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HQ 082814

January 30, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082814 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6002.93.0080

Mr. William J. Gearns
Product Sales Associates, Inc.
170 Cherry Valley Avenue
West Hemstead, New York 11552

RE: Vinyl Sheeting

Dear Mr. Gearns:

Your letter of September 8, 1988, to our New York Office, has been referred to this office for a ruling on the tariff classification of "coated" knit fabric from Japan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples of the fabric were submitted with your letter.


The samples provided are swatches of a vinyl sheeting made from 89 to 94 percent PVC film and 6 to 11 percent nylon. The fabric is manufactured by slitting rolls of PVC film to 3mm widths. The slit PVC film is reinforced with nylon or polyester multifilament yarn by overlapping the yarn with the PVC film.

The reinforced film strips are knitted into a fabric on a circular (weft) knitting machine. The knitted film is then welded at the stitches by using a heated roll press. The fabrics will be used mostly for upholstery. We presume that they will be imported in the piece.


Whether the coated and uncoated vinyl sheets at issue are properly classifiable as articles of textile within Chapter 59, HTSUSA, or as other knitted fabric within Chapter 60, HTSUSA.


The General Rules of Interpretation for the Harmonized System (GRI's) govern classification under the Harmonized Tariff

Schedule. According to GRI 1, the primary consideration in determining whether merchandise should be classified in a heading should be given to the language of the heading and to any relevant chapter or section notes. Inasmuch as the articles in question are either coated or uncoated, at least two headings may apply to the vinyl sheets at issue in this case. The relevant headings include:

(a) 5903, textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902

(b) 6002, other knitted or crocheted fabrics

The section and chapter notes relevant to the above headings provide further guidance in determining the proper classification of the items at issue. Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902.

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

Heading No. 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics,...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;***

The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with 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, covered or laminated." The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual characteristic of the fabric itself; a mere change in the luster of the material is an effect of the coating, and does not constitute a clear visual change as expressed by the drafters.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lit room, we note that the instant merchandise has a dull matte finish on the surface caused by the acrylic; this uniform change, however, is not in
and of itself distinguishable as "coated". It is only in comparison to the uncoated sample provided beside it, that a difference can be seen between the two. The visual characteristics of the fabric itself have not been altered: the weave and knit of the two samples appear identical. The vinyl sheeting, therefore, is not considered coated with plastics.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6002.93.0080, HTSUSA, textile category 222, as other knitted or crocheted fabrics, other, of man-made fibers, other. The applicable rate of duty is 14 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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