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HQ 959416

July 5, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959416 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0075

Eleanore Kelly-Kobayashi, Esq.
Rode & Qualey
295 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

RE: Revocation of NY A83887; garment has appearance of jacket; heading 6211, HTSUSA

Dear Ms. Kobayashi:

This is in response to your letter, dated June 26, 1996, on behalf of your client, Rafaella Sportswear, requesting revocation of New York Ruling Letter (NY) A83887, dated June 7, 1996, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a women's woven garment. A sample of the garment and several pictures demonstrating how the garment is displayed in department stores were submitted to this office for examination.


The submitted women's garment, referenced style number RW0359, is constructed from 100 percent woven cotton fabric. The garment extends from the neck and shoulders to the waist and has a full frontal opening secured by a zipper, a pointed collar, long sleeves without cuffs and two breast pockets with zipper closures.

In NY A83887, the subject garment was classified in heading 6206, HTSUSA, as a blouse. You disagree with this determination. In your opinion the subject garment is properly classified in heading 6211, HTSUSA, as a jacket/jacket-type garment excluded from heading 6202, HTSUSA. In the alternative, you propose heading 6202, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles.


Whether the subject garment is properly classifiable in heading 6202, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles, or in heading 6206, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, women's blouses, or in heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, jackets/jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6202, HTSUSA ?


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.

Heading 6202, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's or girls' anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles. The types of garments that are classifiable within this heading are usually those garments which exhibit features which have a fabric weight that is slightly heavier than the submitted garment and which would protect the wearer from inclement weather. This does not appear to be the case with the submitted garment. As such, we move on to the next plausible classification.

Heading 6206, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, women's blouses. The Textile and Apparel Category Guidelines (Guidelines),13/88, dated November 23, 1988, provides guidance in the determination of appropriate textile categories while insuring uniformity both in the classification of garments and to the HTSUSA. The Guidelines define blouse as:

Blouses are outer garments usually extending from the neck or shoulders to the vicinity of the waistline. However, also included in the category are overblouses and similar garments which may extend to mid-thigh area or below, and which are frequently slit up the leg. Blouses may have a collar treatment of any type or no collar. The closure may be positioned on the front, back, or side, or the garment may even be without closure as in a pullover...

The Fashion Dictionary, by Mary Brooks Picken, 1957, at 23, defines "blouse" as:

Loose waist or bodice of various types extending from neckline to waistline or below. Worn inside or outside separate skirt.

The Essential Terms of Fashion, by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, 1986, at 9, defines "blouse" as:

Clothing for the upper part of the body usually softer and less tailored than a shirt, worn with matching or contrasting skirt, pants, suit or jumper. Formerly called a waist.

The definitions for "blouse" stated above describe a garment which appears to be less tailored, or freer in form than the submitted garment which has a more streamline, form-fitting, and rigid silhouette. Additionally, the overall appearance of the submitted garment does not qualify for classification as a shirt, which is also provided for in heading 6206, HTSUSA, for the reasons stated below. Thus, we devolve to heading 6211, HTSUSA.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for track suits, ski-suits and swimwear and other garments. Subheading 6211.42.0075, HTSUSA, provides for jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6202, HTSUSA. The Guidelines define jacket as having:

[F]ull or partial front openings and sleeves, and at the least cover the upper part of the body from the neck area to the waist. They may be within the coat category if designed to be worn over another garment (other than underwear). The following criteria may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for its wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both:

1) Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard.
2) A full or partial lining.
3) Pockets at or below the waist.
4) Back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams.
5) Eisenhower styling.
6) A belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets.
7) Large jacket/coat style buttons, toggles or snaps, a heavy-duty zipper or other heavy- duty closure, or buttons fastened with reinforcing thread for heavy-duty use. 8) Lapels.
9) Long sleeves without cuffs.
10) Elasticized or rib-knit cuffs.
11) Drawstring, elastic or rib-knit waistband.

Garments having features of both jackets and shirts will be categorized as coats if they possess at least three of the above listed features and if the result is unreasonable...Garments not possessing at least 3 of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis.

In the Essential Terms of Fashion, by Charlotte Mankey Calasibetta, 1986, at 90, "jacket" is defined as:

Item of apparel, usually shorter than hip-length, designed to be worn over other clothing of either indoors or outdoors. Some are made in double-breasted or single-breasted manner; others have no closing, and some are closed with a zipper.

The determinative issue is whether this garment is classifiable as a jacket or a blouse. The determination of this issue will depend, in large part, on whether the garment's design renders it exclusively suitable for use as one or the other and the manner in which the garment is marketed. In situations such as these, Customs will first examine the physical characteristics of the garment at hand. This office has noted in prior rulings that, "the merchandise itself may be strong evidence of use." See also, Mast Industries, Inc. v. United States, 9 CIT 549, at 552, citing United States v. Bruce Duncan Co., 50 CCPA 43, 46, C.A.D. 817 (1963).

The Guidelines state that garments not possessing three of the enumerated features should be considered on an individual basis. Although the submitted garment does not possess three jacket features, it does have two attributes of a jacket noted by the Guidelines, namely, a heavy-duty zipper and long sleeves without cuffs. We also note that a full frontal zipper, as featured in the submitted garment, is relatively uncommon in blouses. In the case of the submitted garment, the physical appearance of the garment strongly suggests use as a jacket. Additionally, the pictures you provided wherein the garment is displayed on a hanger placed over a shirt and vest with matching slacks, support your assertion that these garments will be marketed and sold as jackets.

Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that the submitted garment was incorrectly classified in NY A83887 in heading 6206, HTSUSA. The proper classification for the subject garment is in heading 6211, HTSUSA.


The submitted women's woven garment, referenced style RW0359, is properly classified in subheading 6211.42.0075, HTSUSA, which provides for, track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: other garments, women's or girls': of cotton: jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from headings 6202. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 335.

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

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