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HQ 962522





March 21, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962522 mbg

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0078

Ms. Joanna Cheung
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
1520 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Request for reconsideration of classification; Women’s jacket

Dear Ms. Cheung:

This letter is in response to correspondence from your office, dated January 14, 1999, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a tailored women’s suit-type jacket. A sample of the garment was submitted with your request.

FACTS:

The submitted garment, style 38J11001B, is a tailored women’s jacket that extends from the shoulders to slightly above the knees. It is constructed from eight panels sewn together lengthwise. The panels are made from woven fabric whose fiber content is 60 percent rayon and 40 percent wool. The fully lined garment features sleeves without cuffs, shoulder pads, side pockets, a notched lapel and a full front opening secured by two buttons.

In Pre-Classification Decision (PC) 89937, dated August 3, 1998, the subject merchandise was classified in subheading 6211.43.0078, HTSUSA, with a corresponding textile restraint category of 635. You disagree with the classification and claim that “in accordance with the existing classification practice of both the US and Hong Kong, a woven garment in chief weight of man-made fiber is considered a wool garment if wool equals or exceeds 36 percent by weight of all component fibers.” As such, you claim that the subject merchandise should be classified in the appropriate subheading with corresponding textile category 435.

ISSUE:

What is the proper classification for the submitted women’s jacket?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the heading of the tariff schedule 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 may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Customs would like to emphasize that classification of goods in the HTSUSA is based on the terms of the headings and not on a comparison of the textile restraint categories.

Women’s tailored jackets are potentially classifiable under three headings: heading 6202, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, women’s overcoats; heading 6204, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, women’s suits and suit-type jackets; and heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, other women’s garments. Thus, we must discuss each of these headings to determine the correct classification of the women’s jacket under review.

Heading 6202, HTSUSA, covers “[w]omen’s or girls’ overcoats.” The EN state in regard to heading 6202, HTSUSA, that the garments of this heading are generally characterized “by the fact that they are generally worn over other clothing for protection against the weather.” The submitted sample is part of a grouping of garments, including pants, skirts, and dresses, that was designed to be worn as a professional suit-type outfit. The jacket is not within the class or kind of apparel intended to provide for protection from the weather elements. Therefore, heading 6202, HTSUSA, is inappropriate and the jacket is excluded from classification as such.

Heading 6204, HTSUSA, covers, inter alia, “[w]omen’s and girls’ suits, ensembles, suit-type jackets.” The EN to heading 6204, HTSUSA, states that the provisions of the EN to heading 6103, HTSUSA, apply mutatis mutandis to the articles of heading 6204, HTSUSA. The EN to Chapter Note 3 (a) provide that the suit coat or jacket “designed to cover the upper part of the body has a full front opening without a closure or with a closure other than a slide fastener (zipper). It does not extend below the mid-thigh area and is not for wear over another coat, jacket or blazer.” (Emphasis added.) It is Customs determination that suit-type jackets are subject to the same length restriction.

The submitted garment, style 38J11001B, is intended to be worn as part of a woman’s suit but the length of the jacket extends approximately to the knee. Since the jacket extends below the mid-thigh area, classification under heading 6204, HTSUSA, is precluded.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for “[t]rack suits, ski suits and swimwear; other garments.” Having been excluded from classification in prior headings of Chapter 62, the jacket is classifiable in the basket provision for this chapter as an “other garment. The proper classification of the jacket is subheading 6211.43.0078, HTSUSA, which provides for “other garments: other garments, women’s or girl’s: of man-made fibers: jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6202.”

Classification of a garment determines the applicable textile category designation. In this case, the applicable textile category designation is 635. You contend that the proper textile category designation should be 435 based on the fact that the garment is 40 percent by weight wool. Your contention is based on Statistical Note 2(b) to Section XI which states:

The term “subject to wool restraints” means articles not provided for in (a) above [articles subject to cotton restraints] and in which the wool (including fine animal hair) component exceeds 17 percent by weight of all the component fibers thereof.

Heading 6202, HTSUSA, and heading 6204, HTSUSA, do have a statistical breakout for women’s jackets “subject to wool restraints.” The textile category applicable to such garments is 435. However, as stated above, the subject jacket is excluded from headings 6202 and 6204, HTSUSA. Heading 6211, HTSUSA, does not have a statistical breakout for women’s jackets subject to wool restraints. Since the term “subject to wool restraints” does not appear in subheading 6211.43.0078, statistical note 2(b) is inapplicable to the instant jacket.

HOLDING:

The women’s jacket is classifiable in subheading 6211. 43.0078, HTSUSA, textile category 635, the provision for “other garments: other garments, women’s or girl’s: of man-made fibers: jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6202.”

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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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