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HQ 961373

October 22, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 961373 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20 2010

Ms. Joanna Cheung, Trade Specialist
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
1520 18th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Reconsideration of Pre-classification Determination PC B88735 dated September 17, 1997; Stitch count; Pullover or Sweater

Dear Ms. Cheung:

This is in response to a request of February 6, 1998, from Ms. Fiona Chau, formerly of your office, that Customs review the pre-classification determination PC B88735 dated September 17, 1997, issued to the Timberland Company of Stratham, New Hampshire. A sample of the garment in question was submitted. We note that the shipment sample submitted with your letter is labeled Style No. K-906432, while the sample which was subject of the pre-classification determination was identified as Style 4455. We apologize for the delay in responding.

Your file reference is C2/1 and case number C56/97.


Both sample Style No. K-906432 and Style 4455, are a men’s knit garment constructed from 100 percent cotton knit fabric. Both garments have a rib knit crew neck; long sleeves with rib knit cuffs; and embroidered logo on the left chest; and a rib knit bottom.

In pre-classification ruling PC B88735, Style 4455 was classified as a pullover in subheading 6110.20.2065, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which is a statistical provision for sweaters, textile category 338. The pre-classification style sheet for Style 4455 indicates that the garment viewed at the time of the pre-classification review measured 14 stitches per 2 centimeters in the horizontal direction.

It is the view of your office that the subject garment is constructed with “half milano” pattern, and that the stitch count should be 9 stitches per cm, and hence the garment should be classified as a sweater in Category 345. The classification of the garment in subheading 6110.20.20, HTSUSA, is not at issue.


Does the garment at issue have 9 or fewer stitches per centimeters measured in the direction the stitches were formed and thus qualify for classification as a sweater in 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA, or is it a pullover classifiable in 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA?


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 headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

There is no dispute that the garment is classifiable in heading 6110, HTSUS, which provides for sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted. The issue is whether the garment is classifiable as a sweater at the statistical level based upon the number of stitches per 2 centimeters present on the outer surface of the fabric of the garment.

Statistical Note 3, Chapter 61, states:

For purposes of this chapter, statistical provisions for sweaters include garments, whether or not known as pullovers, vest or cardigans, the outer surface of which are constructed essentially with 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters measured in the direction the stitches were formed, and garments, known as sweaters, where, due to their construction, the stitches on the outer surface cannot be counted in the direction the stitches were formed.

In your letter you state that the garment is constructed with “half milano” pattern. A close examination of the sample labeled Style No. K-906432 (submitted with this request) found that the garment is not constructed from “half milano” fabric, but rather from fabric which alternates horizontal sections of purl stitches and horizontal sections of tubular, plain knit stitches. There were no ‘half milano” stitches found in construction of this garment. The alternating sections of purl and tubular, plain knit stitches, each comprising 10 courses, measure 9 stitches per 2 centimeters.

Although there is a disagreement on the type of stitch used in the construction of the submitted sample garment, there is agreement that the sample’s fabric measures 9 stitches per 2 centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. Following statistical note 3, cited above, the submitted sample, Style No. K-906432, is classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2010, as a men’s sweater, of cotton.

We note that Style 4455 was the subject of PC B88735. Since we do not have a sample of the garment that was the subject of PC B88735, we cannot state that the stitch count taken for that particular garment was incorrect. It is possible that a pre-production sample, constructed from different fabric, may have been presented at that time. In any event, the stitch count done on Style 4455 determined it had 14 stitches per 2 centimeters, and was therefore classified as an other garment in subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA, textile category 338. PC B88735 was correct on its face in that the garment submitted for the pre-classification ruling had greater than 9 stitches per 2 centimeters. The sample submitted here has a different stitch count, is a different garment, and thus PC B88735 is not applicable to this garment.


The sample garment, Style No. K-906432, has a stitch count of 9 stitches per 2 centimeters and thus is classifiable as a sweater at the statistical classification level pursuant to Statistical Note 3, Chapter 61. Therefore, the submitted garment is classifiable in subheading 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA. The quota category is 345, and is currently dutiable at the general one column rate of 17.8 percent ad valorem.

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 that are subject to frequent negotiations and changes, we suggest that Timberland Company 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, Timberland Company should contact the local Customs office prior to importing
the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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