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HQ 957114





January 20, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 957114 jb

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO: 6110.30.1540

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

RE: Classification of women's knitwear

Dear Mr. Yeung:

This is in regard to your letter, dated September 29, 1994, on behalf of Milliard Incorporated, requesting the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for certain women's knitwear. A sample was provided to this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.

FACTS:

The submitted sample, referenced style number 6L354, is a size XL woman's knit sleeveless cardigan composed of 70 percent acrylic and 30 percent wool fibers. The fabric of the garment has more than nine stitches per two centimeters, measured in the horizontal direction. The cardigan features a V-neckline that descends into a three-button, full-front opening, large armhole openings, and scalloped edging at the neckline, front placket, bottom and armholes. There is also some decorative embroidery and beading on the front of the garment.

You state that the merchandise was exported from Hong Kong with a visa for quota category 459, i.e., a vest, but upon arrival in the United States, Customs required a visa for quota category 438, i.e., a blouse, for the merchandise. You add that the subject merchandise is "unable to be worn modestly in public without any garment underneath" and thus, it should be classified as a vest and not as a blouse.
ISSUE:

What is the proper classification for the merchandise?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. To accurately determine whether the subject garment would be worn alone, the sample was placed on a larger sized dressmaker's form. The garment did not hug the form, but hung quite comfortably. The V-neckline and generous armhole openings would reveal any underwear worn beneath the garment. Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that the styling of this garment is intended as a garment to be worn over other apparel, such as a blouse or shirt, and that it is unsuitable for wear alone over underwear.

HOLDING:

Style number 6L354 is classified in subheading 6110.30.1540, HTSUSA, which provides for, sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: containing 23 percent of more by weight of wool or fine animal hair: vests, other than sweater vests: women's or girls'. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category is 459.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an 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) categories, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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