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HQ 967104

June 21, 2004

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE: 967104 BtB


TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.30

Mr. Mauritz Plenby
Associated Merchandising Corporation (AMC) 1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: The tariff classification of a unisex’s chef coat from Indonesia

Dear Mr. Plenby:

This is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (NY) A87771, dated September 30, 1996, issued to you by the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (f/k/a U.S. Customs Service) regarding the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a chef’s jacket from Indonesia (“chef’s coat”). We have reconsidered NY A87771 and have determined that the classification of the chef’s coat is not correct. This ruling sets forth the correct classification and revokes NY A87771.


The chef’s coat is made of 100% woven cotton fabric. The garment features a full-front opening with a double row of fabric knot buttons that can button either left over right or right over left. It is hip-length with a mandarin collar and mandarin styling, long sleeves with a turned-up split cuff. The chef’s coat is unisex.

In NY A87771, CBP classified the chef’s coat under subheading 6211.42.0081, HTSUSA, which provides for “Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women's or girls': Of cotton: Other.”


Whether the chef’s coat is properly classified in heading 6211, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, other garments not more specifically provided for elsewhere, or in heading 6206, HTSUSA, which provides for women’s blouses.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides, in part, that classification decisions are to be "determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes." In the event that 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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. While neither legally binding nor dispositive of classification issues, the EN provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127-28 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The EN to heading 6211 state that the EN to heading 6114 concerning other garments apply mutatis mutandis, to the articles of heading 6211, HTSUSA. The applicable EN to heading 6114, HTSUSA, provides that "this heading covers knitted or crocheted garments which are not included more specifically in the preceding headings of this Chapter". Applying this language to heading 6211, HTSUSA, denotes that Heading 6211, HTSUSA, is not appropriate if the garments at issue are covered more specifically in preceding headings.

The applicable EN to heading 6114, HTSUSA, further states the following:

The heading includes, inter alia:

(1) Aprons, boiler suits (coverall), smocks and other protective clothing of a kind worn by mechanics, factory workers, surgeons, etc.

(2) Clerical or ecclesiastical garments and vestments (e.g., monks' habits, cassocks, copes, soutanes, surplices).

(3) Professional or scholastic gowns and robes.

(4) Specialized clothing for airmen, etc. (e.g., airmen's electrically heated clothing).

(5) Special articles of apparel used for certain sports or for dancing or gymnastics (e.g., fencing clothing, jockeys' silks, ballet skirts, leotards).

The General Notes to the EN to Chapter 62 state, in part, "Shirts and shirt blouses are garments designed to cover the upper part of the body, having long or short sleeves and a full front opening starting at the neckline."

The application of heading 6211 to other garments has been previously reviewed by CBP. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 959136, dated November 27, 1996, this office classified a hospital issue scrub type top in heading 6206, HTSUSA, determining that it was not suitable for use as protective clothing and, hence, not classifiable under heading 6211. In this ruling, CBP pointed out that "the protective garments properly classifiable under heading 6211, HTSUSA, are of a kind that have special design features or unique properties that distinguish them from other garments that are not used for protective purposes."

In contrast, in HQ 952934, dated July 19, 1993, CBP classified coveralls designed to protect the wearer from microwave radiation as protective clothing under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. The coveralls at issue in that case were composed of textile fabric and stainless steel fibers. Also, in HQ 084132, dated July 6, 1989, CBP classified a lab coat made of 100 percent polyester woven fabric with carbon fiber woven into it as an antistatic component under Heading 6211, HTSUSA. The lab coat was designed for wear in the electronics industry.

The instant chef's coat is not intended to be worn over other forms of clothing to provide protection to one’s clothing. Rather, the garment is designed to be worn over underwear and as the main article of clothing over the torso. It provides the wearer with the coverage of most upper body garments, but has no protective design features or properties as we construe those terms. Therefore, the chef’s jacket is more specifically provided for at GRI 1 in headings earlier in the chapter.

Chapter 62, note 8, HTSUSA, states:

Garments of this chapter designed for left over right closure at the front shall be regarded as men's or boys' garments, and those designed for right over left closure at the front as women's or girls’ garments. These provisions do not apply where the cut of the garment clearly indicates that it is designed for one or other of the sexes.

Garments which cannot be identified as either men's or boys' garments or as women's or girls' garments are to be classified in the headings covering women's or girls' garments.

The instant chef’s coat features a double row of fabric knot buttons that can button either left over right or right over left. The cut of the coat does not clearly indicate that it is designed for one or other of the sexes. As closure can be both ways and cut does not clearly indicate the sex designation, the garment is not identifiable as either a men’s or boy’s garment or women’s or girls garment. Therefore, the coat is to be classified in the appropriate heading covering women’s or girls’ garments. The chef's coat is not described as having features which would distinguish it as a jacket rather than a shirt worn outside the waistband, in terms of its features, detailing or notions, within the tariff meaning of the term jacket. Therefore, the upper body garment is more properly classified in heading 6206, as a blouse or shirt.


NY A87771, dated September 30, 1996, is hereby revoked.

The subject chef's jacket is classified in subheading 6206.30.3040, HTSUSA, which provides for "Women's or girls' blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other: Other: Women's". The applicable rate of duty under the 2004 HTSUSA is 15.4% percent ad valorem and the textile category is 341.

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 you 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 available now on the CBP website at www.cbp.gov.

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 CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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