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HQ 953341

June 29, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953341 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6202.93.4500; 6204.63.3000

Paul John Crowley, Esq.
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. 67 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Classification of upper and lower body garments; track suit; braiding; gemstones; studs; separates; Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 62, HTSUSA; Heading 6211; Heading 6202; Heading 6204

Dear Mr. Crowley:

This ruling is in response to your inquiry of January 4, 1993, on behalf of Foreign Resources Corporation, requesting a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A pair of pants and matching jacket were submitted for examination.


The merchandise in question, Style 15104/35500/55509, consists of a jacket and pants, constructed of a woven nylon shell fabric. The outer surface of the fabric has been coated with polyurethane plastics. You state that the addition of this coating to the surface of the garments renders them water resistant. You have submitted a test report from an independent testing facility confirming that the garments in question meet the water resistant requirements of Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 62, HTSUSA. The garments also contain a jersey knit lining. The pants have an elasticized waistband with a drawstring means of closure, side seam pockets, elasticized cuffs, and a vertical zipper extending up each leg approximately eight inches.

The jacket contains a full frontal opening with a zipper closure which extends to the top of the collar, slant pockets at the waist, an elasticized waistband, partially elasticized cuffs, and shoulder pads. The jacket component is very decorative and has a braiding with metallic yarns extending from the shoulders to the center of the jacket, along the pocket welting, and inside the collar. The jacket is also adorned with a series of imitation oval and round gemstones. The round gemstones measure approximately one-half inch in diameter while the oval gemstones measure approximately one-half by three-quarters of an inch. The oval and round gemstones are further accented by metal studs slightly larger than three-eighths of an inch in diameter.


Whether the decorative embellishments and the added coating render the merchandise in question unsuitable for use as a track suit which is provided for under Heading 6211, HTSUSA?


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.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, is the provision for track suits. 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 6211, HTSUSA, state that track suits consist of two garments, one for the upper body and a pair of trousers, which, because of their general appearance and the nature of the fabric, are clearly meant to be worn exclusively or mainly in the pursuit of sporting activities.

As a result of the fashion trend which has developed in recent years to wear garments which are designed and intended for use in sporting activities, as leisurewear garments, Customs has had the formidable task of determining the proper tariff classification for these garments. In prior instances, where Customs had a question as to the principle use of a track suit type garment, Customs required additional evidence to substantiate the claim that the garment would be utilized "exclusively or mainly" for sporting endeavors. Customs is now of the opinion that requesting evidence of use for track suit type garments is not the most effective approach in classifying such garments. Customs reached this conclusion after realizing that identical garments could be classified in different headings based on the quality of evidence an importer submitted to substantiate his tariff classification claim. After further review, it is now our position that as long as Customs can conclude that because of construction and design, such garments fit into a class or kind of goods which are intended to be used exclusively or mainly for athletic activities, the garments will be classified under Heading 6211, HTSUSA, as track suits.

Recently, garments that have the basic construction of track suits described in the EN have been designed with various types of decorative embellishments. In this instance, the merchandise in question has been outfitted with shoulder pads, braiding, studs, and gemstones on the surface of the garment. This type of adornment is not traditionally associated with a garment intended for use in sporting endeavors. Customs is aware, however, that garments constructed for use during sports have currently become more stylish while still being suitable for wear during sports. Therefore, when faced with the classification of garments that have the general appearance of a track suit in addition to fashionable embellishments, Customs will examine the garments and determine whether the additional embellishments render the garments unsuitable for use during sporting activities. When determining suitability for use during sporting activities, Customs will assess the comfort and durability of the subject garments.

The instant merchandise is comprised of features which are traditionally unrelated to use in sports. However, the garments in question contain the general characteristics of a track suit. These characteristics include the elasticized waistband and cuffs, drawstring waist, a lightweight jersey knit lining that breathes and wicks away moisture, shell fabric which is commonly used in the construction of track suits, a loose-fit which improves mobility, and the jacket component has a zippered closure that is capable of total torso coverage.

After examining the garments, Customs is of the opinion that in spite of the fashionable additions, because of the basic structural characteristics listed above, the garments in question generally meet the criteria of a track suit. Next, Customs must determine whether the embellishments attached to the garments render them unsuitable for use during sporting activities. Although the shoulder pads do not contribute to the usefulness of the garments during sporting activities, they do not inhibit the wearer during such activities. Also, Customs has assessed the use of shoulder pads in garments constructed for sporting activities in prior cases, and determined that shoulder pads, by themselves, do not prevent classification of such garments as track suits. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950378, dated April 22, 1993; HRL 087966, dated January 30, 1991. In HRL 950378, Customs encountered the issue of braiding attached to garments constructed and intended for use during sports. Customs determined that the braiding in no way detracted from the subject garments use during athletic activities and classified the garments as a track suit under Heading 6211, HTSUSA.

In this case, Customs must examine the suitability of the gemstones and studs attached to garments intended and constructed for wear during sports. Customs is cognizant of the fact, that such accessories are generally not added to track suits. However, due to recent fashions trends and consumer demand, garments worn while partaking in sporting endeavors have been designed with a wide variety of stylish additions. The gemstones and studs are located on the jacket component's exterior surface. The embellishments in no way hamper the wearer's comfort during rigorous movement. Even with the presence of the accessories on the jacket, the wearer is still able to participate in running and jogging events with ease. As mentioned above, the garments in question are constructed of a woven nylon shell fabric commonly used in the manufacturing of track suits. This type of sturdy fabric is capable of the constant, hard, use commonly associated with running and jogging sporting activities. And the added fashion features do not diminish the durability of the garments during sporting activities. Therefore, the attached embellishments do not render the subject garments unsuitable for use during sporting activities.

In your submission, you assert that the garments in question are coated with 600 mm of polyurethane, which renders the garments water resistant for tariff purposes. You further maintain that the garments are properly classifiable as separates under the water resistant category of Chapter 62, HTSUSA. Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 62, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

[T]he term "water resistant" means that garments classifiable in those subheadings must have 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.

When classifying garments such as the articles in question, Customs realizes that the items are potentially classifiable under competing provisions. The garments in question have the general appearance and characteristics of a track suit, which is specifically provided for under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. However, the garments also meet the water resistant test for separates provided for at the subheading level of Chapter 62, HTSUSA. In prior rulings, when faced with classifying similar garments, Customs consistently classified the garments under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. The decision to classify the garments under Heading 6211, HTSUSA, was premised on the fact that the garments were more specifically provided for under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. It is important to note that the instant garments have the general appearance and construction of a track suit. However, to be properly classifiable under Heading 6211, the subject garments must also be suitable for use during sporting activities. In this case, the extensive coating added to the surface of the garments does not allow the garments to breathe and wick away moisture during sporting activities. Therefore, the water resistant garments in question are classifiable under the applicable water resistant subheading of Chapter 62, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the subject jacket is classifiable under subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, which is the provision for women's or girls' water resistant anoraks (including ski- jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets). The applicable rate of duty is 7.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 635.

The pants are classifiable under subheading 6204.63.3000, HTSUSA, which is the provision for women's or girls' water resistant suits trousers. The applicable rate of duty is 7.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 648.

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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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