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HQ 960626

July 25, 1997
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960626 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6201.92.2051

John B. Pelligrini, Esq.
Ross & Hardies
65 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022-3219

RE: Revocation of NY B85374; classification of a men's garment; shirt v. jacket; Guidelines; garment must have three jacket features to be classified as such and if the result is not unreasonable; heading 6201, HTSUS

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in regard to your letter dated June 16, 1997, requesting a revocation of New York Ruling Letter (NY) B85374, dated June 6, 1997, regarding the classification of certain men's garments. Samples were submitted to this office for examination.


Several samples of the garments at issue were submitted to this office for review. We have been advised that some of the pre-production samples that were initially submitted to our New York office at the time NY B85374 was issued should be disregarded because they lack features which have been added to the production samples. For example, although you state that style 121L208 had a back tuck rather than a seam (a feature now found on the production sample), a review of NY B85374 identifies that particular style as having a back seam. On the other hand, styles 421L511, 121L511 and 122L511 lacked the center back seam.

It is the opinion of this office that NY B85374 correctly classified Styles 421L511, 121L511 and 122L511 based on the features they exhibited at the time they were submitted for a classification determination. However, styles 221L406/208, 121L208/212/237/242/ 243/222/ 209/244 and 121L241/203/247/211/240/227, which did feature a center back seam at the time they were submitted, are subject for review. The different style numbers reflect differences in colors, pattern assortment and labels.

The production sample is a man's woven cotton shirt-type garment with a full frontal opening secured by a zipper, a shirt type collar, long sleeves with a one button cuff and a five inch opening above the cuff, breast pockets with button through flaps, side seam pockets below the waist, side vents with combination of center back seam and a hemmed bottom.

In NY B85374 the garments were classified in heading 6205, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as men's shirts. You state that this classification determination was based on the fact that the zipper on the garments did not qualify as a "heavy duty" zipper and thus was not counted as a jacket feature. In your opinion the subject garments do qualify as jackets classifiable in heading 6201, HTSUS. In support of this classification determination you state the following:

1. The subject garments exhibit three jacket features; 2. Garments similar to the subject garments have been classified by Customs in the past in heading 6201, HTSUS. In support of this you make reference to HQ 957305, dated March 2, 1995; HQ 957382 (revoking HQ 956205, dated May 20, 1994), dated February 23, 1995; and HQ 959085, dated November 26, 1996).


Whether the subject garments are properly classifiable as jackets in heading 6201, HTSUS, or as shirts in heading 6205, HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

The garments at issue are considered hybrid garments because they exhibit features generally associated with both a shirt and a jacket. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 6201, HTSUSA, state that garments of the heading are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather. The EN to heading 6205, HTSUSA, indicate that "with the exception of nightshirts, singlets, and other vests of heading 6207, [the] heading covers shirts not knitted or crocheted for men or boys including shirts with detachable collars, dress shirts, sports shirts and leisure shirts."

Because these garments have features of both a shirt and a jacket and neither the legal notes to the HTSUS nor the EN address the issue of whether a garment is classifiable as a jacket as opposed to a shirt, we look to the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (Guidelines) for assistance in differentiating jackets from shirts:

Shirt-jackets have full or partial front openings and sleeves, and at the least cover the upper body from the neck area to the waist. They may be within the coat category if designed to be worn over another garment (other than underwear). The following criteria may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for its wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both:

1. Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard (note (D) below re: CPO style shirts).

2. A full or partial lining.

3. Pockets at or below the waist

4. Back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams.

5. Eisenhower styling.

6. A belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets.

7. Large jacket/coat style buttons, toggles or snaps, a heavy-duty zipper or other heavy-duty closure, or buttons fastened with reinforcing thread for heavy-duty use.

8. Lapels.

9. Long sleeves without cuffs.

10. Elasticized or rib-knit cuffs.

11. Drawstring, elastic or rib-knit waistband.

Garments having features of both jackets and shirts will be categorized as coats if they possess at least three of the above listed features and if the result is not unreasonable.... Garments not possessing at least 3 of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis. (Emphasis added)

As explicitly stated in the Guidelines, borderline garments will be classified as jackets only if they possess three jacket features and the result is not unreasonable. Although the submitted samples have the appearance of men's shirts, they also have three features generally associated with jackets, i.e., pockets below the waist, side vents in combination with a back seam and a heavy duty zipper. Particularly we note that the zipper found on these garments is of a heavier gauge than normally found on shirts (see HQ 959085). When we measured the zipper teeth in their closed condition, we found them to be approximately 5mm in width. This is a width found to be acceptable as indicative of a "heavy duty" zipper in past rulings classifying similar merchandise in heading 6201, HTSUS (as for example HQ 957305 and 956205).

It is the opinion of this office that based on the overall appearance of this garment, classification of the submitted sample as a jacket would not be unreasonable. This is the type of garment that is very fashionable with young men between the ages of 18-25 years; it is a garment that will principally be worn over another outerwear shirt for added warmth. We also note that the heavy-duty gauge of the zipper found on these garments would render the garment not only uncomfortable to wear as a shirt next to the wearer's bare skin, but also uncomfortable or awkward to zipper frequently.

Accordingly, NY B85374 is revoked for styles 221L406/208, 121L208/212/237/242/ 243/222/ 209/244 and 121L241/203/247/211/240/227. Additionally, as you have submitted information reflecting that the production samples of styles 421L511, 121L511 and 122L511 will also feature a center back seam (and side vents) in addition to the pockets below the waist and heavy duty zipper, those styles are also classified in heading 6201, HTSUS.


The submitted garment, represented by style number, 221L406/208, 121L208/212/ 237/ 242/243/ 222/ 209/244, 121L241/203/247/211/240/227, 421L511, 121L511 and 122L511, is properly classifiable in subheading 6201.92.2051, HTSUSA, which provides for, men's or boys' overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6203: anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets): of cotton: other: other; other: other: men's. The applicable rate of duty is 9.8 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 334.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided 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 on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the 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 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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