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HQ 085325

November 20, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085325 SR


TARIFF NO.: 4502.00.00

Ms. Patti Noble
Schenkers International Forwarders, Inc.
4709 LaGuardia Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63134

RE: Cork material

Dear Ms. Noble:

This is in reference to your letter dated July 24, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of material laminated with cork under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample produced in Taiwan was submitted.


The merchandise at issue consists of a material backing that has been laminated with cork. It is made up of a thin layer of glued-up and sliced cork veneer laminated to a woven unbrushed fabric. The fabric is 70 percent polyester and 30 percent rayon. The value of the cork exceeds the value of the fabric by ten times. The weight of the cork exceeds the weight of the fabric. The material is to be used to decorate the heels of women's shoes. It can also be used for decorating other articles such as belts or purses.


What is the classification of the cork laminated material?


Heading 4502, HTSUSA, provides for natural cork, debacked or roughly squared, or in rectangular (including square) blocks,
sheets or strip (including sharp-edged blanks for corks or stoppers). The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 4502, HTSUSA, state that cork sheets reinforced with paper or fabric, including the strips of very thin cork in rolls used for tipping cigarettes, are included in this heading. The merchandise at issue is thin cork sheets that are reinforced with fabric.

Heading 5907, HTSUSA, provides for textile fabrics otherwise impregnated, coated or covered. The Explanatory Notes to heading 5907, HTSUSA, state that the fabrics included in this heading include fabric, the surface of which is coated with glue, plastics, rubber or other materials and sprinkled with a fine layer of other material such as powdered cork (e.g., for wall coverings).

The merchandise at issue is not similar to the cork mentioned under heading 5907, HTSUSA. The merchandise at issue consists of strips of cork that have been laminated to a fabric, whereas the cork under heading 5907, HTSUSA, is a powdered cork that is sprinkled in a fine layer on a glue- coated fabric. The merchandise at issue is more appropriately classifiable under Chapter 45, HTSUSA, which is the chapter that provides for cork and articles of cork.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 4502.00.00, HTSUSA, which provides for natural cork, debacked or toughly squared, or in rectangular blocks, plates, sheets or strip. The rate of duty is 5.5 cents per kilogram.

This ruling supersedes any earlier rulings which are inconsistent therewith.


John Durant, Director

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