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HQ 958795

March 5, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958795 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.32.0081

Sylvia Perez
M.G. Maher & Company, Inc.
One Canal Place
New Orleans, LA 70130

RE: Classification of a woven and knit pullover garment; Heading 6110; Heading 6205; Heading 6211; GRI 3(c)

Dear Ms. Perez:

This is in response to your inquiry of November 6, 1995, on behalf of Harcrest International, Ltd., requesting a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), concerning a men's upper body garment. A sample was submitted for examination.


The sample submitted is a reversible pullover garment. One side of the garment is woven cotton flannel material, the other side of the garment is composed of knit cotton material. The garment contains a cross-over rib knit crew neckband, cuffs, and waistband.


What is the proper tariff classification for the subject garment?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined 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 taken in order.

As the subject garment is comprised of knit material and woven material, it is a composite good for tariff classification purposes. GRI 3 applies to goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. GRI 3(b) states, in pertinent part, the following:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Customs must determine which component imparts the garment's essential character. In this instance, the garment is reversible and depending on the choice of the wearer either side is equally suitable for wear. Therefore, neither of the constituent materials impart the essential character of the garment.

As none of the constituent materials impart the essential character of the merchandise in question, Customs must look to GRI 3(c) for classification of the article.

GRI 3(c) provides, in pertinent part:

When goods cannot be classified by reference to Rule 3(a) or 3(b), they are to be classified in the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.

At first glance, the headings that equally merit consideration are Heading 6110, HTSUSA, the provision for knit pullovers, Heading 6205, HTSUSA, the provision for men's or boys's shirts, and Heading 6211, HTSUSA, the provision for other garments. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), although not legally binding are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6205, HTSUSA, states that shirts are garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full or partial opening starting at the neckline. The subject garment is not classifiable under Heading 6205, HTSUSA, since it is not constructed as a shirt of this heading with a partial or full opening. Instead, the subject garment is a pullover. Also considering the heavy weight of the garment it is not designed for use as a shirt. Therefore, the headings that remain under consideration are Headings 6110 and 6211, HTSUSA. As Heading 6211, HTSUSA, comes last in numerical order, the subject article is classifiable under that heading.


Based on the foregoing, the subject article is classifiable under subheading 6211.32.0081, HTSUSA, which provides for men's other woven cotton garments. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 359.

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 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 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
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

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