United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 HQ Rulings > HQ 965939 - HQ 966020 > HQ 965990

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 965990

December 19, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965990 mbg


TARIFF NO.: 6102.30.2010

Ms. Shelly Monahan
Seattle Pacific Industries, Inc.
P.O. Box 58710
Seattle, WA 98138

RE: Reconsideration of NY Ruling I84068; Classification of a woman’s coat of bonded fabric

Dear Ms. Monahan:

This letter is in response to correspondence received by this office from the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in which that office requested, on your behalf, the reconsideration of New York Ruling letter (“NY”) I84068, dated August 1, 2002, regarding the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”) of a woman’s garment constructed of bonded fabric. A sample was submitted with your request.


In NY I84068, dated August 1, 2002, Customs provided that the sample under consideration was described and classified as:

The submitted sample, style S47020Z, is a woman’s coat that consists of two layers bonded together. The outer layer is made from 100% cotton, woven denim fabric. The inner layer is made from 100% acrylic, pile fabric and 100 percent polyester knitted backing. The coat extends from the shoulders to the calf area and is worn over other garments for warmth and protection from the elements. The garment features a notched-lapel collar, long sleeves, a full front opening with 5 button closures, 2 front patch pockets in the waist area, and a straight bottom. The knit pile fabric is visible through the seams of the woven fabric throughout the garment. The tariff classification of this jacket is governed by the rules used to classify its fabric; Legal Note 1(c), Chapter 60, HTS. . . . The applicable subheading for the jacket will be 6102.30.2010, [HTSUSA.]

You disagree with the classification and provide subheading 6202.12.2050, HTSUSA, which provides for women’s woven cotton coats and jackets, as an alternate classification for the subject coat.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise under the HTSUSA?


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 Harmonized System at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Customs would like to emphasize that classification of goods under the HTSUSA is based on the terms of the headings and not on a comparison of the textile restraint categories.

Determination of the HTSUSA classification of the subject merchandise requires an understanding of terminology which is germane to the issue and utilized by the HTSUSA. It is a well established tenet of customs law that tariff terms are construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings and that the common meaning of a tariff term is a question of law. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. v. United States, 7 Ct. Int’l Trade 178, 182, 585 F.Supp. 649 (1984), aff’d, 753 F.2d 1061 (Fed.Cir. 1985). Essential to the determination of this classification issue is an understanding of the term “laminated” which is commonly used in the textile industry in reference to “bonded fabrics” such as utilized in the subject merchandise.

Laminated- Term used to describe fabrics which have been joined together in a permanent bond either with foam, or some other material, by use of adhesives, the foam itself, heat, or chemical bonding agents. Often the fabric is bonded directly to the foam in a foam-fabric package.

A Dictionary of Textile Terms, 13th Ed. (1980).

Legal Note 2(A), Section XI, HTSUSA, states:

(A) Goods classifiable in chapters 50 to 55 or in heading 5809 or 5902 and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over any other single textile material.

When no one textile material predominates by weight, the goods are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which is covered by the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

(emphasis added.)

Subheading Note 2(A) to Section XI, HTSUSA, states:

Products of Chapters 56 to 63 containing two or more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section for the classification of a product of chapters 50 to 55 or of heading 5809 consisting of the same textile materials.

The note continues to address the treatment of pile fabric:

(B) For the application of this rule:
. . . (b) In the case of textile products consisting of a ground fabric and a pile or looped surface no account shall be taken of the ground fabric[.]

You are correct in your assertion that the classification of merchandise such as the subject women’s garments would ordinarily be based on the fabric which comprises the outer surface. However, an exception to this general classification rule exists for garments which are constructed of knit pile laminations. Normally, a laminated fabrics combination is classified by application of GRI 3. However, Legal Note 1(c) to Chapter 60, HTSUSA, states that Chapter 60 does not cover knitted fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated of Chapter 59. Legal Note 1 to Chapter 59 defines “textile fabrics” for the purposes of classification in Chapter 59 as including knitted fabrics of headings 6002 to 6006, HTSUSA, but excludes knitted pile fabrics of heading 6001, HTSUSA. Furthermore, Legal Note 1(c) to Chapter 60 also clarifies that knitted pile fabrics of heading 6001, HTSUSA, that are impregnated, coated, covered or laminated remain classified in heading 6001, HTSUSA. Thus, a knitted pile fabric which is also laminated would remain classified under heading 6001, HTSUSA, while a knitted non-pile fabric laminated with plastic would be classified under heading 5903, HTSUSA, as a textile fabric laminated with plastic pursuant to GRI 1. Accordingly, the classification of the garments is dependent on whether or not the fabric is determined to be pile or non-pile knitted fabric.

In the ruling under reconsideration, the bonded fabrics in the woman’s garment consists of a knitted pile fabric classifiable under heading 6001, HTSUS, on one side and a woven fabric of cotton classifiable in Chapter 52, HTSUS, on the other side. There is no limitation in Legal Note 1(c), Chapter 60, regarding what other material or materials may be laminated with the knitted pile fabric. Customs interpretation of Note 1(c) to Chapter 60 means, in effect, that multilayered materials which contain both pile fabric and non-pile fabric, as in the case of the subject merchandise, are classified based upon the pile fabric. Therefore, it is the fiber content of the pile fabric which determines the classification of this merchandise. Thus, the subject merchandise was properly classified as a knit jacket in subheading 6102.30.2010, HTSUSA, since the garments are constructed of a fabric of heading 6001, HTSUSA, as per the interpretation of Legal Note 1(c) to Chapter 60, HTSUSA.

Customs has issued a number of rulings dealing with knit pile laminations in which Customs stated that lamination of a knit pile fabric and another fabric is by definition a knit pile. By application of GRI 1, the merchandise is classified as knit pile regardless of the material to which it is laminated. (See e.g. Headquarters Ruling letter (“HQ”) 965713, dated September 17, 2002; HQ 960300, dated December 9, 1997; HQ 959600, dated September 12, 1997; HQ 959013, dated September 16, 1997; New York Ruling letter (“NY”) G88745, dated May 7, 2001; and NY G87806, dated April 25, 2001.)


NY I84068, dated August 1, 2002, is affirmed.

The subject merchandise is properly classified under 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 rate of duty is 28.6 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile restraint category is 635.

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. The Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels) is also available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB) which can be found on the U.S. Customs Service website at .

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, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: