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HQ 956243

November 29, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956243 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2065

Mr. Gugun Chadha
Total Results, Inc.
2301 Industrial Parkway Ruling West,
Unit 8
Hayward, CA 94545

RE: Modification of DD 877301, dated August 19, 1992; Classification of men's upper body garment; shirt v. jacket; Heading 6201; Heading 6205; Textile Guidelines, CIE 13/88

Dear Mr. Chadha:

This ruling is in response to a request for modification of District Ruling (DD) 877301 of August 19, 1992, from the Area Director of Customs New York. Since the issuance of that ruling, Customs has reexamined the merchandise and determined that it was incorrectly classified and therefore, should be modified. Accordingly, this ruling modifies DD 877301. A sample was submitted for examination.

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of DD 877301 was published October 19, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 42.


The submitted sample is a men's cotton flannel hip-length upper body garment. The garment contains long sleeves with vents, button cuffs, a shirt collar, a breast patch pocket with a button means of closure, a full frontal opening with a placket and button closure, a shirt collar, a single seamless back panel, a triangular back notch at the bottom of the garment, side vents at the bottom of the garment, side-seam pockets at the waist, and a quilted nylon lining.

In DD 877301, the subject merchandise was classified by the District Director of Customs San Diego, California, in subheading 6201.92.2050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for men's anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles, of cotton. Since the issuance of DD 877301, the Area Director of New York has reviewed the classification and determined that it was in error. The New York Seaport believes that the garments described therein are properly classifiable as men's cotton shirts in subheading 6205.20.2065, HTSUSA.


Whether the garments were properly classified as jackets of Heading 6201, HTSUSA, or whether they are classifiable as shirts of Heading 6205, 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.

The garments at issue are considered to be hybrid garments since they possess characteristics found on both shirts and jackets. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level are usually consulted for tariff classification purposes. However, in this instance, since the subject garments are hybrids, the EN offer no guidance in classifying the subject garments.

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, [hereinafter, Textile Guidelines] which are sometimes consulted for aid in classifying certain garments provides a list of features common in jackets. If a garment possesses at least three of the listed features and if the result is not unreasonable, then the garment is generally classifiable as a jacket.

In this case, the submitted sample has the general appearance of a flannel shirt. The quilted lining and the pockets below the waist are characteristics generally associated with jackets and not shirts. The garment also contains side vents and a triangular vent at the bottom center. The Textile Guidelines state that a full or partial lining, pockets at or below the waist, side vents in combination with back seams, or back vents or pleats, would be features that would point to classification as a jacket. While the instant garment definitely has two jacket features (pockets below the waist and the quilted lining), there is still a question as to whether the triangular notch located on the rear bottom of the garment is considered a vent for tariff classification purposes.

Upon further examination of the subject garment, it appears that it contains a single, seamless back panel. The back notch was constructed by removing a triangular piece of fabric from the garment. This differs from a traditional back vent which is generally found in the seam to provide relief on a stress point by enabling a garment to flex and expand. The notch on this garment does not serve any functional purpose, nor is it located at a seam. Thus, the subject garment only contains two features commonly associated with a jacket. Moreover, the submitted sample has the general appearance of a flannel shirt. Therefore, the garment is classifiable as a shirt.

This determination is in accordance with Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 955133, dated November 17, 1993, where Customs classified a garment similar in construction to the instant article as a shirt. The sample therein was described as "a men's cotton flannel upper body garment which reaches to about the hip area in length. The garment has an outer shell of cotton flannel fabric, long sleeves with sleeve vents and buttoned cuffs, a shirt collar, a breast patch pocket with a buttoned flap, a full front opening with a placket and button closure (typical shirt buttons), a tapered shirt silhouette, side vents at the bottom of the garment, side-seam pockets at the waist, and a quilted nylon lining." Customs provided the following rationale for the tariff classification:

Utilizing the Textile Guidelines, taking into consideration the advertising material on similar garments submitted by the National Import Specialist and viewing the garment itself, this office believes that classification of the garment at issue as a shirt and not a jacket was a proper determination. In light of the numerous rulings on similar garments classified as shirts, such a result is not unreasonable.


Based on the foregoing, the subject garment is classifiable in subheading 6205.20.2065, HTSUSA, which provides for men's other cotton shirts. The applicable rate of duty is 21 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 340.

DD 877301 dated August 19, 1992, is hereby modified. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)).

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 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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