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HQ 960522

January 26, 1998

CLA- 2 RR:TC:TE 960522 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6201.92.2051

Mr. Arthur Berker
ARA Assoc. LLC
17 Mayhew Drive
Livingston, N.J. 07039

RE: Classification requested for men's denim stadium jacket/fleece lining; Heading 6201; Heading 6205; Revocation of NY B83177 sought

Dear Mr. Berker:

This is in response to your inquiry of April 4, 1997, requesting a clarification of a tariff classification for a men's garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for our examination. You have also sought the revocation of NY ruling B83177


The sample at issue, style 350;351;21200, is a man's woven cotton denim garment with a fleece lining. The garment has long sleeves with two button adjustable cuffs, a five inch opening with a button closure immediately above the cuffs, a full frontal opening with a seven button closure, a fleece lining, two flapped breast pockets with button closures, and a hemmed rounded shirt type bottom. The buttons are fastened with reinforcing thread for heavy duty use. The garment is designed to be worn over another garment. The fabric weight is-denim: 8 ounce per square yard, and fleece lining: 6.6 ounce per square yard.


Whether the subject garment is classifiable as a jackets under Heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt under Heading 6205, 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 considered to be a hybrid garment since it possesses characteristics found on both shirts and jackets. 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 and are usually consulted for guidance.

The EN applicable to garments of Heading 6201, HTSUSA, indicate that garments of the heading are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather. The EN to Heading 6205, HTSUSA, state 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, sport shirts and leisure shirts.

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, [hereinafter, Textile Guidelines] which are sometimes consulted in classifying garments which have no clear identity provides a list of features common in jackets. If a garment possesses at least three of the listed features and if the result is not unreasonable, then the garment is generally classifiable as a jacket. Garments that do not possess at least 3 of the listed features will be considered on an individual bases. The Textile Guidelines list the following features that are commonly found in jackets:

1. Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard
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 reinforced 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

After examining the subject garments, Customs is of the opinion that the fleece lining is a characteristic commonly found in jackets. Customs does not believe that the buttons are larger than shirt size buttons. However, Customs is of the opinion that the highly insulated lining, renders this garment as a jacket for classification purposes. Granted, there are prior cases where Customs determined that garments very similar to the subject garment, usually with a quilted lining were classifiable as shirts when they did not have the three jacket features referred to in CIE 13/88. However, none of those cases mentioned that the garments therein contained an extremely heavy lining that was intended for protection against the elements which is a basic function of garments properly classifiable under Heading 6201, HTSUSA. A heavily insulated lining is uncommon in shirts and serves to create the impression of a jacket rather than a shirt. Although Styles 350;351;21200 contains only two definite jacket, due to the heavily insulated lining, Customs is of the opinion it is classifiable under Heading 6201, HTSUSA.

In HQ 957013, dated December 12, 1994, Customs classified a garment similar to the subject garments with only two jacket features under Heading 6201, HTSUSA. Customs specifically stated that, "although style Y0383894H possesses only two of the Guidelines' jacket features, this office is of the opinion that it nevertheless creates the overall impression of a jacket." Customs, in HQ 957013, as in this instance, primarily rested its conclusion on a particular characteristic which created the impression of a jacket as opposed to a shirt. In HQ 957013, the garment therein contained a full-length heavy-duty zipper which was not commonly found on shirts.


Based on the foregoing, Style 350;351;21200 is classifiable in subheading 6201.92.2051, HTSUSA, which provides for, in anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets): of cotton: other: other: men's. The applicable rate of duty is 9.9 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 334.

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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

This merchandise may be subject to an ITC exclusion order dealing with denim garments produced by certain acid wash methods. For further information on admissibility, you should contact your local customs office. This ruling applies only to the classification of the merchandise and not to its admissibility under the terms of the exclusion order.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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