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HQ 963444

March 15, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963444 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6110.20.2010

Ms. Fiona Chau
Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs
Hong Kong and Economic Trade Office
1520 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Review of NY D89841; Stitch Count; Knitted Sweater; Heading 6110; Statistical Note 3, Chapter 61

Dear Ms. Chau:

This is in reply to your letter dated June 7, 1999, on behalf of a Hong Kong exporter, seeking review of New York Ruling Letter (NY) D89841, dated April 27, 1999, concerning the tariff classification of a men’s knit sweater from Hong Kong.

As requested, the sample you provided will be returned to you under separate cover.


The garment, style F-390, is a men’s knit garment constructed from 46 percent cotton, 44 percent rayon, 10 percent silk, double knit fabric. The garment features a V-neckline, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs and a rib knit bottom.

In NY D89841, Customs determined that the garment was constructed from a double knit fabric that measured 6 stitches per 2 centimeters counted on the outside surface of the fabric. Thus, the garment was classified under subheading 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA, as a sweater. Merchandise classified under that tariff provision requires a textile visa for category 345.

Your office believes that the garment fabric measures 12 stitches per 2 centimeters counted in the horizontal direction and should be classified as a pullover under subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA. Garments classified under that tariff provision require a textile visa for category 338.


Is the garment classifiable as a sweater (with 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters) under subheading 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA, or as a pullover under subheading 6110.20.2065, HTSUSA (with 12 stitches per 2 centimeters)?


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. 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.

There is no dispute that the garment is classifiable under heading 6110, HTSUSA, which provides for "[s]weaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted." Sweaters are provided for under heading 6110, HTSUSA, at the statistical level. Statistical Note 3, Chapter 61, Section IX, HTSUSA, provides the criteria for the classification of sweaters. It reads as follows:

For the purposes of this chapter, statistical provisions for sweaters include garments, whether or not known as pullovers, vests 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. Emphasis supplied.

In your letter, you state that the fabric “was constructed with a derivative of ‘half milano’ pattern” and you cite Customs Information Letter 959737, dated December 10, 1996, addressed to your office, in which we found that a fabric swatch with a “1/2 Milano” construction has a “total of 10 stitches per 2 cm linear (only wale

WALE. In a knitted material, it is one of a series of loops in successive course or formation, made by one needle. The series of loops in the fabric support each other and they run lengthwise or vertical in the goods. The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, Fourth Revised Enlarged Edition. stitch is to be counted).” Emphasis supplied.

Customs National Import Specialist for this commodity examined the garment in question as well as the swatch referenced above and found that the garment was constructed from a variation of the stitch pattern in the swatch, both having a double knit construction. As you know, stitch pattern names and constructions are not uniform in the trade and the simple re-arrangement of stitches in any stitch pattern can alter the appearance and possibly the final stitch count of a fabric. Consequently, we identify fabrics only by basic type, e.g., “double knit” or “jersey”, etc., rather than by stitch pattern, such as “half milano.”

In this instance, the garment’s double knit fabric measures 6 stitches per 2 centimeters counted horizontally on the outside of the fabric. Accordingly, the garment was correctly classified in subheading 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA.


NY D89841 is AFFIRMED. Garment, style F-390, is classifiable as a sweater under subheading 6110.20.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for “Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: Other: Sweaters for men or boys: Other: Other.” It is dutiable at the general column rate of duty at 6 percent ad valorem, and the textile category is 345.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 the importer 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 updated weekly and 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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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