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HQ 960540

January 22,

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960540 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6205.20.2046

Thomas E. Keith
Keith Sportswear International
1023 Factory Street
Richmond, CA 94801

RE: Request for modification of NY B85289; classification of a men's garment; shirt v. jacket; Guidelines; heading 6205, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Keith:

This is in regard to your letter dated May 29, 1997, requesting modification of NY ruling B85289, dated May 15, 1997, regarding the classification of a men's garment. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The garment, referenced style number, 9614FG, consists of a men's 100 percent cotton corduroy woven garment, featuring a full front opening secured by seven buttons, long sleeves with a one button cuff, side vents, a back seam, a straight hemmed bottom, two flapped breast patch pockets, and two side seam pockets at the waist. It weighs 9.5 ounces per square yard. .
In B85289 the garment was classified in heading 6205, HTSUSA, as a men's shirt. You state in your letter that the original sample submitted has 18 ligne buttons. However, as produced the garment will have 24 ligne. Accordingly, you ask us to review the garment based on its complete description, i.e., taking into consideration the additional fact that the garment as imported will feature 24 ligne buttons

Whether the subject garment is properly classifiable as a jacket in heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt in heading 6205, HTSUSA?



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 garment at issue is considered a hybrid garment because it contains 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 this garment has features of both a shirt and a jacket and neither the legal notes to the HTSUSA 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.

Although the submitted sample has the appearance of a corduroy shirt, and has only two features generally associated with jackets, i.e., pockets below the waist and a back seam in conjunction with side vents, as imported it will have large buttons, and therefore may have three features associated with jackets. As explicitly stated in the Guidelines, borderline garments will be classified as jackets only if three requirements are met. The garment must possess three jacket features and the result must not be unreasonable.

Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that the submitted garment was correctly classified in NY B85289 in heading 6205, HTSUSA. Without a sample of the garment with the 24 ligne jacket buttons, we are unable to ascertain whether the larger buttons would result in changing the garment's classification to heading 6201, HTSUSA.


The submitted garment is properly classifiable in subheading 6205.20.2035, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other things, men's or boys' shirts: of cotton: other: other: corduroy: men's. The applicable rate of duty is 20.5 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 340.

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 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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