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HQ 087941

December 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087941 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 5512.11.00, 5512.19.00

Mr. Vito A. Pipitone
John F. Kilroy Co., Inc.
Suite 1569
One World Trade Center
New York, New York 10048

RE: Classification of certain fusible interlining fabrics from Japan

Dear Mr. Pipitone:

This ruling is in response to your letter of August 13, 1990, on behalf of Nissho Iwai American Corp., requesting classification of certain fusible interlining fabrics from Japan.


The fabrics at issue are made of 100 percent polyester spun woven fabric that is sparsely coated with very small dots of polyamide resin. Four samples of the same fabric, but each a different color, were submitted. New York Customs ruled on the black fabric sample. The grey, white and ecru fabric samples have been submitted to this office for a ruling.


Are the subject fabric samples visible coated and therefore classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902. Note 2, Chapter 59, provides in pertinent part:

Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), 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 color

It is our view that the wording of Note 2(a)(1), "visible to 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 or covered."

Therefore, following the strict wording of Note 2(a)(1), for a fabric to be considered impregnated, coated or covered within the meaning of the Note, the plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from the fabric without the use of magnification. Customs believes this criterion is satisfied when the application of a plastics material clearly changes the surface character of the fabric. In such an instance, the naked eye is seeing the plastics. However, Customs has ruled that magnification may be used, as an aid, to verify that a substance which appears to be a plastic is indeed a plastic.

Having examined the submitted fabric swatches, we believe that any plastics application present on the fabrics is not visible to the naked eye. There is no distinguishable change in the surface character of the fabrics and no clearly distinguishable substance on the fabrics. The fabrics fail to meet the visibility requirement to be considered coated for tariff purposes.


The white fabric sample is classified in subheading 5512.11.00, HTSUSA, as a woven fabric of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple
fibers: containing 85 percent or more by weight of polyester staple fibers, unbleached or bleached. The gray and ecru fabrics are classified in subheading 5512.19.00, HTSUSA, as woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple fibers: containing 85 percent or more by weight of polyester staple fibers, other. The fabrics are subject to a rate of duty of 17 percent ad valorem.

We are unable to provide you with the ninth and tenth digits (the statistical annotation) of the classification because of insufficient information. In order to issue a classification ruling which will provide the statistical annotations, we must know the weight, construction, yarn count and weave of the fabrics at issue. Additionally, samples which measure 12 inches by 12 inches should be provided so that adequate examination of the fabrics may take place.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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