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HQ 965454

March 5, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965454 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 6102.10.0000

Ms. Terri Spiegel
Classification Supervisor
Jones Apparel Group
Customs Compliance Department
250 Rittenhouse Circle
Bristol, PA 19007

RE: Classification of a women’s long “sweatercoat”; Revocation and modification of prior Customs rulings

Dear Ms. Spiegel:

Pursuant to classification requests, Customs has previously issued New York Ruling Letters (“NY”) to Barthco Trade Consultants, Inc. on behalf of your company, Jones Apparel Group USA, regarding the tariff classification of various women’s long knitted “sweatercoats.” These products were originally classified as women’s knitted coats under heading 6102 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). Upon review of this class of merchandise, Customs has determined that certain garments were erroneously classified. The correct classification for these garments is under heading 6110, HTSUSA, based on classification as sweaters or as garments similar to sweaters.

Customs notified Barthco Trade Consultants on behalf of your company that several rulings would be either revoked or modified to reflect the corrected classification under the HTSUSA. Accordingly, pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), a notice was published on December 12, 2001, in Vol. 35, No. 50 of the Customs Bulletin, proposing to modify and/or revoke certain rulings and to revoke the treatment pertaining to the classification of women’s knit sweatercoats.

In response to this notice, your company submitted comments on January 10, 2002, consistent with your reasonable care obligations under the Customs Modernization Act. You provided a list of rulings to Customs which were potentially effected by this notice but had not yet been identified. This letter is in response to your request for Customs to include an additional six ruling letters in the revocation and modification notice relating to sweatercoats.

You identified the following additional rulings and style numbers for Customs to review:

Ruling Date Issued Style Number(s)
NY H80380 May 22, 2001 319E23028
NY G89266 May 11, 2001 325D7738
NY G85917 March 2, 2001 153D52978
NY F87093 June 7, 2000 E19921848
PD F84548 March 27, 2000 C1CT26478
PD D89160 March 22, 1999 M21610288;

On February 6, 2002, Customs published the final notice relating to the tariff classification of women’s knit sweatercoats in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 36, No. 6. Within that notice Customs indicated that the following three rulings were either modified or revoked pursuant to the analysis set forth in the notice.

NY G89266 May 11, 2001 325D7738
PD F84548 March 27, 2000 C1CT26478
PD D89160 March 22, 1999 M21610288

In the final notice of revocation and modification Customs stated:

This action [for change in tariff classification] is effective for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after April 8, 2002.

The effective date is based on 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), modification and revocation, which provides in the last sentence of the section that:

The final ruling or decision shall become effective 60 days after the date of its publication [in the Customs Bulletin].

(bracketed material added.)

However, upon review of the additional three rulings you submitted for further review, Customs has determined that the classification of style 319E23028 in NY H80380; style 153D52978 in NY G85917; style E19921848 in NY F87093 and style M21700168 in PD D89160 were correct upon the original issuance. The styling and degree of protection afforded from the weather are such that classification is more proper as a jacket or coat in heading 6102, HTSUS. In Headquarters Ruling Letter 965184, dated January 22, 2002, Customs stated:

Furthermore, the fabric weight of these garments is not an absolute indicator of a garment’s status for classification purposes but fabric weight does provide some indication as to a garment’s suitability for different uses. Though it is feasible that the subject merchandise would be worn over a light weight shirt or layered for a stylish effect, it would not be worn over all other clothing for protection against the weather. In these samples, the knit fabric construction of the subject garments would not provide sufficient protection from the elements to the wearer when worn outside on cold days. In addition features such as a hood, and long length, are not adequate proof that a garment is designed for use as a jacket or coat. In fact, today these features are commonly found on a variety of upper body garments as part of a new fashion trend for these products which the industry has termed “sweatercoats”. Customs would not consider the subject garments to be sweater like if the garments contained a lining or heavier material as typically associated with a coat.

In the subject rulings, NY H80380 and NY F87093, the garments are made of boiled wool fabric which Customs would consider to be a “heavier material” that is typically associated with a coat and not a sweater. Furthermore, the styling of the garments in these rulings is more traditional associated with a coat than a sweater. For further reference, please see the analysis set forth in Headquarters Ruling Letter 965184, dated January 22, 2002 which was issued to Barthco Trade Consultants on your behalf.


NY H80380, dated May 22, 2001 is affirmed. NY G85917, dated March 2, 2001 is affirmed. NY F87093, dated June 7, 2000 is affirmed. PD D89160, dated March 3, 1999 for Style M21700168 is affirmed.

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 you 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 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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