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HQ 967968





November 14, 2005

CLA-2: RR:CTF:TCM: 967968 BtB

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6110.30.3010

Ms. Linda M. Rasco

Metro Customs Brokers

P.O. Box 55
Rouses Point, NY 12979

RE: Classification of men’s cardigan sweaters

Dear Ms. Rasco:

This is in response to your September 21, 2005 letter, on behalf of Arc'teryx Equipment Inc. (“Arc'teryx”), to the National Commodity Specialist Division, requesting classification of two garments under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) and inquiring about whether such garments would be eligible for a preferential rate of duty under the Central America Free Trade Agreement (“CAFTA”) and related matters. Your letter has been forwarded to this office for response.

The classification of the two garments is addressed below. While CAFTA has been signed, no Presidential Proclamation implementing CAFTA has been promulgated as of this date. The general note for the HTSUSA to implement CAFTA will no doubt be part of the proclamation. Controlling regulations have not yet been drafted. As such, we cannot issue any rulings based on CAFTA as it is not in force at this time. Once the Presidential Proclamation has been issued and the new general note in the HTSUSA has become effective, you may resubmit your request regarding the eligibility of the garments for a preferential rate of duty under CAFTA and related matters. If you do so, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, Attn: Binding Rulings Section.

FACTS:

The two garments at issue are identified as Arc'teryx Model 3015 and Arc'teryx Model 3835.

Model 3015, also referred to as the “Covert Cardigan,” is a men’s sweater constructed from 100% polyester knit pile fabric that is napped on the inside surface. The fabric measures 8 stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. The garment has a stand-up collar, a full front opening with a zipper closure, long sleeves with contrasting binding at the cuff, zippered pockets below the waist, a narrow zippered pocket on the left sleeve, woven fabric pocket facing, and a straight bottom finished with contrasting binding.

Model 3835, also referred to as the “Covert Cardigan Hoody,” is a men’s sweater constructed from 100% polyester knit pile fabric that is napped on the inside surface. The fabric measures 8 stitches per two centimeters counted in the horizontal direction. The garment has a self-fabric hood, a full front opening with a zipper closure, long sleeves with contrasting binding at the cuff, zippered pockets below the waist, a narrow zippered pocket on the left sleeve, woven fabric pocket facing, and a straight bottom finished with contrasting binding.

In the documents provided with your letter, Arc'teryx indicates that they currently classify both models in subheading 6110.30.3050, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcosts (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Other, Other: Other: Men’s or boys.’”

ISSUE:

What is the classification of Model 3015 and Model 3835?

ANALYSIS:

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." If 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, in order.

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).

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for: “Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcosts (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted.” The EN to the heading states that “[t]his heading covers a category of knitted or crocheted articles, without distinction between male or female wear, designed to cover the upper parts of the body (jerseys, pullovers, cardigans, waistcoats and similar articles).”

Arc'teryx indicates that they are currently classifying both models in subheading 6110.30.3050, HTSUSA, a provision under heading 6110, HTSUSA, which provides “[o]ther” and not “[s]weaters.” However, due to their stitch count, these garments fall within the scope of Statistical Note 3 to Chapter 61, HTSUSA, which states:

For purposes of this chapter, statistical provisions for sweaters include garments, whether or not known as pullovers, vests or cardigans, the outer surfaces of which are constructed essentially with 9 or fewer stitches per 2 centimeters, measured in the direction the stitches were formed, and garments, known as sweaters, where, due to their construction, the stitches on the outer surface cannot be counted in the direction the stitches were formed.

HOLDING:

The Model 3015 (the “Covert Cardigan”) and the Model 3835 (the “Covert Cardigan Hoody”) are classified in subheading 6110.30.3010, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcosts (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other: Other, Other: Sweaters: Men’s.”

The applicable column one, general duty rate under the 2005 HTSUSA is 32 per cent ad valorem. Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the world wide web at www.usitc.gov.

Quota/visa requirements are no longer applicable for merchandise which is the product of World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. The textile category number above applies to merchandise produced in non-WTO member countries. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

Sincerely,

Gail A. Hamill, Chief

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