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HQ 085849

January 8, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085849 CB


TARIFF NO.: 5516.11.0010

Mr. Nam Y Choi
Ilshin America, Inc.
614 Stanley Place
River Vale, NJ 07675

RE: Classification of woven coated fabric

Dear Mr. Choi:

This is in response to your letter of October 17, 1989, requesting a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for a certain woven fabric.


The sample submitted, designated as item no. IS-12M, is a plain woven bleached fabric composed of 100% viscose rayon. It contains 72 single yarns per inch in the warp and 46 single yarns per inch in the filling. The fabric is constructed using 58/1 c.c. staple yarns in both the warp and the filling. Weighing 58 g/m including the weight of the thermoplastic "glue", this product will be imported in 44/45 inch widths. The weight of the plastic thermodots that have been applied to the fabric is stated to be 0.25 ounces per yard. The thermodots are distributed over one surface of the fabric.


Whether the plastic thermodots constitute a coating or covering under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the starting point is the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Chapter 59 of the HTSUSA provides for impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics. More specifically, such fabrics are classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes to Chapter 59 state in part that heading 5903 covers "...textile fabrics which are spattered by spraying with visible particles of thermoplastic material and are capable of providing a bond to other fabrics or materials on the application of heat and pressure."(emphasis added) The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

Chapter 59, Note 2, defines "visible" for heading 5903 purposes. It provides, in part, that the heading applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics..., other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60)....

It is Customs position with respect to the subject fabric, that on examining the material in a well lighted room, the plastic coating is not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, the fabric is not classifiable in Chapter 59.

Classification of the fabric is based upon its fiber content, construction and the level of processing to which it has been subjected. The subject fabric is composed of 100% viscose rayon which is considered an artificial man-made fiber. Chapter 55, HTSUSA, provides for man-made staple fibers. More specifically, the subject fabric is classifiable in heading 5516, HTSUSA, which provides for woven fabrics of artificial staple fibers.


The subject sample, IS-12M, is classifiable in subheading 5516.11.0010, HTSUSA, which provides for woven fabrics of artificial staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of artificial staple fibers, unbleached or bleached, plain weave. The rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 611.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the tariff number) 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.

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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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