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HQ 950378

April 22, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950378 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.00

Robert T. Stack, Esquire
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway, 43rd floor
New York, New York 10036

RE: Modification of NY 863917; Women's Track Suits With Shoulder Pads and Exterior Decorations

Dear Mr. Stack:

This is in response to your letters on behalf of Foremost Designers, Ltd., requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 863917, dated July 2, 1991. That ruling concerned the tariff classification of two garment sets which you believe are classifiable as track suits. Our ruling on the matter follows.


Each sample set consists of a long sleeve jacket and long pants. Both garments comprising the sets are stated to have a woven nylon outer shell and a knit polyester/cotton lining. The jacket portion of each set has a full front zippered opening that extends through the pointed collar, shoulder pads attached by means of Velcro , elasticized cuffs and waistbands, and front inserted pockets. Each front quarter panel of the jacket portion of style 101 has embroidery, 18 beads, and both textile and plastic overlays. The pants portion of style 101 has an elasticized waist with drawstring, elasticized cuffs, and two side inserted pockets.

The jacket of style 102 has raglan sleeves and embroidery in the form of three crowns on each front quarter panel. The embroidery consists of both silver metallic yarns and multicolored threads, The jacket also has silver metallic braided piping inserted in the seams around each armhole and in a seam that extends the length of each sleeve. The pants portion of style 102 has an elasticized waist with provision for a drawstring, elasticized leg bottoms, side pockets, and silver metallic braided piping inserted in each side seam.

In NY 863917 the garments were ruled to be classifiable separately, the jacket under the provision for women's anoraks, windbreakers, and similar garments, of man-made fibers, in subheading 6202.93.5010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), and the trousers under the provision for other women's trousers of synthetic fibers, in item 6204.63.3510, HTSUSA.


The issue presented is whether the two sample sets of garments are classifiable as track suits.


Note 13, Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that 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." Therefore, in the absence of a provision requiring that the instant garments be classified together as a set, they must be classified as separates.

To be classifiable as a set at the heading level, the samples must be considered to be either suits, ensembles, or track suits.

The instant garments do not conform to the requirements in Note 3(a), Chapter 62, for suits. Note 3(a) of Chapter 62, HTSUSA, defines the term "suits" for the purposes of the Headings 6203 and 6204, the provisions under which suits are classifiable. Note 3(a) provides that the term "suit" means a set of garments composed of two or three pieces made up of identical fabric and which are comprised of one of a number of specially named types of garments designed to cover the lower part of the body, and a suit coat or jacket, the outer shell of which, exclusive of sleeves, consists of four or more panels. In this instance, the jacket portions of the two sets do not contain the requisite number of panels and also have decorations or colors that the pants do not have. Accordingly, the samples do not qualify as suits.

The term "ensemble" is defined in Note 3(b), Chapter 62, HTSUSA. That note specifically states, "The term "ensemble" does not apply to track suits or ski-suits of heading 6211." Accordingly, before the Customs can consider classification of the sample sets of garments under the provisions for ensembles, it must first be determined whether those sets are classifiable as track suits.

Heading 6211 provides for "track suits." The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings), state that track suits consist of two garments, one for the upper body and a pair of trousers, which, "because of their general appearance and the nature of the fabric, are clearly meant to be worn exclusively or mainly in the pursuit of sporting activities." (at page 841; underscoring added). Accordingly, the actual use of imported garments is not in issue.

In Customs Headquarters Letter Ruling (HQ) 088569, dated May 31, 1991, it was held that only garments which are commonly and commercially known as "track suits" are classifiable as "track suits." These are garments which are usually associated in some manner with athletic activities.

The fact that the sample garments are lined does not prevent their classification as track suits. Customs has previously ruled that woven track suits may have linings, HQ 087511, dated January 14, 1991; HQ 087966, dated January 30, 1991.

We note that due to fashion changes, garments which are designed and intended for use in sporting activities are now being used as multi-purpose garments. It is now our view that such use does not preclude their classification as track suits as long as it is apparent from their design and construction that they belong to a class of goods which are intended to be used mainly for athletic purposes.

Except for the shoulder pads and decorative additions to the jackets, the garments clearly fall within the class of goods commonly and commercially called track suits, jogging or walking suits, athletic suits, etc. We recognize that shoulder pads are a styling feature which do not contribute to the usefulness of garments in athletic pursuits. However, we have previously classified garments with shoulder pads under the provisions for track suits (for example, see HQ 087966, dated January 30, 1991). Here, the shoulder pads do not inhibit the use of these garments for athletic purposes and, as such, do not prevent classification of these garments as track suits. Similarly, it is our view that the decorative additions to the jackets are not present in sufficient quantity to detract from their usefulness in athletics. Accordingly, the two sets of samples are classifiable under the provisions for track suits. -4-


The two sample sets of garments are classifiable under the provisions for women's track suits of man-made fibers, the trousers in subheading 6211.43.0040, HTSUSA, textile and apparel restraint category 648, and the jackets in item 6211.43.0050, HTSUSA, textile and apparel restraint category 635. Both the jackets and the trousers are subject to duty at the column one rate of 17 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, pursuant to Section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)), NYRL 863917 is modified to reflect the above classification.

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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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