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HQ H011146

January 10, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6206.30.3041

Ms. Eleanore Kelly-Kobayashi
Rode & Qualey
Attorneys at Law
55 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY N010161: Tariff Classification of woman’s upper body garment

Dear Ms. Kelly-Kobayashi:

This is in response to a request for reconsideration dated May 10, 2007, made on behalf of your client, Capital Mercury Apparel, Ltd. (hereinafter “Capital”), of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) New York Ruling letter (NY) N010161, dated April 30, 2007, which classified a woman’s upper body garment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample has been submitted to CBP for examination. In response to your request, we offered to meet with you on the classification issues presented herein, however, the meeting was declined.


The article is a woman’s upper body garment, identified as style #17978, which is constructed from 100 percent cotton woven fabric that weighs approximately 9 ounces per square yard. The garment features a pointed collar, long sleeves with single snap cuffs, a full front opening with seven snap closures, two chest pockets (above the waist), and a curved shirt-tail bottom. The garment is lined with 100 percent cotton flannel.

In NY N010161, CBP classified the subject article in subheading 6206.30.3041, HTSUSA, which provides for “Women’s or girls’ blouses and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: Other: Women’s”.

In your submission, you note that your client believes that the garment is properly classified under subheading 6211.42.0075, HTSUSA, as “Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women’s or girls’: Of cotton, Jackets and jacket-type garments excluded from heading 6202”. Alternatively, your client suggests classification of these articles in subheading 6211.42.0056, HTSUSA, as “Track suits, ski-suits and swimwear; other garments: Other garments, women’s or girls’: Of cotton, Blouses, shirts and shirt-blouses, sleeveless tank styles and similar upper body garments, excluded from heading 6206: Other”.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods 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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The garment at issue is considered a hybrid garment because it contains features generally associated with both a shirt and a jacket. The EN to heading 6206, HTSUSA, indicates that "this heading does not cover garments with pockets below the waist or with a ribbed waistband or other means of tightening at the bottom of the garment." The subject garment has chest pockets above the waist and no means of tightening at the bottom of the garment. As such, the Explanatory Note would not exclude the garment from classification in heading 6206, HTSUSA. Thus, we disagree with the assertion that the garment may be alternatively classified in heading 6211, HTSUSA, as a garment excluded from classification in heading 6206, HTSUSA.

Since this garment has features of both a shirt and a jacket and neither the legal notes to the HTSUSA nor the EN address the issue of whether a garment is classifiable as a jacket as opposed to a shirt, we look to the “Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories”, CIE 13/88, (Guidelines) for assistance in differentiating jackets from shirts. See also, the CBP Informed Compliance Publication (ICP), Apparel Terminology Under the HTSUS, dated July 2006, “Shirt-Jackets”, page 11.

The following criteria from the ICP, which is based on the criteria from the Guidelines, may be used in determining whether a shirt-jacket is designed for use over another garment as a jacket:

      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.
    A tightening element at the cuffs. A tightening element at the waist or bottom of the garment

As stated in the Guidelines, borderline garments will be classified as jackets if three features are met and the result is not unreasonable. The submitted sample has the appearance of a shirt and has only two features generally associated with jackets, i.e., a full or partial lining and heavy – duty snap closures. Furthermore, the “Carhartt”® label advertises the “Canvas Shirt Jac/Flannel Lined” product as an ideal cold weather shirt. Indeed the “Carhartt”® tag attached to the sample identifies the article as a flannel lined “Shirt Jac” that provides “better range of motion and greater comfort”, presumably as compared to a jacket.

CBP has consistently classified similar shirt-jacket garments possessing less than three of the aforementioned jacket features as “shirts” under the HTSUSA. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 960540, dated January 22, 1998, HQ 961836, dated July 20, 1999, and HQ 965745, dated October 7, 2002.

Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that the submitted garment was correctly classified in NY N010161, dated April 30, 2007, as a woman’s shirt of heading 6206, HTSUSA.


NY N010161, dated April 30, 2007, is affirmed.

The subject merchandise, a woman’s upper body garment identified as style #17978, is correctly classified in subheading 6206.30.3041, HTSUSA, which provides for “Women’s or girls’ blouses and shirt-blouses: Of cotton: Other: Other, Other: Other: Women’s. The general column one rate of duty is 15.4 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 341.

With the exception of certain products of China, 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 at the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

Please note that the duty rates set forth in this ruling letter are merely 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.


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