United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 960223 - HQ 960371 > HQ 960333

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 960333

September 24, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960333


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3040

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022-1106

RE: Classification of chef coats from El Salvador; Heading 6211; Heading 6206

Dear Ms. Weinberg:

This is in reference to a ruling issued to you by the former Area Director, New York Seaport, New York Ruling (NY) 806883, dated February 27, 1995, concerning the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of several chef coats. We have reviewed this ruling in light of the publication of Headquarter's Ruling (HQ) 959974, dated April 7, 1997, HQ 959817, date April 7, 1996, and NY B80112, dated December 24, 1996. Based upon these rulings, we have determined that NY 806883 is partially incorrect.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY 806883 was published on August 20, 1997 in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 31, Number 22.


In NY 806883, Customs classified three styles of chef coats consisting of 100 percent woven cotton fabric. Styles 147, 151 and 17484 were identified to be unisex chef coats featuring a full front opening with a double row of fabric knot buttons that can be buttoned either left over right or right over left. The garments are hip-length with mandarin collars and mandarin styling, and long or short sleeves, depending on the style.


What is the tariff classification of the chef coats?


In NY 806883, Customs classified the chef coats under subheading 6211.42.0081, HTSUSA, which provides for "Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women's or girls': Of cotton: Other.

In HQ 959974, HQ 959817 and NY B80112, Customs determined that the proper classification for these types of chef coats is under subheading 6206.30.3040, HTSUSA, which provides for "Women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other.. Other: Women's". This determination was based upon the following analysis.

The classification of goods under the HTSUSA 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.

In HQ 959974, HQ 959817, and NY B80112, Customs addressed the classification of the chef coat under heading 6211, HTSUSA, and heading 6206, HTSUSA. Customs determined the classification based upon previous rulings and the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), which 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, HTSUSA. The applicable EN to heading 6114, HTSUSA, 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, HTSUSA, denotes that Heading 6211, HTSUSA, is not appropriate if the garments at issue are covered more specifically in preceding headings. The applicable EN to heading 6211, HTSUSA, 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, HTSUSA, 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 chef coats at issue are classifiable in accordance with those previously ruled upon in that they do not have any special design features or unique properties that make them subject to or suitable for use as protective clothing nor do they fall within any of the other listed items in the EN to heading 6114. The chef coats are specifically provided for under heading 6206, HTSUSA, thus classification under heading 6211, HTSUSA, is not required.


The chef coats, referenced style numbers 147, 151 and 17484, are 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. NY 806883 is modified with respect to the chef coats referenced above. With respect to the chef jacket, also, classified in NY 806883, their classification under subheading 6203.32.2040, HTSUSA, remains unchanged.

NY 806883, dated February 27, 1995, is modified.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: