United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0085626 - HQ 0085755 > HQ 0085686

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085686

December 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085686 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 8708; 5806.32.2000

Mr. Frank M. Murphy
Corporate Technical Advisor
John V. Carr & Son, Inc.
P.O. Box 33479
Detroit, MI 48232-5479

RE: Automotive Seat Belt Webbing

Dear Mr. Murphy:

This is in reply to your letter dated August 15, 1989, in which you requested a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) concerning the above- referenced merchandise. A sample was submitted with your request.


The article in question is seat belt webbing of man-made woven fibers imported in rolls from Canada. The webbing measures approximately 4.5 centimeters in width.


The issue presented is whether the webbing is classifiable under the provision for parts and accessories of motor vehicles of heading 8708, HTSUSA, such that it is eligible for duty-free treatment under the Automotive Trade Products Act of 1965 (APTA); or, whether it is classifiable as other woven fabric of heading 5806, 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.

Heading 8708, HTSUSA, covers parts and accessories of motor vehicles; subheading 8708.21.00 specifically covers safety seat belts. However, the article in question is not a seat belt but webbing used in the manufacture of seat belts. It has not been fitted with buckles or any other components of finished seat belts, but instead, will be imported in rolls and cut to length in the United States. Consequently, is not classifiable in heading 8708.

Heading 5806, HTSUSA, covers narrow woven fabrics. Note 5, Chapter 58 defines narrow woven fabrics for the purposes of heading 5806 as woven fabrics of 30 centimeters or less in width and with selvages on both edges. The webbing at issue is woven and is 4.5 centimeters wide.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Explanatory Note (A) to Heading 5806 states in relevant part that narrow woven fabrics "include both ribbons and webbing...."

Webbing is defined in Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles, 637 (1973) as:

Strong, closely woven, narrow fabric made of cotton, jute, hemp, linen, nylon, etc., in a variety of weaves. Uses: belts and straps which will have to withstand strain...

Webbing such as that in question is used to make seat belts, a restraining device designed to protect automobile passengers by reducing the likelihood of injury in the event of a collision. Seat belt webbing is manufactured to precise specifications to ensure that the finished belt will be strong enough to withstand the strain of impact. Thus the article under consideration is a strong, closely woven, narrow fabric of man-made fiber designed to withstand strain. As such, it meets the definition of webbing and is classifiable in heading 5806, HTSUSA.

There are no provisions in heading 5806 for duty-free treatment under APTA; therefore, the webbing is subject to duty.


The webbing at issue is classifiable in subheading 5806.32.2000 under a provision for other woven fabrics, of man- made fibers, other. As an article of Canadian origin it is dutiable under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement dutiable at a rate of 6.3 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
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: