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HQ 967839

April 26, 2006

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 967839 BtB


TARIFF NO.: 6211.33.0061

Ms. Jennifer Scott
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. 21318 64th Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032

RE: Classification of a men’s short-sleeved batting jacket; Revocation of NY L80081

Dear Ms. Scott:

On October 28, 2004, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) L80081 to you on behalf of High Five Sportswear (“High Five”). In NY L80081, CBP classified a “men’s woven shirt from Taiwan or China” identified as “Style 985” in subheading 6205.30.2070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, which provides for: “Men’s or boys’ shirts: Of man-made fibers: Other: Other, Other: Other: Men’s.”

We have reviewed NY L80081 and have determined that the classification set forth for Style 985 in that ruling is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification of the style and revokes NY L80081.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (“Customs Modernization”) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY L80081 was published in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 40, Number 13, on March 22, 2006. CBP received no comments during the notice and comment period that closed on April 21, 2006.


Style 985 is identified by High Five in product catalogs and on its website as a “short sleeve batting jacket.” In NY L80081, the style was described as follows:

Style 985 is a men’s pullover shirt constructed from 100 percent nylon, woven taffeta fabric. The garment features a round neck; a partial front opening with two snap closures; short, hemmed sleeves; rib knit inserts at the armholes; and a straight bottom with a drawcord and cord lock. The upper portion of the back panel is of mesh knit fabric covered with a free hanging nylon taffeta yoke.


Whether Style 985 is classifiable as a men’s shirt in heading 6205, HTSUSA, as a men’s jacket under heading 6201, HTSUSA, or in heading 6211, HTSUSA, as an “other” garment.


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 6201, HTSUSA, provides for: “Men’s or boys’ overcoats, carcoats, capes, cloaks, anoraks (including ski-jackets), windbreakers and similar articles (including padded, sleeveless jackets), other than those of heading 6203.” Heading 6205, HTSUSA, provides for: “Men’s or boys’ shirts.” The EN to heading 6205 state, in pertinent part, that heading 6205 “does not cover garments having the character of wind-cheaters, wind-jackets, etc. of heading 62.01, which generally have a tightening at the bottom .”

CBP recognizes that garments may possess features of both shirts and jackets. CBP considers such garments to be “hybrid garments.” See generally Headquarters Ruling (“HQ”) 967188, dated January 28, 2005. We find the style at issue, Style 985, to be one of these garments. When 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 boy’s 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. Garments in this category have a full or partial front opening, with or without a means of closure. Coats have sleeves of any length. 

C) 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:

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.


Long sleeves without cuffs.

Elasticized or rib-knit cuffs.

“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) and the CBP Informed Compliance Publication (ICP) What Every Member of the Community Should Know About: Apparel Terminology Under the HTSUS, (Jan., 2004).

The Guidelines offer the following with regard to the classification of men’s or boy’s shirts, not knit:

These categories cover male outer garments which extend from the neck and shoulder areas to or below the waist. A shirt should have a full or partial front opening, which closes left side over right side. These garments are worn over underwear or the skin and are considered conventional attire indoors and outdoors without other garments over them; they suffice the wearer except where circumstances dictate that a further degree of formality is required or where weather conditions necessitate additional protection. Shirts must have sleeves. Id. at 15.

Unlike the Guideline’s description of men’s or boy’s non-knit shirts, the style will not be worn over merely underwear or the skin and is not considered conventional attire. The style’s oversized fit supports it will be worn over other garments, like a jacket. As a result, we find that Style 985 is not classified in heading 6205, HTSUSA, as a men’s shirt.

Style 985 has three of the listed features of a shirt-jacket, a partial lining of mesh knit fabric, jacket-style snaps, and a drawstring at its waist. Under the Guidelines, therefore, the style should be categorized as a coat “if the result is not unreasonable.” In this instance, however, we find classification of the style at issue as a coat to be unreasonable. We acknowledge that Style 985 does have certain characteristics associated with garments of heading 6201, specifically wind-cheaters or wind-jackets. First, the style has a nylon shell which is typical for windbreakers. Second, Style 985 has a drawstring tightening at its bottom. However, we emphasize that unlike garments of heading 6201, Style 985 will not be primarily worn for protection against inclement weather, as garments of heading 6201 are typically worn. See generally HQ 957230, dated November 29, 1994. Many of its features (e.g., short sleeves, rounded neckline with no collar) evidence that the article is not designed for protection against the elements. As a result, we find that Style 985 is not classified in heading 6201, HTSUSA, as a men’s jacket.

Keeping the article’s distinct features in mind, CBP has extensively researched the garment at issue and its principal use. We find High Five’s reference to the style as a “batting jacket” to be accurate. More specifically, the garment is a “short sleeved batting jacket” that is worn by baseball or softball players over their uniforms during batting practice or warmup. Substantially similar batting jackets are manufactured or sold by major baseball apparel companies and are used by players from kid’s to professional leagues.

Style 985 is specifically to be worn while engaged in baseball or softball and the garments’ design features are specially suited to those sports. The garment is primarily worn to help a player retain body heat, thereby facilitating warmup. It also helps a player keep his or her uniform clean before game time. The style’s short sleeves and knit rib shoulder insets allow arm mobility while throwing or batting. While the style may have a nylon shell similar to a windbreaker, unlike a windbreaker, the garment is not principally worn for protection against inclement weather as a jacket or jacket-type garment of heading 6201, HTSUSA.

Heading 6211, HTSUSA, provides for: “Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments. The EN to heading 6211 states, in pertinent part, that the EN to heading 6114 concerning other garments apply, mutatis mutandis, to the articles of heading 6211. Heading 6114 provides for: “Other garments, knitted or crocheted.” The EN to this heading state, in relevant part:

This heading covers knitted or crocheted garments which are not included more specifically in the preceding headings of [Chapter 61].

The heading includes, inter alia:

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

CBP considers that the term "certain" limits the scope of the heading to those articles of sporting apparel which, protective or otherwise, are as a general matter, worn only while engaging in the activity for which they were designed. See HQ 957469, dated November 7, 1995, on the classification of knit baseball and football compression shorts. Thus, while football pants or baseball pants might be classifiable in heading 6211, such articles as tennis or rugby shorts, which are often worn off the court or playing field, would most likely not be so classifiable. Id. In determining if a particular garment is classifiable as a special article of sports apparel classifiable in heading 6114 or, as in this case, heading 6211, CBP has looked to whether the garment is designed to be worn while engaged in a specific sport as illustrated by its ability to serve a particular function for that sport, such as, give additional protection to the wearer, and its recognized uniqueness to that sport. Id. Finally, and crucially, CBP also looks to whether the garment would be worn only while participating in the sport for which it is designed and would not ordinarily be worn at any other time.

Due to its unique construction and lack of qualities that would make Style 985 practical or desirable to wear at times other than playing baseball or softball (protection against the elements, the presence of team logos, etc.), we find that the style would not ordinarily be worn at any other time than while playing these sports. See HQ 967840, dated November 2, 2005, in which we made identical determinations on a short-sleeved batting jacket with a hemmed bottom. As a result, we find that Style 985 is classified in heading 6211, HTSUSA, as a special article of apparel used for baseball or softball, an “other” garment.

Note that due to its distinct styling and use, Style 985 is not a jacket or jacket-type garment of heading 6201, HTSUSA, or a shirt of heading 6205, HTSUSA, although the garment may possess features of articles of both headings. Consequently, Style 985 is not classified in subheading 6211.33.0058, HTSUSA, a subheading under heading 6211 providing for “Jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6201” or subheading 6211.33.0040, HTSUSA, a subheading under heading 6211 providing for “Shirts excluded from heading 6205.”


The men’s batting jacket identified as Style 985 is classified in subheading 6211.33.0061, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, men’s or boys: Of man-made fibers, Other.” The applicable column one, general rate of duty for the merchandise under the 2006 HTSUSA is 16% 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.

Style 985 falls within textile category 659. 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.


NY L80081, dated October 28, 2004, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19

U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


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