United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 957670 - HQ 957791 > HQ 957691

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957691

May 22, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:T 957691 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6211.31.0040

Mr. Ashok Kaul
Continental Trade
915 Washington Street
Suite 124
Weymouth, MA 02189

RE: Modification of HRL 957099 of December 15, 1994; Classification of chainstitch vests from India; "India Item", not exempt from quota

Dear Mr. Kaul:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957099 of December 15, 1994, Customs classified a chainstitch vest from India in as a men's cotton vest in subheading 6211.32.0070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). After a review of that ruling letter, Customs has determined that we erred in part of the analysis in reaching the classification decision. This ruling is to correct that error and modify HRL 957099 to accord with the analysis set forth in this letter.

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 Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957099 was published April 19, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 16.


The sample vest was described in HRL 957099 as follows:

The sample vest is made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric with front panels which have been hand-embroidered with 100 percent wool yarn. The garment has a typical vest design. It is sleeveless and features a full-front opening secured by three embroidered buttons, a deep V-front, two front pockets, a loose back belt which does not adjust the fit in any manner, a straight hemmed back, and embroidered front -2-
panels which each have a pointed V-shape at the bottom. The front button closure of the jacket is designed with the buttons on the right panel and loops which fit over the buttons on the left panel (i.e., a left over right closure).

In classifying this garment, Customs applied Section XI, Subheading Note 2(B)(c). That note states:

In the case of embroidery of heading 5810 only the ground fabric shall be taken into account. However, embroidery without visible ground shall be classified with reference to the embroidering threads alone.

After review, Customs believes that by applying this note to the subject vest Customs extended the scope of the note beyond its intended coverage.


If Subheading Note 2(B)(c) is not applicable to the subject vest, is the vest classifiable as of cotton or of wool and by what basis?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

In HRL 957099, Customs determined that the embroidered front panels of the vest determined the classification of the garment. As already stated, in classifying the subject chainstitch embroidered vest, Customs applied Subheading Note 2(B)(c) cited above. The note was applied because the front panels of the vest were embroidered and the cited note pertains to the classification of embroidery. However, upon reflection we believe the note was applied improperly and overextended the scope of the note.

Subheading Note 2(B)(c) states, "In the case of embroidery of heading 5810". The vest at issue in HRL 957099 was not classifiable in heading 5810, nor would the front panels of the vest, if entered as garment pieces, be classified therein. Thus, we believe we erred in applying the subheading note to the vest at issue in determining its classification as "of cotton". Upon review, we believe subheading note 2(B)(c)'s application is restricted to articles classified in heading 5810. Therefore, the portion of the analysis in HRL 957099 regarding the -3-
application of subheading note 2(B)(c) to determine the classification of the subject vest as a vest of cotton [appearing on page 5 of the ruling letter] is to be considered void and replaced by the analysis set forth below.

In determining the classification of the chainstitch vest, the pertinent legal notes state:

(A) Products of chapters 56 to 63 containing two or more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section for the classification of a product of chapters 50 to 55 consisting of the same textile materials.

(B) For the application of this rule:

(a) Where appropriate, only the part which determines the classification under general interpretative rule 3 shall be taken into account;

[Section XI, Subheading Note 2].

GRI 3 is applied in deciding that the front panels of the vest will determine the classification. The front panels consist of cotton fabric embroidered with wool yarns in a chainstitch embroidery which completely covers the cotton ground fabric. The front panels thus consist of two separate textile components, i.e., the cotton ground fabric and the wool embroidery yarns. As such, the front panels are composite goods and Customs must look to GRI 3 again to decide which component will determine the classification, the cotton ground or the wool yarns.

Applying subheading note 2(B)(a) which requires application of GRI 3, Customs believes the classification of the vest is properly based on the wool embroidery yarns as we believe the embroidery yarns impart the essential character to the subject vest. The embroidery yarns, in essence, completely cover the cotton ground fabric and thus the embroidery yarns form the visible outer surface of the front panels. In addition, the embroidery yarns give the front panels their texture and create the visible pattern of the front panels. Customs believes the wool embroidery yarns create the front panels and thus determine the classification of the subject vest.

Based upon subheading note 2(B)(a) and GRI 3, the subject chainstitch vest is classified in the provision for men's other garments, of wool, vests, in subheading 6211.31.0040, HTSUSA, textile category 459, dutiable at 16.5 percent ad valorem.


HRL 957099 of December 15, 1994, is modified to incorporate the analysis and classification set forth in this ruling letter. As stated in HRL 957099, the vest at issue failed to qualify as an "India Item" and therefore is subject to visa/quota restraints. The chainstitch vest is classified in the provision for men's other garments, of wool, vests, in subheading 6211.31.0040, HTSUSA, textile category 459, dutiable at 16.5 percent ad valorem.

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

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 you 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 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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: