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HQ 088134

March 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088134 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5407.81.0030

Robert H. Schor, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: Sizing in fabric allocated to component textile fibers on the basis of the relative weights of the fibers at the time the fabric is presented; General Explanatory Note I(A)(5), Section XI; Note 2, Section XI, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Schor:

This is in reply to your letter dated October 22, 1990, on behalf of Imptex International Corporation, concerning the classification of textile fibers to which sizing has been added.


The merchandise in question is an unbleached, plain woven printcloth fabric from Pakistan. You state that unsized polyester fibers are blended with sized cotton fibers to produce the yarn from which the printcloth fabric is manufactured.

Based on an independent laboratory report dated June 25, 1990, the fabric was determined to be comprised of 53.2 percent cotton and 46.8 polyester, of which 8 percent represented non- fibrous content. As a result, you maintain that the instant fabric should be treated as a cotton for classification purposes since cotton fibers predominate by weight over all other textile materials at the time of importation. However, a Customs laboratory analysis has identified the fabric in question as consisting of 47.4 percent cotton, 48.8 percent polyester and 3.8 percent sizing.

Furthermore, you contend that there is no uniform treatment of sized fabrics and that Customs is unclear as to whether sizing is to be included in the weight of yarns for classification purposes and that General Explanatory Note (I)(A), Section XI is not being observed.


Whether the fabric in question is classifiable as an article of cotton or as an article of polyester.


Note 2, Section XI, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), provides that goods of Chapters 50 to 55 comprised of two or more textile materials are to be classified as if they consisted wholly of that one textile material that predominates by weight over each other single textile material. Thus Note 2 is applicable to the instant fabric which is composed of cotton (Chapter 52) and polyester (Chapter 54).

The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not legally binding, constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. General EN (I)(A), Section XI, HTSUSA, provides in relevant part that for the application of Note 2, Section XI, HTSUSA:

(5) Sizings or dressings ... and also products for impregnating, coating, covering, or sheathing, incorporated in textile fibres are not deemed to be non-textile materials; in other words, the weight of the textile fibres is calculated on the basis of their weight in the state in which they are presented.

Applying Note 2, Section XI and EN (I)(A)(5) to the fabric in question, the weight of any sizing would be taken into account when calculating the weight of the fibers as presented at the time of importation. Based on laboratory analysis, we are advised that the yarn from which the printcloth is made consists of a blend of cotton and polyester. Further, sizing added to the yarns during the weaving process is essentially distributed in a uniform manner throughout the sized yarns.

In order to provide for greater transparency and to establish a method for evaluating the presence of sizing that will lead to consistent results and ease of administration, Customs interprets Note 2, Section XI to permit the allocation of sizing based on the relative weights of the fibers present in the yarn.

Accordingly, the 3.8 percent sizing found in the analysis was allocated by Customs' Savannah, Georgia, laboratory to the textile fibers on the basis of the relative weights of the cotton and polyester present in the fabric itself. Thus 49.3 percent of the sizing would be attributable to the cotton fibers, and 50.7 percent to the polyester fibers. Consequently, Customs considers the fabric to be 49.3 percent cotton and 50.7 percent polyester. Pursuant to Note 2, Section XI, the fabric is therefore classifiable as a woven fabric of synthetic filament yarn of heading 5407, HTSUSA.


The fabric in question is classifiable in subheading 5407.81.0030, HTSUSA, under the provision for woven fabric of synthetic filament yarn, including woven fabrics obtained from materials of heading 5404; other woven fabrics, containing less than 85 percent by weight of synthetic filaments, mixed mainly or solely with cotton; unbleached or bleached; printcloth. The fabric is dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem and is subject to textile category 626.

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 renegotiations 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 internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection 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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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