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HQ 087266

August 16, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087266 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5906.99.1000

Ms. Donna Troiano
Traffic Manager
Teijin Shoji (America), Inc.
1412 Broadway, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10018

RE: Cotton plain woven fabrics used as carcass materials in the manufacture of machine belting and lightly coated with styrene-butadiene rubber are rubberized pursuant to Note 4(a), Chapter 59

Dear Ms. Troiano:

This is reply to your letters of August 21, 1989, and March 30, 1988, concerning the classification of rubber dipped fabrics under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Fabric samples were submitted with your ruling request, as well as a flow chart and description of the dipping process.


The merchandise in question consists of four plain woven cotton rubberized fabrics (style nos. D2W, D3W, D5W and D6W). The fabrics are made in and imported from Singapore and are used as carcass materials in the manufacture of machine belting for automotive and industrial equipment.

Style D2W weighs 6.4 ounces per square yard; style D3W, 7.8 ounces per square yard; style D5W, 10.9 ounces per square yard; and style D6W, 16.4 ounces per square yard. All four fabrics are unbleached.

The fabrics have been dipped in a rubber solution containing resorcin, formalin, styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and water. The purpose of the rubber treatment is to facilitate the adhesion of the fabrics, which ultimately form the top and bottom layers of finished belting, to other materials used in the manufacture of belting such as cord fabric and rubber sheeting. The dipping solution is 5.68 percent rubber. As a percentage of total fabric weight, style D2W is 3.36 percent SBR, style D3W is 2.58 percent, style D5W is 2.33 percent and style D6W, 2.43 percent.

A Customs laboratory report on the fabrics states that the coatings contain both a synthetic rubber (SBR type) and a synthetic polymer.


Whether the fabrics in question are rubberized such that they are classifiable in heading 5906.


Heading 5906, HTSUSA, provides for rubberized textile fabrics, other than those of heading 5902 (tire cord fabric). Note 4, Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part:

For the purposes of heading 5906, the expression "rubberized textile fabrics" means:

(a) Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber:

(i) Weighing not more than 1,500 g/m; or

(ii) Weighing more than 1,500 g/m and containing more than 50 percent by weight of textile material;

All four sample fabrics weigh less than 1,500 g/m, the heaviest weighing 16.4 oz/yd, or approximately 556 g/m.

The Notes to Chapter 59 establish no other requirements for classification in heading 5906, i.e., there is no minimum rubber content, nor is there a requirement that coatings be visible to the naked eye as there is, for example, with plastic coated fabrics of heading 5903.

The fabrics at issue are lightly coated. The dipping solution is 5.67 percent rubber; the coatings as a percentage of total fabric weight range from 2.33 percent to 3.36 percent. However, the presence of SBR was confirmed by laboratory analysis, although the amount of dipping compound extracted was found to be only one percent of the individual fabric weights. Nevertheless, we understand that the extraction process is not always an accurate barometer of the degree of coating.

Note 11, Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that for the purposes of Section XI, "the expression 'impregnated' includes 'dipped.'" Coated, Filled, Bonded and Laminated Fabrics, USITC Pub. 841, Control No. 3-4-16 (October 1982) at 5, describes some of the methods used to coat fabrics. With regard to the dipping process the report states as follows:

Impregnation and dip coating - This method is generally used for the application of certain finishes when it is necessary to fully [sic] saturate the loose fabric. The base fabric passes directly through a bath of the coating material accumulating more coating material then needed. The excess material is then removed, usually by passing through another set of rollers. Some saturation coaters will have the newly dip coated fabric run through the same procedure for an additional coating.

According to the flow chart submitted as Attachment B to your letter of March 30, 1988, the fabrics in question are subjected to a dipping process similar to that described above. It is therefore Customs' view that the fabrics at issue are rubberized fabrics of heading 5906 pursuant to Note 4(a), Chapter 59.

However, since it can be difficult to detect the presence of coatings, future inquiries concerning rubberized fabrics should discuss the merchandise in depth. All pertinent information, including the type of coating (e.g., SBR), the amount of rubber present and the commercial purpose of the coating or impregnation should be submitted with ruling requests or attached to entry documentation in order to substantiate claims for classification in heading 5906.


The fabrics in question are classifiable in subheading 5906.99.1000, HTSUSA, under the provision for rubberized fabrics..., other, other, of cotton, and are dutiable at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

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.


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