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HQ 082863

October 3, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082863 PR


Ronald W. Gerdes, Esquire
Sandler & Travis
1120 Nineteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: Classification of blended fiber textiles and textile products

Dear Mr. Gerdes:

This is in reply to your letter of June 9, 1988, on behalf of the United States Apparel Industry Council, concerning the classification of blended fiber textiles and textile products.


Customs has informally advised the importing community that blended fiber textiles and textile products will be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) according to the fiber in chief weight and that, in determining the classification of those goods, no tolerance will be allowed. It is undisputed that in the blending of fibers and the manufacture of the yarns and fabrics made of those blended fibers, it is virtually impossible to obtain the exact intended percentages of fibers. Accordingly, Customs is urged to allow a three percent tolerance in the classification of blended fiber textiles and textile products.

ISSUE: The issue presented is whether, in the classification of blended textiles and textile products, there exists authority in the HTSUSA to grant a tolerance when determining the fiber which predominates by weight.


Section XI Note 2(A) provides:

Goods classifiable in Chapters 50 to 55 * * * and of a mixture of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if consisting wholly of that one textile material which predominates by weight over each other single textile material.

Subheading Note 2(A), Section XI, HTSUSA, requires that products of Chapters 56 to 63 (which includes apparel) which contain two or more textile materials "are to be regarded as consisting wholly of that textile material which would be selected under note 2 to this section."

The contention is made that since it is not commercially possible to manufacture a blended fabric that will test exactly to the designed specifications, a tolerance factor must be allowed.

No authority authorizing the suggested tolerance has been advanced and we have been unable to locate any such authority. The wording of Note 2 is clear and unambiguous. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the common meaning of words must prevail, United States v. Rembrandt Electronics, Inc., 64 CCPA 1, C.A.D. 1175 (1976). We are unaware of any evidence, either at the international or at the United States level, indicating that an inability to exactly attain intended percentages should be considered in the application of Note 2(A) and Subheading Note 2(A).


In the classification of imported blended fiber textiles and textile products under the HTSUSA, the weights of the component fibers will be determined as they exist in the the goods as imported. If a determination regarding which fiber predominates by weight, the merchandise may, in the discretion of the classifying officer, be submitted to a Customs laboratory for analysis and will be classified in accordance with the results of that analysis.


John Durant, Director

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