A federal trade court ruled that Snuggies are blankets but not apparel, and certainly not vestments.
Snuggies, the sleeved fleece coverings, should be classified as blankets for tariff purposes, not like robes or priestly vestments, a federal trade court ruled Feb. 10 ( Allstar Mktg. Grp., LLC v. United States , Ct. Int’l Trade, 13-00395, 2/10/17)….
Judge Mark Barnett of the Court of International Trade held that Customs and Border Protection was wrong to classify Snuggies as garments. The judge noted in his opinion that the product is marketed as a blanket, rather than as clothing. For example, the packaging describes the Snuggie as “The Blanket With Sleeves!,” he said, and depicts consumers “in the types of situations one might use a blanket; for example, while seated or reclining on a couch or bed, or outside cheering a sports team.”
The addition of sleeves was not enough to turn the Snuggie into clothing, Barnett said. They simply allow the Snuggie “to remain in place and keep the user warm while allowing the user to engage in certain activities requiring the use of their hands,” he said.
The judge rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to compare the Snuggie to priestly vestments or scholastic robes, which also have wide-armed sleeves and flow loosely around the body. Barnett said that unlike robes, the Snuggie opens in the back, and unlike ecclesiastical garments, it don’t have closures.
Bloomberg says that “(the) ruling means that instead of paying 14.9 percent duties when bringing Snuggies into the U.S., importers will only have to pay 8.5 percent duties.”