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HQ 082754

November 16, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082754 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 4818.40.2000

Beth Ring, Esq.
Sandler & Travis, P.A.
505 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022

RE: Tariff classification of disposable toddlers' diaper pants

Dear Ms. Ring:

This ruling is in response to your letter of August 31, 1988, requesting a classification for disposable toddlers' diaper pants under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Three samples were submitted for review. Two are unfinished diaper pants. One is a finished diaper pant with a transfer print on the front.

The diaper pant consists of several components. A breakdown of the weight in grams and percentage of weight of each component was supplied as follows.

Item Weight-gm Weight %

Wood pulp 30.0 54.0
Polypropylene/rayon 7.7 13.6
Polyester/rubber elastic 5.6 10.0
Polypropylene cover 3.5 6.1
Polyethylene 3.1 5.5
Sodium polyacrylate 3.0 5.2
Tissue paper 2.0 3.6
Adhesive .62 1.1
Scrim (Mesh Net) .52 .8
Polyester thread .10 .2
Totals 56.14 100.0

The diaper pant consists of a core of fluffed pulp, an outer layer of polyethylene coated nonwoven material (a blend of polypropylene and rayon fibers, thermally bonded to form a web), and a polypropylene (thermally bonded nonwoven material) inner layer which comes into immediate contact with the wearer's skin. Knit elastic made of polyester covered rubber is used in the legs and waist, and a superabsorbent powder (sodium polyacrylate) is dispersed in the pad to help immobilize fluids.


Is the diaper pant classifiable in the provision for diapers and diaper liners and similar sanitary articles of paper pulp, subheading 4818.40.2000, HTSUSA?


The diaper pant consists of more than one material or substance as is illustrated by the component material breakdown which was supplied. General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 2(b) which provides that "(t)he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3." Accordingly, under GRI 3(a) two alternate headings (one for the textile component, the other for the pulp) which must be deemed equally specific emerge. GRI 3(b) then becomes applicable and directs that the article be classified as if consisted of the material or component which gives it its essential character.

The fluffed pulp, in Customs opinion, is the component which gives the diaper pant its essential character. It is the chief element in regard to bulk, weight, and quantity. It provides the absorbency and disposability required of this product. It is, in essence, that which gives the diaper value and makes it usable for its intended purpose.


The submitted diaper pant is classifiable in the provision for diapers and diaper liners and similar sanitary articles of paper pulp, subheading 4818.40.2000, HTSUSA. The general rate of duty will be free.

This classification decision is under the HTSUSA, effective January 1, 1989, subject to changes in that legislation before the effective date.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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