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HQ 958741

March 28, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958741 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6110.30.3055

Bill Ramia, Jr.
Alexander International
Memphis International Airport
P.O. Box 30209
Memphis, TN 38130

RE: Request for reconsideration of DD 814910; classification of women's knitwear; cut and styling of a cardigan; not a dress; heading 6110, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Ramia:

This is in reply to your request for reconsideration of District Decision (DD) 814910, dated October 6, 1995, which classified a women's knit garment in heading 6110, HTSUSA. A sample was submitted to this office and will be returned under separate cover.


The subject merchandise, referenced style number 1850, consists of a women's knit, cardigan style garment composed of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, featuring a round hemmed neckline, short hemmed sleeves, and a hemmed curved bottom. The garment has a full front opening fastened by six plastic star-shaped buttons; there are four inches of fabric between each button hole. There is one side entrance pocket on each side seam below the waistline, and decorative printing on the right side of the front of the garment. The garment's fabric has more than ten stitches per linear centimeter in both the horizontal and vertical directions. The garment is sized 1X and it is intended for wear by "plus-size" women. The garment extends from the wearer's neck and shoulders to the highest part of the thighs (at the highest part of garment's curved bottom).

In DD 814910, the subject garment was classified in heading 6110, HTSUSA, which provides for among other things, sweaters, pullovers and similar articles. You claim that this classification is in error and that proper classification for the garment is in heading 6104, HTSUSA, as a dress.


Whether the subject merchandise is correctly classified in heading 6110, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, sweaters, pullovers and similar articles, or heading 6104, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, dresses?


Classification of goods 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. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Heading 6104, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, knit dresses. The term "dress" is defined as:

1. An outer garment (as for a woman or girl) usu. consisting of a one-piece bodice and skirt, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1991, at 382.

2. A one-piece garment for the female (except as noted in infants' wear) covering the top of the body and extending to somewhere from below the mid-thigh to the feet. It is appropriate for wear without outer garments, and its lower end encloses both legs in a single "tube" (rather than in two, as trousers do). The Textile and Apparel Category
Guidelines, CIE 13/88, November 23, 1988, at 8.

3. May be made in one piece, cut in two pieces and joined with a waistline seam, or made in two separate pieces with each piece finished separately. Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, Essential Terms of Fashion,
1986, at 48.

Although the definitions of "dress" are general or vague at best, they do connote a garment that is much less casual than the submitted garment. There is a marked difference in cut and styling between the submitted sample and most garments commonly recognized in the trade as dresses. The characteristics of the submitted garment, that is, features such as the loose fitting style, the sides rising high towards the wearer's hips and the large spaces between the front buttonholes, preclude classification as a dress. In the opinion of this office, this garment is too relaxed in both cut and style, lacking in structure and coverage, to be worn alone as a dress. Even in today's permissive marketplace, this garment would not be appropriate to wear in the environments you claim, i.e. grocery stores and the like, regardless of added features like slit pockets to hold the wearer's keys. Furthermore, nothing was submitted in the way of marketing or advertising to support your claim that this garment should be classified as a dress.

It appears from your submission that although you claim this garment is a dress, you compare its function to that of a beachrobe, classified in subheading 6108, HTSUSA. You state that "this garment is appropriately designed and specific enough in both its marketing and usage to generally and normally be worn in an aquatic environment such as a beach or shore. In such an environment, this garment would be worn to grocery stores and other similar venues where the wearing of a bathing suit would be inappropriate, but this cover-up would provide enough covering for social acceptability." It should be noted that beach robes of heading 6108, HTSUSA, are garments intended to be worn for protection from the sun and/or are generally made of absorbent material. This is not the case with the subject garment.

It is the opinion of this office that the subject merchandise was properly classified as a cardigan in heading 6110, HTSUSA. Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vets) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 6110, HTSUSA, state that :

This heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, without distinction between male or female wear, designed to cover the upper parts of the body (jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles).

"Cardigan" is defined as:

1- A usually collarless sweater or jacket that opens the full length of the center front, Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1991, at 207.

2- A knitted woolen jacket or sweater, collarless and open in the front, The Random House Dictionary, 1973, at 203.

3- A sweater style, usually 3-button coat sweater with either a V or round neck. There are also cardigan jackets made of woolen or worsted fabric, The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, 1973, at 79.

Accordingly, the most appropriate classification for the sample garment is in heading 6110, HTSUSA, as a garment similar to the named garments of heading 6110, HTSUSA. This is a heading which includes outerwear garments which cover the upper torso as far as the mid-thigh or slightly below the mid-thigh. A "cardigan" is descriptive of a garment with a relaxed cut and style and which must be worn over other garments, as in this case, a swimsuit. It is unlike a dress which may be worn alone.


The submitted garment, style number 1850, is properly classified in subheading 6110.30.3055, HTSUSA, which provides for, sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers: other: other: other; other: other: women's or girls'. The applicable rate of duty is 33.8 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 639.

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 that 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 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, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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