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HQ 080144

May 18, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 080144 CMR


TARIFF NO: 320.3923; 5208.12.6020

Mrs. D. W. S. Wai
British Embassy
Hong Kong Office
3100 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

RE: Classification of cotton fabric

Dear Mrs. Wai:

This is in response to your letter of April 15, 1987, requesting classification of a cotton print fabric imported into the United States by Pacific Coast Feather from Hong Kong. Three shipments are being held at Seattle for want of a correct visa. A sample accompanied the ruling request.


The submitted sample is a plain woven cotton fabric weighing 3.81 ounces per square yard. It contains 132 single threads per inch in the warp and 90 single threads per inch in the filling. It is constructed with 40/1 c.c. yarns in both the warp and the filling and the yarns have been carded. The fabric does not appear to have been bleached or colored and has not been napped. Based on the data provided, the average yarn number for this merchandise has been calculated to be 39.

The Hong Kong Trade Department contends that this fabric fits Hong Kong's classification guidelines for category 315 and was improperly assigned category 314 when entered through the Seattle seaport. The Hong Kong Trade Department bases its contention on the guidelines in Notice to Exporters No. 50/83 of October 22, 1983.


Whether the fabric at issue falls within textile category 314 or 315.


In order to determine the proper textile category designation for this fabric, we must first classify it under the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA). The textile category designation is determined from the tariff classification and cannot be accurately predicted from the textile guidelines. Based on the data provided, the fabric is woven, wholly of cotton, not fancy or figured, not bleached and not colored and classifiable in item 320.39 , Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). The next step is to determine the statistical suffix that applies by reference to the Statistical Suffix Table for Items 320.01 through 331. . The fabric meets the definition for poplin or broadcloth in Statistical Headnote 1(e), Subpart A, Part 3, Schedule 3, which provides for "fabrics of plain weave, not of square construction, whether or not napped...." It should be noted that the construction of this fabric is not square as defined in Statistical Headnote 1(q), Subpart A, Part 3, Schedule 3, which states in part:

Square construction: Fabrics of the following types--

...containing 200 or more warp ends and filling picks per square inch in which the total count of warp ends per inch and the total count of filling picks per inch are each less than 57 percent of the total count per square inch of such warp ends and filling picks.

Since 132 warp ends divided by 222 warp ends and filling picks equals 59.45 percent, this fabric is not of square construction.

It therefore follows that this fabric must fall within the statistical suffixes that cover poplin or broadcloth (suffixes 12 through 26). Suffixes 12 and 13 cannot apply since they require a fabric over 5 ounces per square yard. Suffixes 14, 15, 16, and 17 cannot apply because they cover fabric with yarns of different colors. Suffixes 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 also do not apply to the merchandise since these statistical suffixes cover only fabric having 28 to 39 more warp ends than filling picks per inch. This fabric has 42 more warp ends than filling picks per inch. Suffix 24 does not apply because the fabric is not fancy or figured and suffixes 25 and 26 are eliminated since the fabric is not napped. This analysis leaves us with the only suffix which completely fits the characteristics of this fabric, statistical suffix 23.

This fabric cannot be classified as printcloth, since the definition for printcloth requires that the fabric be of square construction. Note Statistical Headnote 1(b), Subpart A, Part 3, Schedule 3, for the tariff definition for printcloth. Our analysis has demonstrated that this fabric is not of square
construction. Your reliance on the textile guidelines in Notice to Exporters No. 50/83 of October 22, 1983, is misplaced. These guidelines were obsolete at the time this entry was made since they were based partially on the 1983 TSUSA.


The fabric at issue is classifiable in item 320.3923, TSUSA, which is correlated with textile category 314. It is dutiable at the 1986 rate of 10.5 percent ad valorem.

Under the proposed Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the fabric is classifiable in subheading 5208.12.6020, textile category 314. The rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service under the proposed HTSUSA. If changes occur before enactment, this advice may not continue to be applicable.


John Durant
Acting Director

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