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HQ 956854

January 5, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956854 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6204.59.4060; 6204.39.8060

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

RE: Classification of women's skirt and jacket; separates vs. suits; Heading 6204; Note 3(a) to Chapter 62

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in response to your inquiry of July 27, 1994, on behalf of Brasseur Incorporated, requesting a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), concerning certain women's garments. Samples were submitted for examination.


The subject garments are referenced as Style 4517. Style 4517 is comprised of a woman's jacket and skirt both of which are constructed of woven 55 percent linen/45 percent rayon fabric and lined with 100 percent woven acetate fabric. The jacket contains four vertical panels, long sleeves, pockets at the waist, a one button front closure, a detachable v-shaped dickey, and a collar that has been embroidered and embellished with plastic beads. The skirt contains an elasticized waistband, a rear zipper means of closure, and a rear split located at the bottom.


Whether the jacket and skirt are classifiable as a suit?


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.

Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, Section XI, states, in pertinent part:

(a) The term "suit" means a set of garments composed of two or three pieces made up in identical fabric and comprising:

- one garment designed to cover the lower part of the body and consisting of trousers, breeches or shorts (other than swimwear), a skirt or a divided skirt, having neither braces nor bibs; and

- one suit coat or jacket the outer shell of which, exclusive of sleeves, consists of four or more panels, designed to cover the upper part of the body, possibly with a tailored waistcoat in addition.

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

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 6204, HTSUSA, state that the provisions of the EN to Heading 6104, HTSUSA, apply, mutatis mutandis, to the articles of Heading 6204, HTSUSA. The EN to Heading 6104, HTSUSA, state, in relevant part:

- one suit coat or suit jacket the outer shell of which (exclusive of sleeves, and facings or collar, if any) consists of at least four panels (two in front and two at the back) sewn together lengthwise, designed to cover the upper part of the body, with a full front opening without a closure or with a closure other than a slide fastener (zipper).

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, maintain the following:

The classification of goods in this Chapter is not affected by the presence of parts or accessories of, for example, knitted or crocheted fabrics, furskin, feather, leather, plastics or metal. Where, however, the presence of such materials constitutes more than mere trimming the articles are classified in accordance with the relative Chapter Notes..., or failing that, according to the General Interpretative Rules.

In this instance, Style 4517 consists of a skirt and jacket which contains a collar embellished with embroidery and beads. These embellishments are not repeated anywhere on the skirt. The skirt and jacket of Style 4517 are not classifiable as a suit in accordance with Note 3(a) to Chapter 62, HTSUSA, since they are not of the same style.

This analysis is consistent with Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083591, dated March 28, 1989 and HRL 954140, dated January 6, 1994, where in both instances a skirt and jacket were not classifiable as a suit since the jacket had embellishments not featured on the skirt which resulted in the garments having different styling.


Based on the foregoing, the subject skirt is classifiable as a women's skirt of other textile materials in subheading 6204.59.4060, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 7.1 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 842. The subject jacket is classifiable in subheading 6204.39.8060, HTSUSA, which provides for women's suit-type jackets and blazers of other textile materials. The applicable rate of duty is 6.7 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 835.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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