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HQ 086364

November 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086364 HP


TARIFF NO.: 7019.10.1000

Ms. Ann M. Williams
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919-9703

RE: Dref yarn used for construction of automobile clutch facings are glass yarns.

Dear Ms. Williams:

This is in reply to your letter of January 17, 1990, concerning the tariff classification of yarn, produced in Canada, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your client Garlock du Canada Limite.


The merchandise at issue consists of "DREF " yarn1, style number 295 GCR. Additional materials submitted by Garlock state that the DREF yarn is used exclusively in the production of friction materials in the automotive industry. The finished product is commonly knows as clutch facings.

1The DREF 2 friction spinning machine works as follows: the separation of the individual fibers is carried out by a rotating carding drum, the sliver retention and the draft being provided by a specially designed inlet system. The individual fibers are stripped from the carding drum by centrifugal force and are transplanted into the nip between the two perforated spinning drums supported by an air-flow. The fibers are then twisted by mechanical friction on the surfaces of the two spinning drums, which rotate in the same direction. Suction through the perforated assists this process. The formation of the yarn takes place from the inside out by the superimposition and twisting of the individual fibers. This guarantees strong inter-fiber binding. If several slivers are being fed into the machine, the fibers from the sliver farthest from the outlet are bound into the yarn core. The spun yarn is drawn off from the yarn forming zone at speeds of up to 300 m/min by outlet rollers and wound onto cross-wound bobbins.

The DREF yarn, as imported into the United States, is constructed of a glass, rayon and cotton sheathe (blended using conventional carding methods) encasing a core of continuous glass filaments coated with phenolic. After entry, the end user impregnates the yarn, then winds the coated yarns together to form a "biscuit." This biscuit is then pressed and cured to form the clutch facing. After holes are drilled and edges trimmed, the facing is ready to be used in the automotive industry.

The composition of the DREF yarn is as follows:


Fiberglass non-continuous 15.00 filament

Cotton fiber 21.25

Fiberglass continuous filament 47.50

Rayon 16.25


Whether the instant yarns are cordage for technical uses under the HTSUSA?


Heading 5911, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, cords, braids and the like, whether or not coated, impregnated, or reinforced with metal, of a kind used in industry as packing or lubricating materials. We have often held that yarn constructed in this wrapping manner falls under the designation of "cords, braids and the like." See HRL 085499 of March 29, 1990 (not required to be twine, rope or braid, only something that re- sembles, in appearance and use, cord and braid). This yarn, however, is not used as packing or lubricating materials; indeed, its sole purpose is in the construction of friction materials. Classification in heading 5911, HTSUSA, is therefore inappropriate.

Heading 8708, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, motor vehicle clutches and parts thereof. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. The EN to this heading states:

This heading covers parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 87.07 to 87.05, provided the parts and accessories [are]

(i) ... identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the above- mentioned vehicles....

While we agree that, IN THEIR FINISHED FORM, the clutch facings are so identifiable, the yarn to construct these facings, in their condition as imported, are not. To illustrate this lack of identification, the yarns at issue were mistakenly identified as valve packing yarns not only by this office and our New York office, but by you as well. In addition, the complex construction procedure, as described in Note 1, supra, causes us to disallow classification of the DREF yarns as parts of clutches. Heading 8708, therefore, is inappropriate.

The DREF yarn is composed of both glass and textile. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that:

... 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 GRIs, taken in order.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) [goods of more than one material or substance] or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components,
... which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) [which requires that goods be classified, if possible, under the more specific of the competing provisions], shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note (IX) to GRI 3 provides:

For the purposes of [GRI 3(b)], composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form
a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted to one another and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

[C]lassification [of composite goods] is made according to the component, or components taken together, which can be regarded as conferring on the [good] as a whole its essential character.

The factors which determine essential character of an article will vary from case to case. It may be the nature of the materials or the components, its bulk, quantity, weight, value, or the role a material plays in relation to the use of the goods. In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure or condition of an article.

The glass portion represents 62.5% of the finished yarn, and approximately 65% of its cost. It provides the yarn with both its tensile properties and heat resistance. The textile portion, on the other hand, is present merely to absorb the resins sprayed on the yarns during the clutch facing. It is our opinion, therefore, that the glass imparts the essential character of the DREF yarn.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 7019.10.1000, HTSUSA, textile category 201, as glass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics), slivers, rovings, yarn and chopped strands, yarns, not colored. 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 rate of duty is 5.9 percent ad valorem; otherwise, the general rate of duty is 7.4 percent ad valorem.

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 negotiations 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.

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 status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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