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HQ 964244

November 21, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964244 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 6202.13.4020

Ms. Susan T. Mitchell
Area Director
JFK International Airport
Building #77
New York, NY 11430

RE: Request for Internal Advice; Women’s jacket versus women’s coat

Dear Ms. Mitchell:

This letter is in response to your request for Internal Advice, dated December 27, 1999 and received in the Office of Regulations & Rulings on June 15, 2000, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a women’s garment. A sample of the garment was submitted with your request.


The submitted garment, style 66003, is a women’s outerwear garment in a length that extends just below mid-thigh and measures approximately 34 inches. The garment has a full frontal opening with a five button double breasted closure. The garment has a lapel collar, slash pockets, self fabric belt with loops, button tabs at the wrists, hemmed cuff and bottom, and full cut. Both the outer shell and lining are composed of 100 percent polyester woven fabrics. The importer asserts that the garment is to be sold in the rainwear accessory departments and not in the coat departments of retail stores.

The request for Internal Advice was submitted by Alba Wheels Up International Inc., on behalf of Futai (USA) Inc. The merchandise was originally entered as water resistant anoraks under subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA. It is the importer’s position that the garment should be considered similar to an anorak based on the length and that the water resistant feature provides the essential character of the garment under General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI”) 3(b) so that therefore, the garment is properly classified under subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA.


Whether the submitted merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6202.13, HTSUSA, as a women’s coat or under subheading 6202.93, HTSUSA, as a women’s jacket?


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 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.

Heading 6202, HTSUSA, covers inter alia “[w]omen’s or girls’ overcoats.” The EN for heading 6202 state the EN of heading 6102 apply mutatis mutandis to articles of heading 6202, however the EN of heading 6102 then refer mutatis mutandis to the EN of 6101 which provide that the garments of this heading [and heading 6202] are generally characterized “by the fact that they are generally worn over other clothing for protection against the weather.” The submitted sample is intended to be worn as a garment which will provide protection from the elements and therefore classification in heading 6202, HTSUS is appropriate. However, the EN does not distinguish between overcoats and similar garments, and anoraks and similar garments.

The dispute which prompted this request for an Internal Advice decision from Headquarters (“HQ”) arises due to the classification determination of the subject merchandise at the subheading level. The importer claims that the garment is properly classified in subheading 6202.93.4500, HTSUSA, providing for women’s water resistant anoraks. The port and National Import Specialist both claim that classification is proper in subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, as an other women’s coat.

The classification of a garment as a jacket or a coat has been addressed in several Customs rulings. Although it has become harder to distinguish between the two for classification purposes because of the fashion trends presently in vogue, certain continued features distinguish the coat from the water resistant anorak or similar garment. In HQ 953467, dated June 2, 1993, and HQ 958131, dated November 9 1995, Customs discussed some of these similarities and differences. These rulings stated that anoraks are usually described as jackets whereas raincoats are described as coats. Both anoraks and coats are cut to be worn over other outer clothing. Both can be treated to provide water resistance and thus give the wearer some protection against inclement weather. While a coat generally is longer than a jacket, an anorak or jacket (mid-thigh and lower-thigh lengths) can be the same length as a coat.

In HQ 083536, dated Oct. 23, 1989, and HQ 956138, dated July 19, 1994, Customs defined anoraks and anorak type garments as follows:

. . . . The length of an anorak can vary from waist length to mid-thigh only. Anoraks must have a hood which can be concealed in the collar; a complete opening at the front fastened by a zipper or velcro ; a lining quilted or padded, a drawstring or other means of tightening; close fitting elasticized sleeve-ends; collar and pockets.

In HQ 083536, Customs also elaborated on the definition of anorak type garments to include garments “with the features of anoraks except for a tightening device at the waist.”

In applying the aforementioned definition of anorak to the submitted style 66003, Customs notes that the garment under review lacks any sort of quilted or padded lining as well as a hood that can be concealed in the collar. As such, the subject merchandise is not an anorak or similar article.

Although coats have traditionally been worn long, over the last several seasons the trend in coats and rainwear has been towards shorter lengths and greater adaptability to a variety of uses, from workwear to weekend wear. Accordingly, fashion now dictates that short lengths are no longer simply equated with casual styled outerwear, but have now taken on a dual use. Outside of the frontal closure, the submitted garment does not feature any of the usual anorak-type features (i.e., elastic or rib knit cuffs, drawstring at the waist or bottom, hood, padding). However, the submitted garment does have casual sporty styling and narrow cut as well as a lightweight raincoat type material from which it is constructed. It is the opinion of this office that the submitted sample, for classification purposes, is a coat.

We also note the importer claims that the subject merchandise is water resistant, however such a claim is inappropriate for merchandise classified in subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, as there is no tariff provision for water resistant merchandise in this subheading.


The women’s coat, style 66003, is classifiable in subheading 6202.13.4020, HTSUSA, providing for “Women’s or girls’ overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6204: Overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks and similar coats: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Women’s.” The general column one rate of duty is 28.4 percent ad valorem. The designated textile restraint number is 635.

You are to mail this decision to the Internal Advice applicant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date, the Office of Regulations & Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director

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