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Court Says Wearable Blanket Not Classified as Garment

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Court of International Trade ruled Feb. 10 that a polyester fleece knit article known as a Snuggie® is properly classified as a blanket under HTSUS 6301.40.00 (8.5 percent duty). U.S. Customs and Border Protection had classified this item as other knitted garments of manmade fibers under HTSUS 6114.30.30 (14.9 percent duty).

To produce the Snuggie® the factory cuts polyester fleece knit into rectangles and hems all four sides using a machine over-locked or blanket stitch. Two holes are cut and tubes (which serve as sleeves) of the same polyester fleece are sewn onto the holes.

The CIT said this item is not classifiable as a garment (a term it finds to be interchangeable with “apparel”) because, among other things, its physical characteristics and features do not resemble a normal article of apparel. Instead, the court said, the item has the essential characteristics of a blanket; i.e., a large piece of fabric used as a covering for warmth. The sleeves are not so substantial as to transform the item into something other than a blanket, the court noted, and in fact enhance the item’s primary design and use.

Click here to register for ST&R’s Feb. 14 webinar on the basics of apparel classification.

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