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HQ 084939

August 24, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084939 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5407.42.0060; 5903.20.2500

Ms. Jennie Feng
Fabtex, Inc.
14516 S. Garfield Ave.
Paramount, CA 90723

RE: Classification of fabric coated with plastics

Dear Ms. Feng:

This is in reply to your letter of May 25, 1989, to our New York office, concerning the tariff classification of nylon fabric coated with polyurethane plastics, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of two samples of 100 percent nylon fabric coated with a polyurethane plastics materi- al. Sample #4 weighs 231 g/m2, and sample #5 weighs 218.5 g/m2. The fabrics have been dyed a single uniform color, and several colors of each sample have been submitted.


Is the fabric considered coated with plastics under HTSUSA?


Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile products impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902. 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 ....

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

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading No. 59.03 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); for the
purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of colour; * * *

The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. Any change in the "feel" of the material is not taken into account. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual surface characteristic of the fabric in order for the fabric to be considered coated with plastics.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, it is our opinion that sample #4 has a plastics coating visible to the naked eye. In sample #5, the plastics application is only apparent through a change in color on the fabric itself, particu- larly within the fabric's interstices.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified as follows: Sample #4 under subheading 5903.20.2500, HTSUSA, textile category 229, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyurethane, of man-made fibers, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 percent ad valorem. Sample #5 under subheading 5407.42.0060, HTSUSA, textile category 620, as woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, including woven fabrics obtained from materials of heading 5404, other woven fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of filaments of nylon or other polyamides, dyed, weighing more than 170 g/m2. The applicable rate of duty is 17 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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