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HQ 959183

November 7, 1996
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959183 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.42.0070

Herb Levison
Patrick Powers Customs Brokers, Inc.
Post Office Box 30155
JFK Airport Station
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Classification of reversible vest; Heading 4203; Heading 6211; GRI 3(c)

Dear Mr. Levison:

This is in response to your inquiry of March 15, 1996, requesting a tariff classification ruling for certain reversible vests pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). This request is on behalf of Yick Fung Fur Limited. A sample was submitted for examination.


The garment at issue is a girl's reversible vest, Style 6996, which is manufactured in size 7-16. The front portion of one side of the garment is constructed of suede leather while the other side of the front portion of the garment is composed of 100 percent cotton woven denim material on the front. The back panels on both the textile side of the garment and the suede side of the garment are composed of 100 percent woven nylon fabric. The garment contains a full frontal opening with three decorated metal snaps on each side. There is a pocket located on each front quarter panel on both the suede and denim sides. On the denim side of the garment, the pockets are trimmed with suede leather.


Whether the subject reversible vest is classifiable under Heading 4203, HTSUSA, or 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.

The garment at issue is potentially classifiable under two distinct headings. Heading 4203, HTSUSA, is the provision for articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or of composition leather. Heading 6211, HTSUSA, is the provision for track suits, ski-suits, swimsuits and garments not previously provided for in other headings.

In this case, the reversible garment at issue is comprised of leather and textile fabric, materials that are classifiable in different headings. In accordance with GRI 2(b), goods that are prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, cause GRI 3 to be applicable.

GRI 3(a) requires that where two or more headings describe the merchandise, the more specific will prevail; or if two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials in the goods, then classification will be pursuant to GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) states that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine the classification. GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), the goods shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration in determining their classification.

In prior cases, Customs has concluded that when determining the classification of reversible garments which are comprised of different materials on each side, neither of the materials imparts the essential character of the garment as each side is equally useable and functional. See, HRL 955218, dated March 4, 1994 and HRL 956138, dated July 19, 1994.

When examining this garment in light of the cited Customs rulings, it is apparent to Customs that the subject garment is reversible and equally useable on either side depending upon the preference of the wearer. This additional attachment of leather material on the textile side of the garment does not render the other side of the garment any less wearable or desirable. As both sides of the vest are functional and wearable, neither side imparts the essential character of the garments. Since both sides of the subject vest are equally important, Customs will apply the principles of GRI 3(c) and classify the vest in the heading that occurs last in numerical order, Heading 6211, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the subject vest is classifiable in subheading 6211.42.0070, HTSUSA, which provides for other cotton vests. 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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