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HQ 965269

October 22, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965269 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 6105.20.2010

Ms. Wheijen Lee
CLEAR Freight, Inc.
880 Apollo St. Suite 101
El Segundo, CA 90245

RE: Classification of men’s hybrid garment

Dear Ms. Lee:

This letter is in response to your request, on behalf of your client BCTC Corp., for the classification of a men’s hybrid garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). The garment is classified in heading 6105 for the reasons set forth below.


The subject merchandise is a men’s knit garment identified as style no. #S2201. The garment features a knit collar, a full frontal opening with zippered closure, short sleeves with rib knit cuffs, a button down left breast pocket and a loose rib waistband which provides no tightening. The garment is made of 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton fabric and will be manufactured in China.


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 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.

The issue in the instant case is whether the submitted sample is properly classifiable as a men's shirt or jacket. A physical examination of the garment reveals that it possesses features traditionally associated with both jackets and shirts and therefore potentially lends itself to classification as either a coat or jacket under headings 6101, HTSUSA, or as a shirt under heading 6105, HTSUSA.

The ENs for heading 6105 state in pertinent part:

This heading covers knitted or crocheted shirts for men or boys, including shirts with detachable collars, dress shirts, sports shirts and leisure shirts.

This heading does not cover sleeveless garments nor does it cover garments with pockets below the waist, with a ribbed waistband or other means of tightening at the bottom of the garment, . . . .

The subject merchandise has a pocket on the left breast and also styling features similar to a shirt. However, the garment also has features associated with jackets or coats such as a ribknit bottom and heavy weight zipper.

In circumstances such as these, where the identity of a garment is ambiguous for classification purposes, reference to The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, (“Guidelines”) is appropriate. The Guidelines were developed and revised in accordance with the HTSUSA to ensure uniformity, to facilitate statistical classification, and to assist in the determination of the appropriate textile categories established for the administration of the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles.

The Guidelines offer the following with regard to the classification of men’s or boys’ shirt-jackets:

Three-quarter length or longer garments commonly known as coats, and other garments such as. . . waist length jackets fall within this category. . . . A coat is an outerwear garment which covers either the upper part of the body or both the upper and lower parts of the body. It is normally worn over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for the wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both. . . .

Shirt-jackets have full or partial front openings and sleeves, and at the least cover the upper body from the neck area to the waist... The following criteria may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment, the presence of which is sufficient for its wearer to be considered modestly and conventionally dressed for appearance in public, either indoors or outdoors or both:

(1) fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard;

(2) a full or partial lining;

(3) pockets at or below the waist;

(4) back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams;

(5) Eisenhower styling;

(6) a belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets;

(7) large jacket/coat style buttons, toggles or snaps, a heavy-duty zipper or other heavy-duty closure, or buttons fastened with reinforcing thread for heavy-duty use.

(9) long sleeves without cuffs;

(10) elasticized or rib knit cuffs;

(11) drawstring, elastic or rib knit waistband.

Garments having features of both jackets and shirts will be categorized as coats if they possess at least three of the above-listed features and if the result is not unreasonable. . . . Garments not possessing at least three of the listed features will be considered on an individual basis.

See Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE13/88 at 5-6 (Nov. 23, 1988).

Customs recognizes that the garment at issue is a hybrid garment, possessing features of both shirts and jackets. A physical examination of the garment at issue reveals that it does not possess three of the Guidelines jacket criteria: the garment has elasticized or rib-knit cuffs, and a heavy duty zipper, however, the “ribbed” waistband does not serve to provide any sort of tightening at the waist and instead hangs loosely much like a hemmed bottom to a shirt. The garment therefore does not possess the requisite number of Guidelines criteria and is properly classified as a shirt.

The next issue is whether the garment at issue is classifiable as an anorak, wind-breaker or similar article of heading 6101, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 6101, HTSUSA, state:

[T]his heading covers ... garments for men or boys, characterised by the fact that they are generally worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather.

It is the opinion of this office that the fabric used in the construction of the subject merchandise will not provide any protection against the weather due to the overall styling, lack of lining, and lightweight nature of the fabric . Accordingly, the merchandise is classifiable as a men’s knit shirt under heading 6105, HTSUS.


The subject merchandise is properly classified under subheading 6105.20.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for "Men’s or boys’ shirts, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Men’s.” The general column one rate of duty is 32.8 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile restraint category is 638.

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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