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HQ 956298

March 9, 1995

CLA-2: CO:R:C:T 956298 OR


TARIFF NO.: 6201.93.3511; 6203.43.4010

District Director of Customs
33 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA. 94105-4510

RE: Further Review of Protest No. 2809-93-102031, Concerning the Tariff Status of Track Suit Components Invoiced and Packaged Separately

Dear Sir:

This concerns the above referenced protest. Further review was requested by the protestant and granted by your office. Our decision on the matter follows.


The merchandise in question consists of jackets and pants. When imported, 2880 warm up pants were packed separately from 5040 warm up jackets. Separate entry summaries were filed for each type of garment. The importer states that this was the result of an inadvertent error on the part of the importer's broker. Although the protest mentions samples, no samples were received in this office. For the purposes of this ruling, we will assume that the subject garments have all the characteristics associated with track suits.


All the goods were liquidated as entered, the pants under the provision for men's trousers of synthetic fibers, in subheading 6203.43.4010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), with duty at the rate of 29.5 percent ad valorem, and the jackets under the provision for men's anoraks, windbreakers, and similar garments, of synthetic fibers, in subheading 6201.93.3511, HTSUSA, with duty at the rate of 29.3 percent ad valorem. The importer claims that all the pants (2880 pairs) should have been classified with an equal number (2880) of the jackets as track suits--the jackets in subheading 6211.43.0050, HTSUSA, and the pants in 6211.43.0040. The duty applicable to both pants and jackets is 16.9 percent ad valorem. Since those two tariff provisions are for women's and girls' track suits and the documentation refers to the garments as men's and boys', we assume that the protestant meant subheadings 6211.33.0050 and 6211.33.0040, respectively. In this instance, the rate of duty is the same.


Imported goods are classifiable according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings in the tariff and according to any pertinent section or chapter notes. It appears that GRI 1 governs the classification of the subject merchandise.

It is a cardinal rule of Customs law that goods are classified according to their condition at the time of importation.

Prior to January 1, 1989, under the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA), track suit components imported in the same shipment, invoiced and packaged separately, were classified under the legal theory of "entireties" as track suits unless the components were intended for sale as separates. Altman & Co. v. United States, 13 Ct. Cust. Appls. 315, T.D. 41232 (1925); James G. Wiley v. United States, 56 Cust. Ct. 331, C.D. 2645 (1966). Therefore, Customs was required to determine how the garments were merchandised.

Under the HTSUSA, the judicially created principle of "entireties"which existed under the TSUSA , as it relates to garments, is specifically forbidden by Note 13 to Section XI, HTSUSA, which provides:

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

However, since there exists headings specifically providing for track suits, two piece garments sets which are determined to be track suits are classifiable pursuant to GRI 1 and are not subject to the requirements of Note 13. Therefore, track suitsare not required to be packaged together at the time of importation, or even in the same container, in order to be classified together under a heading or subheading which provides for track suits.

Where sets of garments are not packed together in such a manner that they are readily identifiable as track suits at the time of importation, the classification of those garments depends on the intent of importer. As Customs stated in Customs Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 088423, dated May 20, 1991:

If, at the time of importation, the importer has bona fide intention to sell the suit components as suits, as evidenced by the documentation in the entry package, then the merchandise, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is classifiable as suits. If, at the time of importation, the importer has the bona fide intention to sell the suit components separately, as evidenced by the documentation in the entry package, then the merchandise, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is classified as separates.

In the instant circumstance, while the garments in question physically may qualify as track suits, they were packaged separately, invoiced separately, and entered by the importer's agent separately. The only evidence submitted to Customs that the 2880 pants and 2880 jackets will be marketed as track suits and not as separates are statements in the protest to that effect. Protestant has furnished a portion of a catalogue showing the warm-up jacket and warm-up pants pictured on the same page. The jackets are stated to come in four different color combinations, each one having its own separate style or order number. The pants also stated to come in the same four color combinations and, as with the jackets, each has its own style or order number. There is nothing on the submitted page which indicates that the pants and jackets are sold together as "track suits". Accordingly, the information furnished is insufficient to show that the importer intended at the time of importation to merchandise the 2880 pants with 2880 of the jackets as track suits.


All the entry documents indicate that the garments were imported, and intended to be sold, as separates and there is no adequate information or evidence to indicate a contrary intent.

Therefore, the merchandise was properly classified as separates and not as track suits. Accordingly, the protest should be denied in full.

In accordance with section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive Number 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19, Notice of Action, and furnished to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Ruling Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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