3 March 2017
Court Rules Wearable Blanket Not Classified as Garment
The U.S. Court of International Trade ruled on 10 February that a polyester fleece knitted article known as a Snuggie® is properly classified as a blanket under HTSUS 6301.40.00 (8.5 percent duty). CBP had classified this item as other knitted garments of man-made fibres under HTSUS 6114.30.30 (14.9 percent duty). To produce the Snuggie® the factory cuts polyester fleece knitted 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.