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 0085756 - HQ 0085839 > HQ 0085813

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085813

January 10, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085813 HP


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 fiber and glass and Teflon~ is textile article for technical uses with essential character imparted by man-made fibers.

Dear Ms. Williams:

This is in reply to your letter of September 13, 1989, to our
Champlain office, concerning the tariff classification of packing material, produced in Canada, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your client Garlock du Canada Limite.


The merchandise at issue, Style 750 DR synthetic yarn TFE 30 , code 08418-9039, consists of yarn to be used to manufacture braided stem packing for pumps. It is composed of:

% by Weight

Dralon Fiber
(similar to acrylic)

Rayon Fiber

Fiberglass Filament


The man-made fibers are blended together, and then spun over a fiberglass core. After spinning, the product is coated with a Teflon~ (polytetrafluoroethylene) solution. According to the manufacturer, the dralon and rayon protect the glass during the pumping operation. The Teflon~ provides proper lubrication, as well as resistance to chemicals.
The dralon fiber is imported into Canada from Germany. The rayon fiber, fiberglass filament and the labor come from Canada and the United States. The Teflon~ comes from Italy.


Whether the instant merchandise is classifiable as a textile product, an article of glass fiber, or as an article of plastics?


HRL 083830 of May 31, 1989, and HRL 085417 of October 31, 1989, addressed to your company, concerned similar-type goods manufactured by Garlock du Canada Limite, to be used for the same purposes as the instant merchandise. 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.

By using the locution "cords, braids and the like," 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. A physical examination of the instant merchandise clearly shows that its outward appearance is that of cords; indeed, you have stated that the sample will be used as cords in the construction of braided packing material.

In determining whether the merchandise is a textile product, and therefore covered by heading 5911, HRLs 083830 and 085417, supra, looked to the General Rules of Interpretation to the HTSUSA.
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs, taken in order.

The instant merchandise is composed of more than one type of material. GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) [goods of more than one material or substance] or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b)Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) [which requires that goods be classified, if possible, under the more specific of the competing provisions], shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The factors which determine essential character of an article will vary from case to case. It may be the nature of the materials or the components, its bulk, quantity, weight, value, or the role a material plays 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; that which is indispensable to the structure or condition of an article.

In HRLs 083830 and 085417, supra, the man-made fibers comprised, by weight and value, 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 material's usage). The glass and Teflon~ 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, not only do the man- made fibers still provide the sealing capacity for the packing material, the man-made fibers are now present in an even greater proportion. Following the analysis in our previous rulings, the essential character of the yarn is imparted by man-made fibers.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 5911.90.0000, HTSUSA, as textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter, other. Articles which meet the definition of "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 the 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 import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: