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HQ 955332

March 9, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955332 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6203.43.4010; 6205.30.2070

Mr. Ba-Seng Yeung
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
British Embassy
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 475
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of men's 65% polyester/35 percent cotton woven martial arts uniform; chapter 62, HTSUSA, provides only for martial arts uniform made entirely of cotton; classification of the merchandise is as separate garments; subheadings 6203.43.4010 and 6205.30.2070, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in response to your letter, dated November 1, 1993, on behalf of Macho Products, Inc., requesting the tariff classification and the appropriate quota category designation, of a martial arts uniform. A sample was submitted to this office for review and will be submitted under separate cover.


The merchandise consists of a men's 65 percent polyester/35 percent cotton woven martial arts uniform. The sample uniform is a size 7/210, which we have been advised by our National Import Specialist translates to a waist size of 32 inches-42 inches and a height of 77 inches-81 inches. The uniform is composed of two pieces. The top portion is a loose fitting, deep V-neck pullover with long sleeves with rows of stitching on hemmed sleeved ends. The garment also features an inverted V cut into the bottom front, side slits approximately 37 centimeters, a 28 centimeter thin elastic, loop stitched, inside near the top of the right slit, and an embroidered logo on the right chest area. The top is all white in color except for a 4 centimeter wide black fabric around the neck opening.

The pants have an elasticized waistband with an inserted braided drawstring and do not have a fly opening. The leg openings are hemmed in a manner similar to the sleeves. The pants are all white in color and are of the same fabric as the pullover.

You state in your letter that the merchandise should not be given an ensemble determination with two separate categories, but that in fact, the ensemble should be licensed as a set with one applicable quota category.


Whether the submitted garments are properly classified as a set, i.e., under the provision for martial arts uniform, with one quota category or as separately classified garments with two applicable quota categories?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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.

Note 13 to Section XI, provides:

Unless the context otherwise requires, textile garments of different headings are to be classified in their own headings even if put up in sets for retail sale.

The submitted upper and lower garments would normally be classified separately. As per the terms of Note 13, to be classified together as a single article and falling within a single quota category, there must be a heading and a subheading which specifically provides for those garments under a single classification.

Heading 6203, HTSUSA, covers, inter alia, ensembles. Subheading 6203.22.1000, HTSUSA, specifically provides for martial arts uniform ensembles of cotton. Section XI Note 2(A) and subheading note 2, when read together, require that textile garments containing two or more textile materials be classified according to that material which predominates by weight. Accordingly, goods which are 65 percent polyester, are precluded from classification under a subheading which requires the covered merchandise to be "of cotton".

The term "ensemble" as defined in Note 3(b) to chapter 62, HTSUSA, states:

The term "ensemble" means a set of garments (other than suits and articles of heading 6207 or 6208) composed of several pieces made up in identical fabric, put up for retail sale, and comprising:

- one garment designed to cover the upper part of the body, with the exception of waistcoats which may also form a second upper garment, and

- one or two different garments, designed to cover the lower part of the body and consisting of trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches, shorts (other than swimwear), a skirt or a divided skirt.

All of the components of an ensemble must be of the same fabric construction, style, color and composition; they also must be of corresponding or compatible size...

The above requirements for an ensemble make it clear that where the top and bottom portions are not identical in all material aspects, the garments are precluded from the ensemble classification. To qualify as an ensemble the subject merchandise must consist of a set of garments composed of several pieces made up in identical fabric, style, color, compatible size and put up for retail sale. Though the top and bottoms of the subject uniform are of the same fabric construction and are of compatible size, the top portion is distinguishable from the bottom portion in color and style due to the appearance of the black neck band.

Pursuant to Note 13, as there is no heading which requires the two garments comprising the martial arts uniform to be classified as a unit, they are classified separately.

The bottom portion is classifiable in subheading 6203.43.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, mens' trousers. The top portion is not considered a jacket of heading 6201, HTSUSA, because, unlike the jackets of that provision, it is not intended for wear over other garments to provide warmth or shelter from the elements. The overall style of the garment is akin to that of a casual pullover shirt. Classification of this garment thus devolves to subheading 6205.30.2070, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, men's shirts.


The submitted merchandise is classified as two separate garments with separate category designations for the top and bottom portion. The applicable subheading for the bottom portion is subheading 6203.43.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, men's trousers of synthetic fibers, with a duty rate of 29.7 percent ad valorem. The quota category designation is 647.

The applicable subheading for the top portion is 6205.30.2070, HTSUSA, which provides for , among other things, men's shirts, of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 30.9 cents per kilogram plus 27.5 percent ad valorem. The quota category designations 640.

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 the importer 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, the importer 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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