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HQ 081959

December 1, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 081959 PR


TARIFF NO.: 6203.43.10

Peter Buck Feller, Esquire
Rose, Schmidt, Hasley & DiSalle
1250 24th Street, N.W., suite 630
Washington, D.C.

RE: Classification of garments containing synthetic and artificial man-made fibers, which, if combined, exceed the weight of a third fiber.

Dear Mr. Feller:

This is in reply to your letter and memorandum of December 1, 1987, concerning the classification of certain jeans.


No sample was submitted. However, the question presented involves a broad classification principle under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), and, therefore, in this instance a sample is not required. The factual situation on which Customs is asked to rule involves men's blended fiber trousers, made from a woven fabric that is stated to be 28 percent rayon, 30 percent polyester, and 42 percent cotton, by weight.


The issue presented is whether, where there are subheadings providing for synthetic and artificial man-made fibers at different levels of indentation, can those two types of man-made fibers be combined in classifying the trousers or must they be considered separately.


The trousers are classifiable under Heading 6203. The subheadings under Heading 6203 for trousers "Of synthetic
fibers" and trousers "Of artificial fibers" are indented at different levels, the latter being indented under a subheading for "Of other textile materials" which is coequal to the subheading for "Of synthetic fibers".

For illustration purposes only, the subheadings involved have the following relationship to each other.

6203 Men's or boys' * * * trousers

Trousers * * *

6203.43 Of synthetic fibers

6203.49 Of other textile materials

Of artificial fibers

Section 11 Subheading Note 2(A) provides:

Products of chapters 56 to 63 containing two or more textile materials are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section for the classification of a product of chapters 50 to 55 consisting of the same textile materials.

The pertinent portions of Note 2 of Section 11 are as follows:

(A) Goods classifiable in chapters 50 to 55 . . . and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material.

(B) For the purposes of the above rule:

(b) The choice of appropriate heading shall be effected by determining first the chapter and then the applicable heading within that chapter, disregarding any materials not classified in that chapter;

(d) Where a chapter or a heading refers to goods of different textile materials, such materials are to be treated as a single textile material.

Following Subheading Note 2(A), Customs will look to the fabric which would be selected under Section XI, Note 2, to determine the classification of the trousers in issue. That note requires that a fabric be classified according to the one textile material which predominates by weight.

In applying Note 2, consideration must be given to Chapter 54, Note 1, which provides, in essence, that throughout the HTSUSA, the term "man-made fibers" includes both synthetically and artificially produced fibers. Therefore, Chapter 54, which provides for man-made filaments, and Chapter 55, which provides for man-made staple fibers, by their terms and by their notes, both refer to synthetic and artificial fibers.

Chapter 54, Note 1 also states that the terms "man-made", "synthetic" and "artificial" have the same meanings when used in relation to "textile materials".

Reading Section XI, Note 2, together with Chapter 54, Note 1, Customs believes that under the facts here presented, there are two distinct requirements which mandate that the weights of the artificial and synthetic fibers must be aggregated in classifying the subject merchandise. First, following Section XI Note 2(B)(d), since Chapters 54 and 55 both refer to, and provide for, artificial and synthetic fibers, those fibers are to be treated as a single textile material.

Secondly, Chapter 54, Note 1, specifically states that "artificial" and "synthetic" have the same meaning when used in relation to "textile materials" throughout the HTSUS. Therefore, when Section XI, Note 2, requires classification of a fabric according to "that one textile material" which predominates by weight, the synthetic and artificial fibers must be aggregated and considered to be "that one textile material".


On the basis of the above, it is clear that in classifying a mixed fiber fabric, following both Chapter 54 Note 1 and

Section XI Note 2, the weights of both the synthetic and artificial fibers are combined. However, when the article to be classified is a garment and not a fabric, the rule in Subheading Note 2(A) governs. Thus, if the fabric portion of the garment which determines that garment's classification would be classified as, for example, a cotton fabric, then the garment will be classified as "Of cotton".

In this instance, when aggregated the man-made fibers (synthetic and artificial) predominate over the cotton fibers and since the synthetic fibers predominate over the artificial fibers, the fabric from which the trousers are made would be classified as "Of synthetic fibers". Accordingly, the sample trousers are considered to be "Of synthetic fibers" and are classifiable in Subheading 6203.43, HTSUSA. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service under the HTSUSA. If there are changes before the effective date of January 1, 1989, this advice may not continue to be applicable.


John Durant, Director

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