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HQ 088142

January 18, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088142 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 3921.12.1100; 3921.12.1500;

Mr. Roger T. Sithithum
EIC, Inc.
3900 N. Troy Street
Chicago, Illinois 60618

RE: Magic Anti-Slip Mesh; Textile and plastic combination; Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated; Plastic; Further worked or processed.

Dear Mr. Sithithum:

We are in receipt of your letter dated September 19, 1990, requesting binding classification ruling for Magic Anti- Slip Mesh. Your letter and samples of the goods were forwarded to this office for a response.


Four different samples were included with your request. They are referred to collectively in the request as "Magic Anti-Slip Mesh." They have been labeled A, B, C and D for our purposes, and are described as follows:

(1) Samples A, B & C - Constructed of varying degrees of open mesh warp knit fabric of man-made fibers. The yarns of each fabric are completely encased in cellular PVC plastics. Samples A & B are of a similar size mesh, the primary difference being the amount of plastic applied. Sample C is a more tightly closed mesh.

(2) Sample D - Sample D is a sheet of ready to use cut- out shapes, made from a textile fabric covered on both sides by foamed cellular plastic. One surface has an adhesive coating with paper backing. The sheet is packaged and labeled "Anti-Slip Protector."

The goods are intended to be used on the bottom of lamps, furniture, and other items to prevent slipping, scratching, etc.

Your request further indicates that the mesh is available in "various sizes and thicknesses" depending on usage. The pre-
cut cellular foam is presumably imported and marketed as packaged. The goods will be produced in Taiwan.


How are these goods classified 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.

Samples A, B & C

Subheading 5603.00, HTSUSA, provides for:

5603 Nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated:

5603.00 Floor covering underlays:

This heading would appear to classify the instant goods, but for the following exclusion of Legal Note 3(b) to Chapter 56, HTSUSA:

3. Headings 5602 and 5603 cover respectively, felt and nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics or rubber whatever the nature of these materials (compact or cellular).

5603 also includes nonwovens in which the plastics or rubber forms the bonding substance.

Headings 5602 and 5603 do not, however, cover:

. . .

(b) Nonwovens, either completely embedded in plastics or rubber, or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such materials, provided that such coating or covering can be seen with the naked eye with no account being taken of any resulting change of color (Chapter 39 or 40);

. . .

(Emphasis added). The Legal Notes to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, concerning textile fabrics (i.e., woven materials) contain a similar exclusion. The intent is to classify those products "embedded" or "completely covered" with plastics under the headings which provide for plastics or articles of plastics because, for classification purposes, they have acquired the
characteristics of the plastics. Examples of such products are present in this case, and they are excluded from classification in heading 5603, HTSUSA.

Heading 3918, HTSUSA provides for "floor coverings." We believe that the mesh in this case is not properly considered a "floor covering." While this product may cover the floor, the goods encompassed by heading 3918, HTSUSA, are those which have an exposed surface with which pedestrian and other traffic has contact. It does not apply to underlays such as these. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087649, we stated:

Although the polyurethane foam underlay material covers flooring when used as carpet underlay, we do not believe it falls within the common meaning of floor coverings. Floor coverings are commonly thought to be articles such as carpets, rugs, mats, etc. These are articles which cover a floor area and which are open to view. Carpet underlay, on the other hand, is not seen, but is under the perceived floor covering, i.e. the carpet. Therefore, we do not believe carpet underlay is encompassed within the common meaning of floor covering.

We continue to adhere to this view. Having found that the merchandise is not a floor covering, we believe that the mesh imported as piece goods is classified as a plate or sheet of plastic of heading 3921, HTSUSA. Subheading 3921.12 provides for:

3921 Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of plastics:

3921.12 Of polymers of vinyl chloride:
Combined with textile materials:
Products with textile components in which man-made fibers predominate by weight over any other single textile fiber:

3921.12.1100 Over 70 percent by weight of plastics

3921.12.1500 Other

Samples A, B, & C in the form of piece goods will be classified, therefore, in either subheading 3921.12.1100 or 3921.12.1500, HTSUSA, depending on whether or not the plastic component contributes over 70 percent of the total weight of the mesh. If the mesh has been further worked or processed, e.g., hemmed or cut to shapes other than rectangular (including squares), it is not considered a plate or sheet, and will be classified under subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastics.

Sample D

Sample D, like the other samples, is not a textile, but rather an article of plastic by application of the Legal Note to Chapter 59, HTSUSA. And, although it would appear to have been a sheet at some stage of the manufacturing process, it has been further worked or processed into ready to use cut-out shapes. Sample D is therefore classified in subheading

3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastics.


The samples referred to above as A, B & C, consisting of open mesh knit fabrics of man-made fiber, completely embedded or coated with cellular plastics are classified in subheading 3921.12.1100, HTSUSA, if the plastics component comprises over 70 percent of the weight of the product, and if the merchandise is imported as piece goods. The rate of duty for this classification is 4.2 percent ad valorem.

Samples A, B & C are classified in subheading 3921.12.1500, HTSUSA, if the plastics component comprises 70 percent or less of the total weight of the product, and if the merchandise is imported as piece goods. The applicable rate of duty will be 8.5 percent ad valorem for this classification. Goods classified in subheading 3921.12.1500, HTSUSA are also subject to textile category 229.

Samples A,B & C, imported in a form further worked or processed are classified in subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, regardless of the plastic/textile weight ratio. The rate of duty for this classification is 5.3 percent ad valorem. Sample D, consisting of a textile layer embedded between layers cellular foam and pre-cut into ready to use cut-out shapes is classified in subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota category 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 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 the importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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