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HQ 957013

December 12, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957013 SK


TARIFF NO.: 6201.92.2051

Eleanore Kelly-Kobayashi
Rode & Qualey
295 Madison Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017

RE: Classification of a men's upper body garment; jacket v. shirt; 100% cotton flannel; full frontal heavy-duty zipper; back tabs; hood; Textile Category Guidelines, CIE 13/88; 6201.92.2051; jacket.

Dear Ms. Kelly-Kobayashi:

This is in response to your letter of August 11, 1994, requesting a binding ruling on behalf of your client, Shah Safari, Inc., regarding the classification of a men's upper body garment. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The garment at issue, identified as style number Y0383894H, is a men's woven cotton flannel upper body garment. It has long sleeves with cuffs, two diagonal pockets at the waist, a hemmed straight bottom with back tabs and a hood. The garment features a full frontal opening with a zipper closure. The teeth of the zipper, in their closed condition, measure approximately 6 mm in width. You submit that the fabric weight of the garment is 7.7 ounces per square yard.


Whether the subject merchandise is properly classifiable as a men's jacket under heading 6201 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) or as a men's shirt under heading 6205, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be 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.

The issue in the instant case is whether the submitted sample is properly classifiable as a men's shirt or jacket. A physical examination of the garment reveals that it possesses features traditionally associated with both jackets and shirts and therefore potentially lends itself to classification as either a jacket under heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt under heading 6205, HTSUSA.

In circumstances such as these, where the identity of a garment is ambiguous for classification purposes, reference to The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (Guidelines) is appropriate. The Guidelines were developed and revised in accordance with the HTSUSA to ensure uniformity, to facilitate statistical classification, and to assist in the determination of the appropriate textile categories established for the administration of the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles.

The Guidelines, at pages 5 and 6, offer the following with regard to the classification of shirt-jackets:

"Category designation: Other coats, men's and boys':

Three-quarter length or longer garments commonly known as coats, and other garments such as... waist length jackets fall within this category... A coat is an outerwear garment which covers either the upper part of the body or both the upper and lower parts of the body. It is normally worn over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for the wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both.

Shirt-jackets have full or partial front openings and sleeves, and at the least cover the upper body from the neck area to the waist... The following criteria may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for its wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both:

(1) fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard;

(2) a full or partial lining;

(3) pockets at or below the waist;

(4) back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams;

(5) Eisenhower styling;

(6) a belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets;

(7) large jacket/coat style buttons, toggles or snaps, a heavy-duty zipper;

(9) long sleeves without cuffs;

(10) elasticized or rib knit cuffs;

(11) drawstring, elastic or rib knit waistband.

Garments having features of both jackets and shirts will be categorized as coats if they possess at least three of the above-listed features and if the result is not unreasonable... Garments not possessing at least three of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis."

A physical examination of style Y0383894H reveals that it possesses two of the Guidelines' jacket criteria: the garment has pockets at or below the waist and features a heavier gauge zipper than is usually found on shirts. The garment's back tabs are not a jacket feature cited in the Guidelines, and this is a design feature sometimes found on shirts.

Although style Y0383894H possesses only two of the Guidelines' jacket features, this office is of the opinion that it nevertheless creates the overall impression of a jacket. This determination rests primarily on the presence of the front full-length heavy-duty zipper, the teeth of which measure approximately 6 mm in width. Full frontal zippers are relatively uncommon in shirts and the heavy gauge of the zipper serves to further create the impression of a jacket rather than a shirt.

The next issue is whether the garment at issue is classifiable as an anorak, wind-breaker or similar article of heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt-jacket of heading 6211, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6101, which apply mutatis mutandis to the articles of heading 6201, HTSUSA, state:

"[T]his heading covers ... garments for men or boys, characterised by the fact that that they are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather."

Customs has, in the past, classified many different types of lightweight jackets in heading 6201, HTSUSA, (i.e., silk bomber jackets and windbreakers). It is this office's opinion that style Y0383894H provides sufficient coverage to be deemed a jacket of heading 6201, HTSUSA. Moreover, the presence of a hood on style Y0383894H is further indication that this garment is designed to provide warmth to the wearer.


Style Y0383894H is classifiable under subheading 6201.92.2051, HTSUSA, which provides for, in pertinent part, "[A]noraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded sleeveless jackets): of cotton: other: other... other: other: men's," dutiable at a rate of 10 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 334.

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 your client 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 updated weekly and is available at the 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, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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