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HQ 966159

April 14, 2003

CLA 2 RR:CR:TE 966159 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6201.92.2051

Acting Area Director
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection
JFK International Airport, Bldg. #77
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Internal Advice; Classification requested for men’s denim jacket with fleece and quilted polyfill lining; Heading 6201; Heading 6205

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to your memorandum, dated January 14, 2003 (ENF-1-K:TO:B7 MP), forwarding a request for internal advice dated December 11, 2002, from Don M. Obert, Esq., of Follick & Bessich, on behalf of their client, Sierra Fashions, Inc., on the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a men's long sleeve, upper body garment manufactured in India. The request was submitted in response to a proposed rate advance dated November 21, 2002.


The sample at issue, style 2511, is a men’s woven garment with a 100 percent cotton denim outer shell, a polyester fleece lining covering the inner body portion of the garment, and a quilted nylon lining in the sleeves stuffed with polyester fill. The garment has long sleeves with two button adjustable cuffs, a five inch opening with a button closure immediately above the cuffs, a full frontal opening with a full front button closure, two flapped breast pockets with button closures, and a hemmed rounded shirt type bottom. The body of the garment has a full polar fleece lining of 100 percent polyester knit fabric for warmth. The sleeves are lined from the shoulder to the cuffs with quilted nylon and there is a polyfill insulation layer between the outer shell of the sleeve and the inner lining for additional warmth. We are advised that the fabric weight is as follows; denim: 6.0-6.58 ounces per square meter, 100 percent polyester fleece lining: 10.15 ounces per square meter, and the polyester fill of the sleeves: 2.10 ounces per square meter.


Whether the subject garment is classifiable as a jacket under Heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt under Heading 6205, HTSUSA.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI”). 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 as a 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 heading 6201, HTSUSA, or as a shirt under heading 6205, HTSUSA. The garment at issue is considered to be a hybrid garment since it possesses characteristics found on both shirts and jackets.

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, CIE 13/88 at 5-6 (Nov. 23, 1988).

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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 possesses three of the Guidelines' jacket criteria: although expressed in ounces per square meter (as
opposed to the dimensionally smaller square yard), the garment has an average fabric weight exceeding 10 ounces per square yard (the body of the garment [which makes up more than 50 percent of the overall fabric used in the garment] has a combined fabric weight exceeding 16 ounces per square meter, the sleeves of the garment have a combined fabric weight of approximately 8 ounces per square meter), a full lining, and back vents or pleats. The garment therefore appears to possess the requisite number of Guidelines criteria to be classified as a jacket and, in addition, is constructed from woven denim which is typically used in jackets.

The attorney for the importer agrees that the garment is a hybrid garment, and that it possesses "no more than three of the features described above (i.e., Fabric weight equal to or exceeding 10 ounces per square yard, a full or partial lining and back vents or pleats." However, it is also counsel's contention that "classification of the subject garment as a jacket of heading 6201 would be unreasonable and, accordingly, improper, as the subject garment does not possess the overall impression of a jacket."

We find that the garment not only sufficiently satisfies the above-discussed jacket criteria, but also gives the overall impression of a jacket and that classification as a jacket under Heading 6201, HTSUSA is proper and not unreasonable. Therefore the issuance of the Notice of Action proposing a rate advance was correct.


Style 2511 is classified in subheading 6201.92.2051, HTSUSA, which provides for "Anoraks (including skijackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets): Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: Other: Men’s." The general column one rate of duty is 9.5 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 334.

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 the importer check, close to the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, previously available on the Customs Electronic Bulletin Board (CEBB), which is now available on the CBP 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, the importer should contact the local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

You are to mail this decision to the internal advice requester no later than sixty days from the date of the decision. At that time, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the CBP Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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