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HQ 959363

November 4, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959363 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6211.32.0081

Ms. Ritu Khanna
Import Manager
Resist, Inc.
354 13th Street
Carlstadt, NJ 07072

RE: Reversible Garment; Pullover; Heading 6211; Shirt; Heading 6205; Woven vs. Knitted

Dear Ms. Ritu:

This is in reply to your letter of April 26, 1996, requesting a classification ruling on a reversible men's garment from India. The sample garment you submitted is being returned to you, as you requested, under separate cover.


The merchandise in question is a reversible men's garment, style number 3059T. One side of the garment is made of knitted cotton fabric and the reverse side is made of woven cotton flannel fabric. The garment has a cross-over rib knit crew neckband, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs and a rib knit waistband. It has no pockets. You state that the garment's principal use in the United States will be as a reversible shirt.


What is the classification of the men's reversible garment, which is constructed of knitted cotton fabric on one side and woven cotton fabric on the reverse side?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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.

You claim that the garment should be classified as a shirt under heading 6205, HTSUSA. 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 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. Your garment does not have a partial or full opening and is, therefore, not classifiable as a shirt under heading 6205.

The garment in question is loose fitting, constructed of heavy weight fabric and is designed to pull-on over the head. Based on the style and design of the garment, it is best characterized as a pullover. The garment consists of both knit and woven components. Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for knitted pullovers, and heading 6211, HTSUSA, which includes, among other goods, woven pullovers, are equally applicable pursuant to GRI 2(b). Accordingly, classification of the subject garment is governed by GRI 3.

GRI 3(a) provides that where two or more headings each refer to part only of an article, classification is determined using a GRI 3(b) analysis. In this case, heading 6110 refers to the knit component of the garment and heading 6211 refers to the woven component. Thus, GRI 3(b) is applicable. It states that the material or component which imparts the essential character to an article will determine classification. In this case, both sides of the reversible garment are equally suitable for wear as the outer shell. Neither the knitted cotton side nor the woven cotton side imparts the essential character to the garment.

As none of the constituent materials impart the essential character to the garment, Customs must look to the next applicable GRI for classification of the article. GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. Between the competing headings in this case, 6110 and 6211, it is the latter which controls classification.


The reversible men's pullover is classified under subheading 6211.32.0081, which provides for "Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, men's or boys':Of cotton
. . . Other." They are dutiable at the column one general rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem, and the applicable textile 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements. Sincerely,

Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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