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HQ 087993

December 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087993 KWM


TARIFF: 3920.20.0000

Mr. Jack Golla
Action Industries, Inc.
Allegheny Industrial Park
Cheswick, Pennsylvania 15024

RE: Polypropylene string; Strip; twine, cordage or string; Articles of plastics; Further worked.

Dear Mr. Golla:

This is in reference to your letter of August 28, 1990, requesting a tariff classification for "string." Your correspondence and samples of the goods have been forwarded to this office for a ruling.


The merchandise at issue is referred to in your letter as "string." It consists of a polypropylene strip which has been folded several times along its length for increased strength. Two samples were included with your request, one blue and the other white. When unfolded, the blue strip has an apparent average width of 7.77 mm, the white strip an apparent average width of 7.3 mm. Customs' Laboratory has determined that the blue strip measures 8975 decitex, and the white measures 8992 decitex.


What is the proper classification for these goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

You have referred to the product as "string." String and similar articles may be classified in the textile headings of Section XI, HTSUSA. Polypropylene is a plastic material of

Chapter 39, HTSUSA. Strip of plastics material exceeding 5 mm in apparent width is addressed in Legal Note 1(g) to Section XI, HTSUSA, which provides:

1. This section does not cover:

(g) Monofilament of which any cross-sectional dimension exceeds 1 mm or strip of the like (for example artificial straw) of an apparent width exceeding 5 mm, of plastics (chapter 39), or plaits or fabrics or other basketware or wickerwork of such monofilament or strip
(chapter 46).

Twine, cordage, ropes and cables are addressed in Legal Note 3, Section XI, HTSUSA, which provides in pertinent part:

3. (A) For the purposes of this section, and subject to the exceptions in paragraph (B) below, yarns (single, multiple (folded) or cabled) of the following descriptions are to be treated as "twine, cordage, ropes and cables":

(b) of man-made fibers (including yarn of two or more monofilaments of chapter 54), measuring more than 10,000 decitex;

(Emphasis added). Therefore, whether we regard this merchandise as either strip or as yarn, twine or cordage, it is excluded from classification as a textile or textile article: it exceeds 5 mm in width (therefore not strip) and does not measure more than 10,000 decitex (therefore not yarn, twine or cordage).

The remaining competing provisions are found in Chapter 39, HTSUSA:

3920 Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials:

3926 Other articles of plastics and other articles of headings 3901 to 3914:

Legal Note 10 to Chapter 39, HTSUSA, indicates that "plates, sheets, film , foil and strip" of heading 3920, HTSUSA, includes:

10. In headings 3920 and 3921, the expression "plates, sheets film foil and strip" applies only to plates, sheets, film foil and strip (other than those of chapter 54) and to blocks of regular geometric shape, whether of not printed or otherwise surface- worked, uncut or cut into rectangles (including squares) but not further worked (even if when so cut
they become articles ready for use).

(Emphasis added). The Explanatory Notes indicate that this heading includes items which have been "surface-worked" but not those "drilled, milled, hemmed, twisted, framed or otherwise worked." Those items, according to the Explanatory Notes are "generally classified in headings . . . 39.26." We believe that the multiple folding of the strip in this case does not constitute "further working" and that the instant strip may therefore be classified in heading 3920, HTSUSA. Folding such as this does not alter the character of the product as does drilling, twisting, or hemming. Folding is a merely a preliminary step to further working such as hemming. It is performed in this case simply to increase the strength of the strip thereby enhancing its suitability for binding and tying operations. It is not the type of operation encompassed by the exclusion to heading 3920, HTSUSA.

Having determined that the article is not excluded from heading 3920, HTSUSA, we find that the goods are classified by application of GRI 1 in heading 3920, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, strips of plastics.


The merchandise at issue, folded polypropylene strip used for tying and binding is classified in subheading 3920.20.0000, HTSUSA. The applicable duty rate is 4.2 percent ad valorem.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings

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