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HQ 955357

March 22, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955357 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2075

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

RE: Classification of a woman's upper body garment; Heading 6102 vs. Heading 6110

Dear Mr. Lai:

This is in response to the inquiry of November 8, 1993, from your office, requesting a tariff classification ruling for a woman's upper body garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The submitted sample, Style No. 33.414, is a woman's upper body garment constructed of 100 percent cotton material. The material has more than nine knit stitches per two centimeters measured horizontally. The garment has long sleeves with elasticized cuffs, a kangaroo pocket on the lower front of the garment, a hood and a partial frontal opening that extends from the neck to the chest area secured by a metal zipper, and a drawstring at the neck and bottom. The garment also contains an embroidered crest on the pocket.


Whether the instant garment is classifiable as a jacket in Heading 6102, HTSUSA, or a pullover in Heading 6110, HTSUSA?


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.

Headings 6102 and 6110, HTSUSA, are the potentially applicable tariff classification headings for the subject merchandise. Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. Heading 6102, HTSUSA, provides for women's or girls' overcoats, windbreakers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6102, HTSUSA, state that garments classified in that heading are generally worn over other clothing for protection against the weather. You contend that the instant garment possesses sufficient features to qualify as a pullover jacket under Heading 6102, HTSUSA. It is important to note that there is no provision for a "pullover jacket" in the nomenclature. Either the sample pullover garment has the general characteristics of a lightweight jacket and is classifiable in Heading 6102, HTSUSA, or it is classifiable in Heading 6110, HTSUSA, as a pullover.

Customs has consistently determined that garments worn as lightweight jackets are classifiable under Heading 6102, HTSUSA, if they are worn as such, and intended for protection against the elements. These jackets are usually not worn next to the skin, but over other outer garments.

In this case, the instant article, which is a pullover garment, is specifically provided for in Heading 6110, HTSUSA. The garment is a pullover that is very similar in design to a traditional "sweatshirt". The traditional sweatshirt is described in the Textile Category Guidelines, CIE 13/88 at page 13, as:

[P]ullover style garments with long or short length sleeves, snug fitting waist (elastic, drawstring, etc.) and cuffs. Pockets are allowed. A wide variety of neck treatments is permissible from crew, boat, or V-neck to hood and turned- down collar. The body of the garment, as distinct from the cuffs, waistband, neck and/or collar must be of the familiar close-knit, unpatterned material, significantly napped on the inside.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088289, dated February 11, 1991, Customs described garments which are similar to sweatshirts and classified them under Heading 6110, HTSUSA. Those items featured variations from the traditional sweatshirt, such as, partial front zippers, hoods, and drawstrings at the waist. The subject garment also contains variations from a traditional sweatshirt. The differences include elasticized cuffs, a drawstring waist, a kangaroo pocket, a partial frontal opening, and a hood. It is a pullover garment that, in our view, is intended for wear against the skin and not primarily as protection against inclement weather, therefore, it is classifiable in Heading 6110, HTSUSA, as an other garment. The instant pullover garment is not classifiable as a sweatshirt because it contains characteristics that deviate from the description of the traditional sweatshirt.


Based on the foregoing, the Style No. 33.414 is classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2075, HTSUSA, which provides for other knitted cotton pullovers. The applicable rate of duty is 20.7 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 339.

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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