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HQ 965137

September 12, 2002

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE 965137 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6102.30.2010

Area Director
U.S. Customs Service
JFK International Airport
Building 77

Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1001-01-101276, Concerning the classification of Women’s Knitted Wearing Apparel

Dear Port Director:

This is a decision on a protest timely filed on behalf of Knight Textile Corporation on March 29, 2001, against your classification decision. A sample was submitted on July 2, 2002, and has been reviewed by this office.


The sample is identified by the importer as a Ladies’ 100 percent polyester knit “polar fleece” jacket (style # K2W73266). The sample is a long sleeved black knit garment that has been constructed of fabric with a weight that exceeds ten ounces per square yard. The garment has pockets at the waist, a heavy duty zipper, elasticized cuffs, and a 3 inch stand-up collar formed of two layers of polar fleece material that zips directly under the chin. There is also a heavy duty zipper pocket at the upper left front panel and reinforcing bias tape to which each front zipper edge has been attached. Each zipper foot (front and breast pocket) has a pull tab. The lower edge of the jacket has a turned hem secured by a double seam zig-zag stitch.

On December 29, 2000, Customs classified the subject garment and liquidated the entry as an “other” cardigan sweater under subheading 6110.30.3055, HTSUSA, with a textile quota category designation of 639. The importer timely protested liquidation of this entry with respect to the garments identified as style # K2W73266, and has asserted the correct classification to be a women’s jacket in subheading 6102.30.2010, HTSUSA, quota category 635.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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 heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

In determining whether the subject article is classifiable as an outerwear jacket within the meaning of heading 6102, HTSUSA, or as a cardigan sweater under heading 6110, HTSUSA, we begin by noting that it has features that are typical of both a cardigan and an outerwear garment. In such situations, it is appropriate to consult the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, C.I.E. 13/88, November 23, 1988 (Textile Guidelines). The Textile Guidelines set forth eleven criteria by which to classify a garment as a jacket under the HTSUSA. If the garments possess at least three of the eleven features, and if the result is not unreasonable, the articles will be classified as a coat/jacket. In relevant part, the guidelines state as follows:

Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard. A full or partial lining.

Pockets at or below the waist.
Back vents or pleats. Also side vents in combination with back seams. Eisenhower styling.
A belt or simulated belt or elasticized waist on hip length or longer shirt-jackets. 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. Lapels.
Long sleeves without cuffs.
Elasticized or rib-knit cuffs.
Drawstring, elastic or rib-knit waistband.

In the subject case, the garment possesses at least three of the eleven jacket features enumerated in the Textile Guidelines as follows: 1) pockets at or below the waist; 2) a heavy duty zipper; 3) elasticized cuffs. In addition, the subject garment is comprised of a fabric that is napped on the inside surface for additional warmth. Thus, when one considers in totality, all of these features combined, the subject garment conveys a strong overall appearance of being for use as a jacket to provide the outermost layer of warmth and protection against the elements. Thus, we believe that classification as a “jacket” under heading 6102, HTSUSA, would not be unreasonable in this case.

Finally, we note that the recently published Apparel Terminology under the HTSUS provides a definition for “Anoraks, windbreakers and similar articles” which states that the group includes:

Jackets, which are garments designed to be worn over another garment, for protection against the elements Knit jackets (due to the particular character of knit fabric) generally have tightening elements at the cuffs and at the waist or bottom of the garment, although garments made of heavier material might not need these tightening elements. (Emphasis supplied)

The subject article falls within this “jacket” definition because it has been designed to be worn over another garment(s) for protection against the elements. While it lacks a tightening element at the bottom, it has been constructed of a thick knit fabric that will provide substantial warmth to the wearer as a final layer of outerwear.

Although Customs has previously ruled that certain knit garments that resemble jackets are properly classifiable as “sweaters”, “pullovers”, and “other garments” under Chapter 61, HTSUSA, these rulings did not involve the classification of a knit garment, such as the one at issue, which combine all the following outerwear features: a heavy duty full frontal zipper, two pockets at the waist, elasticized cuffs, 3 inch stand-up collar comprised of two layers of fabric, and a napped interior for added warmth. See HQ 956795, dated January 25, 1995; HQ 950045, dated December 3, 1991; HQ 951629, dated August 21, 1992; HQ 954827, dated December 8, 1993.

Specifically, HQ 956795 (supra) determined that a man’s long sleeved upper body garment constructed of 100 percent knit polyester, heavily napped on both the inside and outside surfaces would otherwise have been classifiable as a jacket under subheading 6101.30.2010, HTSUSA, if it had been designed with a full frontal zipper opening. To support this statement, the ruling cited to HQ 088289, dated February 11, 1991, in which Customs distinguished between sweatshirts classifiable under heading 6110, HTSUSA, and sweatshirts with full frontal zippers held classifiable as jackets of heading 6101, HTSUSA. In classifying a long sleeve sweatshirt jacket with a full front zipper opening as a jacket of heading 6101, HTSUSA, HQ 088289, stated that “Garments with full-front zipper openings are not considered similar to sweatshirts, but are jackets.”

HQ 962593, dated December 2, 1999, concluded that a garment constructed from fabric napped only on the inside, with full front zippered opening, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs, hood, pockets below the waist, and a straight hemmed bottom was classifiable as a cardigan in heading 6110, HTSUSA. However, this ruling stated that, although the garment possessed three “jacket features”, it was not designed as a “jacket” for use over other outer wear. The ruling further stated:

Specifically, although we recognize that fabric weight is not an absolute indicator of a garment’s status for classification purposes, it does provide some indication as to a garment’s suitability for different uses. In this case, the lightweight fabric construction of the subject garment would not likely provide
sufficient protection from the elements to the wearer when worn outside on cold days. Additionally, features such as pockets at the waist and a hood, are not substantive proof that a garment is designed for use as outerwear.

The item now in question is distinguishable from the article classified in HQ 962593. In that ruling, the knit garment did not feature a 3 inch stand-up collar constructed of two layers of polar fleece material for added warmth and two heavy-duty zippers with pull-tabs. With these additional features, the subject article is clearly designed to provide the wearer protection against the elements and to be worn as a final layer over other garments. Nor could the subject garment be described as constructed of “lightweight” fabric. This garment offers the wearer substantial protection against the elements and has been principally designed for outdoor use.

In view of the foregoing, it is our determination that the subject garment is properly classified as a knit jacket under heading 6102, HTSUSA. Customs decision in the current ruling is consistent with our holding in HQ 963439, dated June 25, 2001, in which a boy’s long sleeve polar fleece knit garment of 100 percent polyester and no tightening at the waist was classified as a boy’s jacket under subheading 6101.30.2020, HTSUSA. Accordingly, it is our determination that at the time of liquidation of this merchandise, Customs incorrectly classified the garment as a knit sweater under subheading 6110.30.3055, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise, identified as Style #K2W73266, is correctly classified in subheading 6102.30.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for, “Women’s or girls’ overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles, knitted or crocheted, other than those of heading 6104: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other, Women’s.” The general column one duty rate is 28.6 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 635.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the Protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to 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 by other methods of public distribution.

The designated textile and apparel category 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 that the importer, by copy of this letter, be advised to 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. The Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels) is also available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEEB) which can be found on the U.S. Customs Service Website at www.customs.gov.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories applicable to textile merchandise, the importer should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director

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