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 > 1996 HQ Rulings > HQ 958038 - HQ 958151 > HQ 958131

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 958131

November 9, 1995

C.A.-2 R:C:T 958131 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6202.93.5011

Sandra Liss Friedman, Esquire
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10016

RE: Women's outerwear garment; appearance of garment alone not indicative of classification; merchandising and marketing; incomplete lining disqualifies garment as water resistant

Dear Ms. Friedman:

This is in response to your letter, dated May 4, 1995, on behalf of your client, Gallery Woman, Ltd. and its sister company, Junior Gallery, Ltd., requesting a classification ruling for a woman's outerwear garment. A sample was provided to this office for examination and will be returned under separate cover.


The submitted sample, a woman's outerwear garment, referenced style number 5696, consists of a 70 percent polyester and 30 percent nylon woven fabric shell and a woven nylon lining. It features a full-front opening with an asymmetrical zipper and inner single button closure, a pointed collar, inserted slant pockets, cuffs with adjustable bands and zipper closures, a tie belt at the waist and an inverted back pleat below the single belt loop. The garment is a size Medium and the garment's center back length measures 30.75 inches, which is below the hips and slightly above the fingertips. You state that the garment has been tested for water resistance and has passed the test set forth in Additional U.S. Note 2 to chapter 62, HTSUSA.

In your opinion this garment is similar to an anorak, in subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA. In support of this classification you state:

1. Lexicographic sources defining "anorak";

2. The garment is short and presents a close fitting, sporty appearance for wear with casual clothing and is inappropriate for wear with dressy or business attire; HQ 083536 and HQ 956138. ISSUE:

1. Whether the subject merchandise is properly classifiable as similar to an anorak or as a raincoat?

2. Is the subject garment classifiable as water resistant?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

In your submission you make reference to various lexicographic sources which define "anorak". You state that though the appearance of one anorak-type garment differs somewhat from the next, they all share the characteristic casual appearance which makes them suitable for outdoor activities. In HQ 953467, dated June 2, 1993, Customs discussed the difference between an anorak and a raincoat. That ruling succinctly stated that anoraks are usually described as jackets whereas raincoats are described as coats. Thus, as is the case with the subject merchandise, the issue is whether the merchandise is considered a jacket versus a coat. HQ 953647 continued:

Customs views the length of a garment to be sometimes an influential factor in determining what a garment is. For instance, if these garments reached below the knee, their classification would not likely be an issue; most garments extend to mid-thigh lengths. This makes their classification more difficult because coats and jackets are both normally available in these lengths.

Though anorak garments exhibit fundamental features, the same cannot be said in regard to anorak type garments. "Similar articles" in relation to anoraks, usually includes garments which have the features of an anorak except for either a hood or lining. The length of these garments will also vary. For this reason, the numerous available existing lexicographic sources are of little aid in making a determination. Similarly, the Customs rulings to which you refer, HQ 083536, dated October 23, 1989 and HQ 956138, dated July 19, 1994, offer little guidance in
providing us with a comprehensive description of the anorak-type garment. A careful examination of the above mentioned rulings however, does reveal that unlike the submitted garment, the garments of HQ 083536 and HQ 956138 do have certain features (though not all) usually attributed to anorak-type garments. These features include elastic or rib knit cuffs, a drawstring at the waist or bottom, and the presence of a hood and padding.

Although coats have traditionally been worn long, over the last several seasons the trend in coats and rainwear has been towards shorter lengths and greater adaptability to a variety of uses, from workwear to weekend wear. An article in the April 5, 1994 issue of Women's Wear Daily is quoted as citing big demand for short coats from 30-inch belted trench coats to 36-inch swing coats. A later issue, November 29, 1994, of the same publication, illustrates a variety of short coats, one in particular which closely approximates the length and cut of the submitted merchandise. Accordingly, fashion now dictates that short lengths are no longer simply equated with casual styled outerwear, but have now taken on a dual use. Outside of the zipper closure, the submitted garment does not feature any of the usual anorak-type features (i.e., elastic or rib knit cuffs, drawstring at the waist or bottom, hood, padding). The submitted garment does however, have adjustable bands at the wrists identical to those found on raincoats. Also supportive of the fact that this garment is classifiable as a raincoat is the fact that the garment features an inverted pleat in the lower half of the back. The sole function of this pleat is to create a flared effect that is found on coats, but not on anoraks and similar articles.

It is the opinion of this office that the submitted sample, for classification purposes, is a "borderline" garment. That is to say, it exhibits features which may be indicative of either a coat, as discussed above, or of a jacket. In a recent meeting discussing the classification of this merchandise, you pointed out the relationship of this garment to the traditional motorcycle jacket; the straight and narrow silhouette, the overall casual styling, and the sizing of the jacket, which comes in 1X-2X-3X rather than specific sizes as is found in coats. Additionally, you submitted to us signed affidavits from several buyers documenting the way that this garment will be sold. In the opinion of those buyers, the garment is a jacket and is purchased by them as such, given the garments light weight material, casual sporty styling, the asymmetrical zipper, and narrow cut. It is also placed on the sales floor with other jackets, not coats. Accordingly, given that the appearance of the garment alone is not determinative of classification and the documentation you have submitted by way of sworn affidavits evidences that the garment is purchased as a jacket by buyers in the field, we are of the opinion that the submitted garment in this case is classifiable as a jacket.

The next issue is whether this garment is classifiable as water resistant. For the purposes of certain specified headings, Additional U.S. Note 2, chapter 62, HTSUSA, states:

[T]he term "water resistant" means that garments classifiable in those subheadings must have a water resistance (see ASTM designations D 3600-81 and D 3781-79) such that, under a head pressure of 600 millimeters, not more than 1.0 gram of water penetrates after two minutes when tested in accordance with AATCC Test Method 35-1985. This water resistance must be the result of a rubber or plastics application to the outer shell, lining or inner lining. (emphasis added)

In HQ 087317, dated February 7, 1991, this office held that a jacket that was not fully lined, that is, in the front of the garment, on either side of the zipper, there was a strip of shell fabric attached to the interior creating a two-and-one-quarter inch gap in which the garment was not lined with the coated lining, could not be classified under the water resistant provision of the tariff. In a similar manner, as the submitted garment has significant portions which are not water resistant (the lining extends only to the self-fabric facing along the front panels, resulting in a 4-« inch gap in which the garment is not lined with the coated lining), we cannot consider the garment to be "water resistant" within the purview of Additional U.S. Note 2. See also, HQ 950185, dated November 13, 1991 and HQ 087964, dated December 20, 1990, wherein Customs determined that jackets with incomplete linings were not classifiable as water resistant garments.

In a subsequent conversation you stated to us that the sample submitted to us was not a production sample; the actual production sample will have a coated lining that extends to the seam. In that event, that is, if the coated lining extends to the seam of the garment, eliminating the 4-1/2 inch gap which now exists, then the garment will be water resistant as required by Additional U.S. Note 2.


The submitted merchandise, style number 5696, is properly classified in subheading 6202.93.5011, HTSUSA, which provides for, women's or girls' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6204: anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets) of man-made fibers: other; other; other; other; women's. The applicable rate of duty is 29.3 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 635.

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 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) 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: