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HQ 082564

December 1, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082564 CMR 829669


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9000

Lynn S. Baker
Katten, Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60606-3693

RE: Ruling request for classification of a surgical towel

Dear Ms. Baker:

This is in response to your letter of April 20, 1988, on behalf of your client Convertors Division of Baxter Healthcare Corporation of El Paso, Texas, requesting a ruling on the classification of a surgical towel from China.


The merchandise at issue is a disposable surgical towel. The towel is made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric. It is rectan- gular in shape and hemmed on three sides It measures approxi- mately 17 by 29 inches. The surgical towel is manufactured in China, but it is packaged in Mexico. The towel is shipped sealed in a sterile surgical pack.

The towel is designed, made, and shipped specifically for a medical use in operating rooms. The towel is used to absorb fluids in and around the surgical cavity. It also serves to provide a sterile field for surgical instruments.

Despite its designated use, the surgical towel is classifi- able with bath and kitchen towels under the current tariff sche- dule since there is no other more specific provision into which it may be classified. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 077532 of February 6, 1986, and HRL 078018 of April 15, 1986, Customs classified practically identical articles as towels under the provision for other furnishings, not ornamented, of cotton, other, towels, not jacquard-figured, . . ., item 366.26, Tariff

Schedules of the United States, textile category 369. This article is likewise classified. It is subject to duty at a rate of 10.5 percent ad valorem.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) does not contain a specific provision for surgical towels. They cannot continue to be classified with bath and kitchen towels under the HTSUSA as the heading for bath and kitchen towels, 6302, HTSUSA, provides specifically for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen. Surgical towels do not fall within the scope of any of these types of linen. Surgical towels are therefore classified under the provision for other made up articles, . . ., other, other in subheading 6307.90.9000, dutiable at 7 percent ad valorem.


The submitted surgical towel is classified in item 366.2600, Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated, textile category 369, dutiable at 10.5 percent ad valorem.

Under the HTSUSA, the surgical towel is classified in subheading 6307.90.9000, HTSUSA, dutiable at 7 percent ad valorem. This classification represents the present position of the Customs Service. Please be advised that the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) is contemplating a change in the HTSUSA prior to its effective date which will affect this subheading at the statistical level and will include the addition of a textile category number. If there are changes before the HTSUSA becomes effective on January 1, 1989, this advice may no longer be applicable.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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