means of tightening at the waist, at the bottom of the jacket, and around the hood. The man-made fiber/wool blend side has patch pockets with flaps at the waist and a storm flap covering the zipper. This flap is secured with large, metal clasps or toggles similar to what might be found on a fireman's coat. The cotton twill side has no pockets, but is presumably not finished, since there are contrasting welting and pocket tabs on each panel at the waist.


I. Whether the jackets in question are classifiable as similar to anoraks or as overcoats in Heading 6202, HTSUSA?

II. Whether the wool-blend/man-made fiber or the cotton twill portion of the reversible jackets at issue imparts the essential character of the garments?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Heading 6202, HTSUSA, is the provision for women'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. As the instant goods are women's upper body outerwear garments designed to provide protection against the elements, they fit squarely within the purview of Heading 6202, HTSUSA. The issue Customs must now address is what is the appropriate subheading for the subject merchandise. The subheadings involved are 6202.12 or 6202.13, HTSUSA, which provide for overcoats of cotton or man-made fiber, respectively, and 6202.92 or 6202.93, HTSUSA, the provisions for anoraks and similar articles of cotton or man-made fiber.

In your submission, you state that the subject garments possess virtually all the characteristics and features of a parka and are therefore classifiable under the provision for anoraks and similar articles. You refer to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083536, dated October 23, 1989, where Customs held that identifying a garment as a parka will place classification under the subheading for garments similar to anoraks. You cite the following language of HRL 083536:

In order for a garment to be considered a parka, it must have a hood, a zipper or a [VELCRO]-like fastener, with or without a protective flap; a lining either quilted or of simulated fur fabric; a drawstring or other tightening device at the waist, except a belt, and outer pockets. The length of the parka may vary from mid-thigh to knee.

You further contend that the instant garments contain all of the above features, except the lining, and therefore, should be classifiable as garments similar to anoraks.

In HRL 083536, Customs stated that a characteristic that generally distinguishes parkas and anoraks from overcoats is that overcoats are normally cut long and full to fit over a sports jacket, suit, dress, etc. When assessing the garments in their totality, it is apparent that they are properly classifiable as similar to anoraks. In this case, as you stated, the subject garments contain a hood, a zipper with a protective flap, a drawstring at the waist, outer pockets, and are approximately mid- thigh length when fitted on a medium-size mannequin. The fact that the subject garments are not outfitted with a padded or quilted lining will not prevent their classification as similar to anoraks. This is in accordance with HRL 083536 where Customs was confronted with the classification of three garments that possessed all of the aforementioned characteristics of parkas, except quilted or padded lining and were still classified as similar to anoraks. HRL 083536 specifically explained the following:

In describing articles similar to anoraks, the Addendum 1988 to the Explanatory Notes to the Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities (Comm'n of the European Communities) ("Addendum") notes that [g]arments which would otherwise be covered by the term "anoraks (including ski-jackets) and similar articles" but have neither a hood nor a lining could however be covered by the term "and similar articles" when this is used in relation to the term windcheaters.

GRI 3(a) requires that where two or more headings describe the merchandise, the more specific will prevail; or if two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials in the goods, then classification will be by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) states that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine the classification.

GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.

The jackets at issue are constructed of various types of textile fabric, wool-blend/man-made fibers and cotton twill. The wool-blend/man-made fibers fabric comprises the entire side of the reversible jacket. The cotton twill fabric makes up the other side of the reversible jackets. Depending on the personal preference of the user either side is appropriate for wear. Although the wool-blend/man-made fibers side of the jacket appears to have more elaborate embellishments (i.e, toggle snaps, flap pockets), the cotton twill side presents a more casual look for the wearer. Both sides of the jackets are functional and useable as an outerwear garment. Therefore, neither the wool-blend/man-made fibers fabric or the cotton twill fabric imparts the essential character of the jackets at issue.

While Customs has addressed the issue of whether the goods are classifiable as overcoats or similar to anoraks, there is still a question as to whether the garments are classifiable is subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for water resistant garments similar to anoraks of man-made fibers, or 6202.92.1500, HTSUSA, which provides for water resistant cotton garments that are similar to anoraks. As the wool blend/man-made fiber portion is equally as important as the cotton twill portion of the subject jackets, Customs will use the principles of GRI 3(c), and classify the garments in the subheading that occurs last, 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA.


Provided the garments meet the water resistant test of Additional U.S. Note 2 to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, Styles R5418 and R5823 are classifiable in subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for water resistant garments similar to anoraks of man- made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 7.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 635. If the garments do not meet the water resistant test, they are classifiable in subheading 6202.93.5011, HTSUSA, which provides for garments similar to anoraks of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 29.5 percent ad valorem and textile restraint category 635.

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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that 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 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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your 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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