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HQ 088978

December 18, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088978 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 6106.10.0010, 6104.52.0010

Peter W. Klestadt, Esq.
Mark K. Neville, Jr., Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, New York 10017

RE: Reconsideration of DD 854705 of August 17, 1990; Classification of sequined garments; plastic v. textile

Dear MM. Klestadt & Neville:

This ruling is in response to your request of March 22, 1991, on behalf of Adrienne Vittadini, Inc., for reconsideration of DD 854705 of August 17, 1990. That ruling concerned the classification of a woman's sequined blouse and sequined skirt imported from Hong Kong.


The garments at issue, a woman's sequined blouse (style W50765) and a woman's sequined skirt (style W50764), were classified as textile knit wearing apparel in headings 6106, HTSUSA, and 6104, HTSUSA, respectively, in DD 854705.

The garments are made of 100 percent cotton knit fabric. The blouse features a full front opening secured by five plastic square-shaped buttons, short sleeves, hemmed sleeves and bottom, sewn-in shoulder pads, and a rounded neckline. The skirt is straight with an elasticized self-fabric waistband and a hemmed bottom. Neither garment is lined and each garment is covered with round plastic sequins which are sewn onto the garments in an overlapping pattern. The blouse is covered in a checkerboard design created by black and silver sequins whereas the skirt is covered with only black sequins.

Classification is being sought under heading 3926, HTSUSA, as other articles of apparel of plastics, or in the alternative as women's garments made up of knitted fabrics of heading 5903 and having an outer surface covered with plastic materials which
completely obscures the underlying fabric under heading 6113, HTSUSA, or as women's garments made up of knitted fabric of heading 5903 which is also under heading 6113, HTSUSA.


Are the garments at issue classifiable as textile wearing apparel of Chapter 61 as ruled in DD 854705, or are the garments classifiable as apparel of plastics of heading 3926, HTSUSA, or as garments of heading 6113, HTSUSA?


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, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Customs agrees that each of the garments at issue appear to be classifiable, prima facie, under two headings--heading 3926, which provides for, among other things, articles of apparel and clothing accessories of plastics [blouse and skirt]; and heading 6106, which provides for women's knitted blouses; and heading 6104, which provides for, among other things, women's knitted skirts.

Note 1(h), Section XI, HTSUSA, excludes "[w]oven, knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt or nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, or articles thereof, of Chapter 39" from coverage in Section XI. [emphasis added]. Note 1(l), Chapter 39, excludes goods of Section XI (textiles and textile articles) from inclusion in Chapter 39. On the surface, it would appear these notes are conflicting. Customs believes they are not.

First, we must determine if the fabric from which the garments are made is fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics classifiable in Chapter 39. In the Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level, in the general notes for Chapter 39, at page 554, plastics and textile combinations are discussed. In pertinent part, the notes provide as follows:

[T]he classification of plastics and textile combinations is essentially governed by Note 1 (h) to Section XI, Note 3 to Chapter 56 and Note 2 to Chapter 59. The following products are also covered by this Chapter:

(b) Textile fabrics and nonwovens, either completely embedded in plastics or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such material, provided that such coating or covering can be seen with the naked eye with no account being taken of any resulting change of colour;

(d) Plates, sheets and strip of cellular plastics combined with textile fabrics, felt or nonwovens, where the textile is present merely for reinforcing purposes.

Note 3 to Chapter 56 is not applicable as it deals with felt and nonwovens. Note 2 to Chapter 59 provides in pertinent part:

Heading No. 59.03 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square metre and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(4) Fabrics partially coated or partially covered with plastics and bearing designs resulting from these treatments (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60) [emphasis added];

(5) Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (Chapter 39); or

Reviewing the cited provisions, Customs finds no support for classification of the subject garments in Chapter 39. The sequins, or spangles, are not plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastic, nor is the textile fabric present merely for reinforcing purposes. In order for the knit fabric to be considered classifiable in Chapter 39 it must be covered on both sides by plastics, which it is not. If the fabric is not classifiable in Chapter 39, an article of that fabric is not classifiable in Chapter 39. Therefore, if the garments are not made from fabric of Chapter 39, i.e., articles thereof, they are not excluded by Note 1(h), Section XI, HTSUSA, from classification within Section XI.

You have proposed alternative classifications under heading 6113 as garments made up of knitted fabrics of heading 5903 and having an outer surface covered with plastic materials which completely obscures the underlying fabric (6113.00.0012, HTSUSA) or as women's garments made up of knitted fabric of heading 5903 (6113.00.0080, HTSUSA). Customs rejects this proposal because we find that the garments are not made up of fabric which is classifiable in heading 5903.

You have argued that the knit fabric is "covered" with plastics and therefore the fabric is fabric of heading 5903. Customs agrees the garments are covered with plastic sequins which are sewn onto them. However, in Customs view, sewing plastic sequins onto a fabric does not create a fabric "covered" with plastics within the meaning of heading 5903. Customs believes that fabrics of heading 5903 are fabrics which have been impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics by some technical means or process so as to create a permanent bond, or at least one not easily broken, between the plastics and textile fabric. For example, the Explanatory Notes to heading 5903 refer to processes for covering fabric with plastics as "treatments". Attaching sequins by stitches is not a treatment. The sequins are separate components joined to the fabric by thread. They are not bound to the fabric to create a single component of mixed composition.

At issue are knit garments which have been covered with sequins attached by ordinary stitches. Heading 5810 which provides for embroidery in the piece, in strips or in motifs, furnishes clarification on the classification of the garments at issue. Note 6, Chapter 58, HTSUSA, states:

In heading 58.10, the expression "embroidery" means, inter alia, embroidery with metal or glass thread on a visible ground of textile fabric, and sewn applique work of sequins, beads or ornamental motifs of textile or other materials. The heading does not apply to needlework tapestry (heading No. 58.05).

The Explanatory Notes for heading 5810 describes applique work, in pertinent part, as follows:

This consists of a ground of textile fabric or felt on which are sewn, by embroidery or ordinary stitches:

(A) Beads, sequins or similar ornamental accessories; these accessories are generally made of glass, gelatin, metal or wood, and are sewn so as to produce a pattern or a scattered design on the ground fabric.

The heading does not cover:

(d) Embroidery (other than motifs) made up within the meaning of Part (II) of the General Explanatory Note to Section XI, whether or not in the form of finished articles ready for use. Also individual articles of embroidery, completely finished, ready for use as such, which are embroidered directly in their final shape without any further fabrication. This wide range of articles is classified as made up articles (e.g., Chapter 61, 62, 63 or 65) and includes, for example, handkerchiefs, bibs, cuffs, collars, bodices, dresses, tray-cloths, table-centres, mantlepiece covers, table mats and curtains.

The exclusionary note clearly indicates that embroidered dresses, embroidered directly in their final shape without any further fabrication, are classifiable in Chapters 61 or 62. Customs believes that the garments at issue are embroidered after they are in their final shape. The sequins on the blouse, style W50765, create a checkerboard design. The sequins on the skirt, style W50764, are sewn in lengthwise rows. While the lengthwise rows are a repeated pattern, the sequins do not create a visually discernable pattern or design. However, to classify sequined garments differently solely based on the color of the sequins with which the garments are covered would create a clear inconsistency. Therefore, Customs will not distinguish garments covered by sequins of one color from other sequined covered garments for classification purposes. The garments at issue are classifiable as knit garments in Chapter 61.

Having determined the classification of the garments based on the terms of the headings and the relative section and chapter notes, there is no need to go beyond General Rule of Interpretation 1.

Customs recognizes that the classification of the goods in question as wearing apparel of textiles is a departure from the classification of these types of garments, i.e., completely covered with sequins, under the previous Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated. However, the HTS is a new tariff with new rules which will sometimes result in articles being differently classified than they were under the previous tariff.


The garments at issue were correctly classified in DD 854705 of August 17, 1990. The blouse, style W50765, is classified in subheading 6106.10.0010, HTSUSA, textile category 339, dutiable at 21 percent ad valorem. The skirt, style W50764, is classified in subheading 6104.52.0010, HTSUSA, textile category 342, dutiable at 8.8 percent ad valorem.

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

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