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HQ 959817

April 7, 1997
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959817 DHS


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3040

Mauritz Plenby
Associated Merchandising Corporation
1440 Broadway
New York, New York 10018

RE: Classification of a chef's jacket; Heading 6211; Heading 6206

Dear Mr. Plenby:

This is in reply to your letter dated September 13, 1996, submitted on behalf of PT Mayertex, requesting a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), concerning a chef's jacket. A sample was submitted for examination. Our response follows.


The submitted merchandise is a chef's jacket, style number 35760-092 composed of 100% woven cotton fabric and made in Indonesia. It is a full front opening, mid-thigh length garment with long sleeves, roll up cuffs and a mandarin collar. It features double rows of six fabric knot buttons and button holes that allow the garment to be buttoned right over left or left over right making this a unisex garment. There is a left side chest pocket with a sewn separator for holding a pen or pencil.

You assert that the chef's jacket is classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUS, in accordance with NY Ruling 801738, dated September 12, 1994, classifying a similar garment.


What is the tariff classification of the chef's jacket?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.
The subject article is potentially classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUS, and heading 6206, HTSUS. Heading 6211, HTSUS, provides for women's track suits, ski-suits and swimwear, and other garments. Heading 6206, HTSUS, provides for women's blouses, shirts, and shirt-blouses.

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 6114 concerning other garments apply mutatis mutandis, to the articles of heading 6211, HTSUS. The applicable EN to heading 6114, HTSUS, provides that "this heading covers knitted or crocheted garments which are not included more specifically in the preceding headings of this chapter". Applying this language to heading 6211, HTSUS, denotes that Heading 6211, HTSUS, is not appropriate if the garments at issue are covered more specifically in preceding headings. The applicable EN to heading 6211, HTSUS, further states the following:

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Aprons, boiler suits (coverall), smocks and other protective clothing of a kind worn by mechanics, factory workers, surgeons, etc.

(2) Clerical or ecclesiastical garments and vestments (e.g., monks' habits, cassocks, copes, soutanes, surplices).

(3) Professional or scholastic gowns and robes.

(4) Specialized clothing for airmen, etc. (e.g., airmen's electrically heated clothing).

(5) Special articles of apparel used for certain sports or for dancing or gymnastics (e.g., fencing clothing, jockeys' silks, ballet skirts, leotards).

General notes to the EN to Chapter 62 state, in part, "Shirts and shirt blouses are garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full front opening starting at the neckline."

The application of these two headings to other garments has been previously reviewed by this office. For instance, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 959136, dated November 27, 1996, this office classified a hospital issue scrub type top in heading 6206, HTSUS, determining that it was not suitable for use as protective clothing. Customs pointed out in this ruling that "the protective garments properly classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA, are of a kind that have special design features or unique properties that distinguish them from other garments that are not used for protective purposes." Several examples of this follow. In HQ 952934, dated July 19, 1993, Customs classified coveralls designed to protect the wearer from microwave radiation under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. The coveralls at issue in that case were composed of textile fabric and stainless steel fibers. In HQ 084132, dated July 6, 1989, Customs classified a lab coat made of 100 percent polyester woven fabric with carbon fiber woven into it as an antistatic component under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. The lab coat was designed for wear in the electronics industry.

The garment at issue does not have any special design features or unique properties that make the subject top suitable for use as protective clothing nor does it fall within any of the other listed items in the EN to heading 6114. The subject top is specifically provided for under heading 6206, HTSUS, thus classification under heading 6211, HTSUS, is not appropriate.


The submitted chef's jacket, referenced style number 35760-092, is classified in subheading 6206.30.3040, HTSUSA, which provides for "Women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other.. Other: Women's". The applicable rate of duty is 16.2 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 341.

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, 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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