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Court Rules the Snuggie Is a Blanket, Not a Robe

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A federal trade court ruled that a Snuggie is a blanket, not a robe, for tariff purposes.

The court ruled that the cozy, fleecy coverings aren’t considered to be “robes or priestly vestments” and shouldn’t be taxed at a higher rate, Bloomberg BNA reported.

The Justice Department argued that Snuggies are apparel and should be taxed higher than blankets, but their argument was struck down Friday by the Court of International Trade’s Judge Mark Barnett.

Barnett pointed out that Allstar Marketing Group, the maker of the Snuggie, is promoted more like a blanket than an article of clothing.

He added that the packaging even calls it “the Blanket With Sleeves!” and that ads usually show people in situations where one would use a blanket like sitting in bed or cheering outside in the cold at a sporting event.

The battle between Allstar and the Justice Department on the fate of the Snuggie has waged for over a decade in court, Quartz reports.

The DOJ insists that because the product has sleeves, it resembles “clerical or ecclesiastical garments and vestments” and “professional or scholastic gowns and robes.”

But Barnett sided with Allstar’s argument, saying that unlike gowns or robes, the Snuggie doesn’t have anything to seal up the open back. Barnett added that the sleeves merely keep the Snuggie from falling off its user while still allowing the user to use his or her hands to do things.

The judge’s decision means that importers bringing in the Snuggie as a blanket will need to pay 8.5 percent duty tax instead of 14.9 percent.


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