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HQ 083194

December 18, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083194 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5903.20.2500, 5903.90.2500

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

RE: Coated Fabric

Dear Mr. Brown:

This is in reply to your letter dated October 24, 1988, in which you requested a binding ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Two samples were submitted with your request.


Two fabric swatches were submitted as samples. The first, style # XYK9948, is made from 100 percent woven nylon and is green in color. The back of the fabric has been sprayed with a polyurethane plastics coating which has caused it to change color. The fabric is of 70D x 175D/160 x 70 construction and is specifically designed for ski wear.

The second swatch, is also made from 100 percent black nylon fabric and is coated on the back with 100 percent acrylic. The back of the fabric has turned grey as a result of the coating. The fabric construction is 70D x 140D/108 x 72.


The issue presented is whether the fabrics in question are coated fabrics of heading 5903, HTSUSA.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is to be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes and, provided that the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, applies to textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902. Note 2(a), Chapter 59, HTSUSA, states in relevant part that heading 5903 applies to all such textile fabrics other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating, covering or lamination cannot be seen with the naked eye...; for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color.

As regards style # XYK9948, a distinct pattern is visible on the non-coated side of the fabric; but on the coated side the pattern has been obscured in that plastics material has filled in the intersections of the weave. Moreover, the non-coated side is smooth in appearance while the coated side appears coarse and uneven. Quite apart from the change in color wrought by the application of polyurethane, the coating of style # XYK9948 visible to the naked eye and, therefore the fabric is coated within the meaning of Note 2, Chapter 59, HTSUSA.

The coating of the second swatch, the black, woven nylon, acrylic-coated fabric, has also caused the coated side to change color. However, in addition to the change in color, the coating is visibly distinguishable from the fabric itself in that the plain weave of the fabric appears to be shrouded or veiled by a film-like substance. Although the underlying weave is visible in places, it is not necessary that the coating completely obscure the weave. All that is required is that the plastic coating be present in sufficient degree so that it can be seen by the naked eye. So long as this is the case, the fabric is classifiable in heading 5903.


The first fabric, style # XYK9948, is classifiable in subheading 5903.20.2500, HTSUSA, under the provision for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated...with polyurethane, of man-made fibers, other, other, and is subject to duty at a rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile category is 229.

The second fabric is classifiable in subheading 5903.90.2500, HTSUSA, under the provision for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated...other, of man-made fibers, other, other, and is dutiable at 8.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 229.

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 internal issuance of the Customs Service, which is available for inspection 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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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