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HQ 964572

December 21, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964572 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 6110.30.3035

Mr. Francis Ruzicka
Director, Trade and Commercial Programs
American Institute in Taiwan
1700 N. Moore St., Suite 1700
Arlington, VA 22209

RE: Classification of Women’s Fleece Knit Vest; Reconsideration of PC F83497

Dear Mr. Ruzicka:

On August 16, 2000, the Office of Regulations & Rulings received a request for reconsideration of Preclassification Decision (“PC”) F83497 concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”) of a women’s knit upper body garment. PC F83497, dated April 7, 2000, was issued to Tommy Hilfiger Wholesale, Inc., doing business as Secaucus Industries. The garment was originally classified as an “other women’s garment” under heading 6110.30.3055, HTSUS. You submitted this request for reconsideration to the Office of Regulations & Rulings after Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc., wrote a letter requesting a new visa from the Taiwan Textile Federation for category 639. Previously, the Taiwan Textile Federation had issued a visa to Tommy Hilfiger for the subject merchandise for category 659, but upon request from the importer issued another visa for category 639 to coincide with Customs’ PC F83497 decision.

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. This reconsideration of PC F83497 is based upon comparison of the appropriate HTSUSA headings and subheadings. This ruling letter, HQ 964572, hereby supercedes the pre-classification decision letter, F83497, dated April 7, 2000.


The subject merchandise, style number 23740W, is a woman’s knitted sleeveless vest which features a stand-up collar, a full front zippered opening, somewhat oversized armholes and two side seam-opening pockets near the waist. The armhole openings and the bottom of the garment are hemmed. There is a small embroidered logo sewn at the wearer’s left chest area. The garment extends from the wearer’s neck and shoulders to below her waist. The fiber content is 100% polyester. The finely knit fabric has more that nine stitches per two centimeters, measured in the direction in which they were formed. The fabric is napped on the inside and the outside. The sample submitted is a size “S” (small). The country of origin is Taiwan.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


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.

Customs and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office are in agreement that the subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 6110.30, HTSUS, which provides for "Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or
crocheted: Of man-made fibers.” The issue in the instant case is whether the submitted sample is properly classifiable in subheading 6110.30.3035, HTSUSA, as a woman’s vest, other than a sweater vest or in the basket provision as an “other garment “ in subheading 6110.30.3055, HTSUSA.

PC F83497 erroneously classified the subject merchandise in subheading 6110.30.3055, HTSUSA. We agree that the proper classification of the garment is in subheading 6110.30.3035, HTSUSA.

The drafters of the Harmonized Tariff made an eo nomine reference to vests at the statistical level within heading 6110. The language in the HTSUSA is unambiguous and Customs must adhere to the plain meaning of the tariff heading. A physical examination of the garment reveals that it resembles a vest since it has no sleeves, oversized armholes, and is of lightweight material. Furthermore, the styling and size of the vest indicate that the garment is intended to be worn by a women. Customs believes that the subject merchandise is properly classified pursuant to GRI 1 as a woman’s vest.


This ruling hereby supercedes PC F83497.

The subject merchandise is properly classified under subheading 6110.30.3035, HTSUSA, which provides for "Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Other: Other: Vests, other than sweater vests: Women’s or girls’.” The general column one rate of duty is 32.9 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile restraint category is 659.

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 your client 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 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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