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HQ 086437

April 25, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086437 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 5911.90.0000

Ms. Therese E. Ignich
John V. Carr & Son Inc.
P.O. Box 33479
Detroit, Michigan 48232-5479

RE: Classification of a filter bag and a needleloom felt

Dear Ms. Ignich:

In your letter dated December 21, 1989, you asked for tariff classifications under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for two products to be imported from Canada by your client, GAF (Canada) Inc. You submitted descriptive literature covering these articles, a filter bag and a needleloom felt, as well as samples of both products.


You state that the filter bag is used to remove impurities from any liquid (e.g., oil, gas and paint). The filter bag fits into a restrainer basket in a filter vessel system. The sample, a "Calibrated Filter Bag," consists of a 4-3/8 inch diameter metal ring to which is sewn a white fabric bag approximately 15 inches in length. The textile fabric appears to be made of woven synthetic fibers. You state that this article has been imported into Canada as filtering machinery and apparatus under subheading 8421.99, HTSUSA, but that you believe that it should be classified under subheading 5911.90, HTSUSA, as a textile article for technical uses.

The second sample is needleloom felt which appears to be of nonwoven man-made fiber construction. It is said to be used to make some of the filter bags. You state that this needleloom fabric has been imported into Canada under subheading 5602.10.90, HTSUSA, the provision for needleloom felt and stitch-bonded fiber fabrics. You agree with this classification.


What are the HTSUSA classifications of these two products?


In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084821 dated June 21, 1989, a needleloom fabric used as filter material on a machine was classified under the provision for straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like in subheading 5911.40.0000, HTSUSA. The merchandise at issue is essentially the same construction as the material in HRL 084821.

With regard to your comments concerning the classification of the filter bag in Heading 8421 as parts of filtering machinery and apparatus, Section XVI Note 1, reads as follows:

1. This section does not cover:

(e) Transmission or conveyor belts of textile material (heading 5910) or other articles of textile material for technical uses (heading 5911)....

Inasmuch as Heading 8421 falls within Section XVI of the HTSUSA, the filter bag cannot properly be classified in that heading because it is a textile article designed for technical uses.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) 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....

Note 7 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides:

Heading 5911 applies to the following goods...:

(b) Textile articles... of a kind used for technical purposes.

The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 5911, HTSUSA, state that Heading 5911 includes all textile articles of a kind used for technical purposes, including any of certain specified fabrics which have been made up into articles. Inasmuch as needled filter fabrics of a kind used for filtering purposes are specified earlier in the Notes as a textile fabric for technical uses, the instant filter bag qualifies for classification under Heading 5911, HTSUSA.


The filter bag is classified in subheading 5911.90.0000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 7.5 percent ad valorem.

The needleloom felt is classified in subheading 5911.40.0000, HTSUSA, as straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem. 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 rates of duty for the filter bag and the needleloom felt are 6 percent and 13.6 percent ad valorem respectively.

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.


Jerry Laderberg

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