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HQ 083947

March 29, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083947 JS


TARIFF NO.: 5911.90.0000

Ms. Ann M. Williams
A.N. Derringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919-9703

RE: Coated yarn for braided valve stem packing material of man-made fibers, glass, and metal

Dear Ms. Williams:

This is in reply to your letter of December 13, 1988, on behalf of your client, Garlock du Canada, Ltd., requesting classification of various yarns under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue are five types of industrial yarn which are to be braided for use as packing material for pumps and valves to prevent leakage during pumping operations.

The wire in the yarns is used for tensile strength (reinforcement) as well as heat dispersion. The textile/glass portion is all that is visible on the surface of the yarn. In addition, the production of braided packing is a textile application for which yarns not containing wire are also used.

Synthepak II yarn, item no. 08455-1300, is composed of 17.6% acrylic non-continuous fiber, 11.6% rayon non-continuous fiber, 14.7% 37 Lex ETDE continuous glass filament, 14.7% 37 ECDE continuous glass filament, 7.4% 75 ECDE continuous glass filament and 34% copper wire, by weight. Therefore, this yarn is in chief weight and chief value of glass.

620 Yarn, item no. 08455-1400, is composed of 42% ECH 15 1/4 continuous glass filament, 13% ETDE 37 continuous glass filament, 28% Inconnel wire and 17% Preox Carbon non continuous fiber, by weight. This yarn is in chief weight of glass and in chief value of Inconnel wire.

620 DW W/PBI yarn, item no. M455-1417, is composed of 16% PBI fiber, 43% ECH 15 1/4 fiberglass tire cord, 28% .008 Inconnel wire, 13% ETDE 37 texturized glass filament. This yarn is in chief weight of glass and chief value of Inconnel wire.

500 Carbon yarn, item no. 08418-9065, is composed of 28.6% Preox Carbon, 14.5% continuous glass fiber, and 56.9% Inconnel wire. This yarn is in chief weight and value of Inconnel wire.

1020 DW 127 Wire/Carbon yarn, item no. 08455-1401, is composed of 43.9% Inconnel wire, 24.6% Pyron Preox Carbon, 21% ECDE 37 1/0 glass filament and 10.5% ETDE 75 Lex glass filament. This yarn is also in chief weight and chief value of Inconnel wire.


What is the essential character of each of these industrial yarns for purposes of classification 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 the classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Note 1(r) of Section XI excludes glass fibers and articles of glass fibers, other than embroidery with glass thread on a visible ground of fabric. The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The General Explanatory Notes to Section XI part (d) specifically exclude:

Glass fibers, yarns, fabrics, and articles made therefrom, and composite articles of glass fibers and textile fibers having the character of articles of glass fibers (Chapter 70)...

Each of the samples at issue contain glass fibers. The presence of these fibers, in addition to the textile and metal components, create a composite good which is prima facie, classifiable under three headings, i.e., heading 7019 glass fibers, heading 5911 textile articles, and heading 7505 nickel wire, HTSUSA. Therefore, the subject merchandise necessitates the application of GRI 3.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials "... which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material
or component which gives them their essential character..." According to the Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), the essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is, i.e. that which is indispensable to the structure or condition of an article.

HRL 083803 of May 31, 1989, HRL 085417 of October 31, 1989, and HRL 085813 of January 10, 1990, addressed to your company, concerned similar goods manufactured by Garlock du Canada Limitee, to be used for the same purposes as the yarns at issue. In those rulings, we held that packing yarn composed of various components was classifiable under heading 5911, HTSUSA, which provides for textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in Note 7 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA. Note 7 provides, inter alia, that heading 5911 applies to textile cords, braids and the like, of a kind used as packing or lubricating materials, whether in the piece or cut to length.

Thus, the merchandise covered by that portion of Note 7 is not required to be twine, rope or braid; it must only be something that resembles, in appearance and use, cord and braid.

In HRLs 083830, 085417 and 085813, supra, the man-made fibers, by weight and value, comprised only a small portion of the merchandise. We also stated that, notwithstanding this small percentage, it is these fibers which provide the sealing capacity for the packing material (the primary reason for the materials usage). The glass and Teflon (TM) components were found to merely enhance, rather than create, the properties of the packing material. Accordingly, the essential character of the samples was found to be imparted by the man-made fibers.

With respect to the instant merchandise, the man-made fibers still provide the sealing capacity for the packing material. While the man-made fibers may now be present in smaller proportions than, e.g., HRL 085813, the costs of those fibers still outweigh by far the costs of the lubricating chemicals. It is Customs' position, therefore, that the essential character of the yarn is imparted by the man-made fibers.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 5911.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter, other. Articles which meet the
definition "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If this merchandise constitutes "goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable rate of duty is 6 percent ad valorem; otherwise, the general rate of duty is 7.5 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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