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HQ 082219

November 21, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082219 PR


TARIFF NO.: Item No. 5407.82.00; 5514.21.00 TSUS

Mr. Walter T. Brown
Toyomenka (America) Inc.
1285 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10019

RE: Classification of 3 fabrics, each of which has an application of plastics on one surface

Dear Mr. Brown:

This is in reply to your letter of February 9, 1988, concerning the classification of certain fabrics manufactured by Pang-Rim Spinning Co., Ltd., in Seoul, Korea.


Three swatches of fabric were submitted. It is stated that the merchandise will be imported as piece goods, 50 to 60 yards in length and 41 to 45 inches in width. All are plain woven dyed fabrics. Style 6024 is stated to consist of 100 percent cotton, "20 x 20, 70 x 70" with a polysilicon coating. Style AT 300 is stated to be 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, "45/2 x 45/2, 100 x 55" with a lacquer (polysilicon plastics) coating. Style AT 5230 is stated to be 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton "45 x 45, 136 x 94", also with a lacquer coating. The last two styles are stated to be able to pass the AATCC 35-1987 waterproof standard. In all three styles, the plastics application does not change the surface character of the fabric and does not appear to be visible when viewed without the aid of a magnifier.


The issue presented is whether fabrics represented by the submitted swatches are classifiable as fabrics impregnated, coated, or covered with plastics, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plastics (except tire cord which is provided for in Heading 5902).

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(1) fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color.

It is our view that the wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("visible to the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, or covered."

Therefore, following the strict wording of Note 2(a)(1), for a fabric to be considered "impregnated, coated, or covered" within that requirement, the plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. Customs believes that this criterion is satisfied when the application of a plastics material clearly changes the surface character of the fabric. In such an instance, the naked eye is seeing the plastics.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, none of the submitted swatches has a plastics application which is visible to the naked eye. Accordingly, fabrics, as represented by the samples, are not classifiable under Heading 5903. Such fabrics are classifiable in either Chapter 52, if considered to be of cotton, or, if of man-made fibers, in either Chapter 54 (if of filaments) or Chapter 55 (if of staple fibers).

Note 2(A), Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that goods classifiable in Chapters 50 to 55, and of a mixture or two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single material.

Accordingly, fabrics, as represented by styles AT 300 and AT 5230, which are stated to be 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton, are classifiable under the provisions for man- made fiber fabrics.


Fabric, as represented by style 6024 is classifiable under Heading 5208, HTSUSA. However, without further information on its weight (in grams) per square meter and its number, as that term is defined in Additional U.S. Note 3, copy enclosed, we are unable to provide further information concerning the classification of that fabric.

Fabrics represented by styles AT 300 and AT 5230 are classifiable, if the polyester fibers in the fabric are in the form of filaments, under Subheading 5407.82.00, which provides for other dyed woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, containing less than 85 percent of synthetic filaments, mixed mainly or solely with cotton and dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem.

If the polyester fibers in Styles AT 300 and AT 5230 are in the form of staple fibers and the fabrics weigh less than 170 grams per square meter, those fabrics are classifiable under Subheading 5513.21.00, which provides for dyed plain weave fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing less than 85 percent of such fibers, mixed mainly or solely with cotton. If the fabrics weigh over 170 grams per square meter, they are classifiable under a similar provision, in Subheading 5514.21.00. In either classification, the applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem. These classifications represent 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.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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