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HQ 087352

January 14, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087352 JS


TARIFF NO.: 4601.20.9000

Ms. Beth Brotman
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, New York 10004

RE: Modification of HRL 084801; abaca/baclad placemats

Dear Ms. Brotman:

This is in further response to your letter of May 9, 1989, requesting, on behalf of McCrory Stores, the classification of placemats from the Philippines under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The placemats were classified under subheadings 4601.20.6000 and 6302.59.0000, HTSUSA, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084801, dated September 7, 1990. We have had occasion to review the ruling and modify that portion which concerns the tariff classification of style DP038/357491 under subheading 4601.20.6000, HTSUSA.


The placemat at issue, style DP038/357491, is an eight-sided abaca/baclad placemat made of woven abaca strips, with a braided capping to prevent unravelling. There is another strip, similar to the capping, placed approximately one inch from the edge. The area between the two strips is decorative openwork. HRL 084801 classified the placemat under subheading 4601.20.6000, HTSUSA, which provides for plaiting materials, mats, matting and screens of vegetable materials, other woven or partly assembled materials, other.


Whether the placemat is properly classified under subheading 4601.20.6000, HTSUSA, or subheading 4601.20.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for other mats, matting and screens of vegetable material.


Upon reconsideration, we have determined that the placemat is properly classifiable in subheading 4601.20.9000, HTSUSA. Heading 4601 provides for plaits and similar products of plaiting materials, whether or not assembled into strips; plaiting materials, plaits and similar products of plaiting materials, bound together in parallel strands or woven, in sheet form, whether or not being finished articles (for example, mats, matting, screens). Subheading 4601.20.6000, HTSUSA, provides for plaiting materials..., mats, matting and screens of vegetable materials: other woven or partly assembled materials: other. Although the language of that subheading is somewhat unclear as to whether it is limited to unfinished goods, we conclude that this subheading, like the TSUS provisions from which it was derived, is intended to cover partly assembled materials and unfinished roll goods. The placemat in question is a finished mat and therefore not within the purview of subheading 4601.20.6000, HTSUSA. The mat is more properly classifiable under subheading 4601.20.9000, HTSUSA.


The placemat in question is classified under subheading 4601.20.9000, HTSUSA, as other mats, matting and screens of vegetable material, with a duty rate of 8 percent.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 084801 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1) (1989), copy enclosed. It is not to be applied retroactively to DR 849567 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 084801 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to the release of HRL 087352 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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