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HQ 084653

September 13,1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084653 AJS


TARIFF NO: 5911.90.00; 8473.30.80; 9002.20.80

Don Soekland Jr.
Traffic Supervisor
Optical Coating Laboratory Inc.
2789 Northpoint Parkway
Santa Rosa, CA 95407-7397

RE: Vision Master anti-glare filter

Dear Mr. Soekland:

Your letter of May 15, 1989, providing additional infor- mation and a request for a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) was referred to this office for reply.


The Vision Master is a micro-mesh filter used to control glare and reflection from a CRT as well as increase the contrast of the display. The filter works by blocking out light with its honeycombing effect and transmitting characters through the openings of the mesh, and thus causing them to appear with enhanced contrast against the black fabric. They are manufactured using matte black micro-fine nylon mesh mounted under tension on a plastic frame.


Whether the article in question is properly classifiable in subheading 5911.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for other textile products and articles for technical uses; or in subheading 8473.30.80, HTSUSA, which provides for parts and accessories of automatic data processing machines; or in subheading 9002.20.80, HTSUSA, which provides for optical elements of any material that are mounted.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. The headings at issue in this case, 5911, 9002 and 8473 state:

5911 Textile products and articles for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter:

5911.90.00 Other

9002 Lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements, of any material, mounted, being parts of or fittings for instruments or apparatus, other than such elements of glass not optically worked; parts and accessories thereof:

9002.20 Filters and parts and accessories thereof:

9002.20.80 Other

8473 Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472:

8473.30 Parts and accessories of the machines of heading 8471:

8473.30.80 Other

Chapter 59 Note 7(a) specifies that heading 5911 applies to "[t]extile products in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape . . . " Note 7(a)(iii) specifically mentions straining cloth as one of the textile products included in heading 5911. Explanatory Note 59.11(A)(3) describes straining cloth, in part, as woven filter fabric used for filtering purposes. These notes suggest that textile products cut into rectangular shape and used for filtering purposes may be covered within this heading.

Similarly Explanatory Note (B) states "[a]ll textile articles of a kind used for technical purposes . . . are classified in this heading and not elsewhere in Section XI . . . " (B)(1) states that any of the fabrics of (A) above which have been made up (cut to shape, assembled by sewing etc.), . . . " are included. This note adds further evidence that this heading includes textile fabrics cut to shape and used as a filtering device for technical purposes.

This office also considers this filtering function a technical use. Basically, the filter is used to make the operation of an automatic data processing machines easier. It accomplishes this task by filtering out glare and enabling the user to see the screen better. This decreases eye strain and allows the user to be more productive when using a video display unit (VDU). For the occasional VDU user this filter may be a nice accessory but because of the frequent and increasing use of VDUs, especially in technical fields, we are of the opinion that this article is for technical use.

The Explanatory Notes for heading 5911 also state that this heading "includes, in particular, those textile articles which are excluded from other headings and directed to heading 59.11 by any specific provision of the Nomenclature (for example Note 1 (e) to Section XVI)." This note also gives further evidence that this type of textile article was to be given special attention. Not only does this provision specify that it includes articles excluded elsewhere, but other provisions also specifically exclude these textile articles.

Section XVI, Note 1(e), states that this Section does not cover articles of textile material for technical uses in heading 5911. Therefore, the article in question is excluded from Section XVI and thus Heading 8473.

Heading 9002 provides for lenses and other optical elements made of any material mounted on a machine or apparatus. Chapter 90, Note 1(a), excludes articles for technical use made of textile material. It also makes reference back to heading 5911 to demonstrate what type of articles are excluded. Therefore, the article in question would also be excluded from this heading on the same grounds that it was excluded from heading 8473.

In sum the article in question appears to be classifiable in heading 5911. It is an article of woven nylon which is a textile material. It is used to filter light and thus reduce the glare from video screens. In other words, it acts exactly like the various filters mentioned in the Explanatory Notes. These factors enable the article to meet both the material and use requirement of heading 5911.


The article in question is properly classifiable in subheading 5911.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for textile articles used for technical purposes, dutiable at the rate of 7.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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