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HQ 082619

February 26,1990
CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082619 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9050

Mr. Mark L. Hausle
Trans-Border Customs Services
656 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 200
Buffalo, New York 14222

RE: Heat Shrinkable Tubing

Dear Mr. Hausle:

This ruling is in response to your letter of June 9, 1988, on behalf of your client, Canusa, Division of Shaw Pipe Protection Ltd., Canada, requesting the classification of plastic heat shrinkable tubing under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were provided for our examination.


The submitted samples represent five types of heat shrinkable tubing. Types CFM, CFE, CFTV, and CPX-876 (formerly 135FR) are based on a polyethylene and ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer with non-reinforcing fillers such as clay. Type CVN-7 (formerly FPVC) is produced from a polyvinyl chloride compound without any reinforcements. The subject tubing is seamless and designed to be placed over pipes to prevent corrosion and wear. Through the application of heat, the tubing shrinks to conform to the dimensions of the pipe and becomes permanently affixed thereto.


What is the proper classification of heat shrinkable tubing under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 3917, HTSUSA, covers tubes, pipes and hoses, and fittings therefor, of plastic. According to Note 8 to Chapter 39, the expression "tubes, pipes and hoses" means:

(i) hollow products, whether semi-manufactures or finished products, of a kind generally used for conveying, conducting or distributing gases or liquids (for example, ribbed garden hose, perforated tubes) provided that they have an internal cross-section which is round, oval, rectangular (in which the length does not exceed 1.5 times the width) or in the shape of a regular polygon; and

(ii) sausage casings (whether or not tied or otherwise further worked) and other lay-flat tubing.

Here, the merchandise in issue protects pipes from corrosion and wear; it is not used for conveying, conducting or distributing gases or liquids. Additionally, the subject tubing by no means resembles sausage casings or lay-flat tubing. This office, therefore, sees no justification for classifying heat shrinkable tubing in heading 3917.

Heading 3916 provides for monofilament of which any cross-sectional dimension exceeds 1 millimeter, rods, sticks, and profile shapes, of plastic. The tubing at hand is produced in the same manner and in the same configuration as products which might be called monofilaments; it is produced in a single extrusion into a tubular shape with a uniform diameter throughout. While exceeding the 1 millimeter monofilament requirement, the tubing, nonetheless, carries a much wider cross- section than allowed by this heading. A review of dictionary definitions for filament and monofilament leads us to believe that such products must be relatively narrow. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, (Unabridged ed. 1986), p. 848, defines filament as:
a long thin flexible object that has a small cross section;
a single continuous man-made fiber produced from a liquid bath (as by extrusion through a small orifice) and used either in the form of a monofilament or in groups.

Webster's New World Dictionary, (2nd ed. 1972), p. 920, defines monofilament as:
a single, untwisted strand, of synthetic material.

In light of the above analysis, the heat shrinkable tubing can not be classified under headings 3916 or 3917. The submitted types must be classified as other articles of plastic under heading 3926.


The merchandise in issue is classifiable in subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastics, other, other, other. The rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem. Articles originating in Canada and classified in this subheading are eligible for a duty rate of 4.7 percent ad valorem under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement, if all applicable requirements are met.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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