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HQ 088275

April 5, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088275 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9590

Mr. William M. Stringfield
William M. Stringfield Co.
249 E. Ocean Boulevard
Suite 1008
Long Beach, California 90802

RE: Flask canteen; neoprene canteen; neoprene rubber; made up textile articles.

Dear Mr. Stringfield:

This will acknowledge receipt of your request for a binding classification ruling dated October 23, 1990. Your correspondence and a sample of the merchandise were forwarded to this office for a response.


The merchandise at issue is referred to as a "flask canteen." It is similar in shape and function to a wineskin, except that it is made from "neoprene rubber" and plastics. The merchandise consists of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) liner which holds liquid, around which is a layer of neoprene rubber for insulation. The "neoprene" is actually a composite material of neoprene rubber and textile material, the composite being referred to in the whole as "neoprene rubber."

The mouth and cap of the flask are made of plastics material. Your letter did not provide a weight or value breakdown for the component materials used, nor did it indicate any technical specifications with regard to the neoprene. However, based on previous experience with substantially similar articles and materials, we can provide the following classification ruling.


What is the tariff classification of this product?

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.

First, we have considered subheading 6306.99.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for camping goods. The instant item is not considered "camping goods" because it may be used in many circumstances other than camping; it is not of the type used principally for camping.

Having found no other heading which provides for the goods by applying GRI 1, we consider the flask to be a composite goods, consisting of neoprene rubber, PVC plastics, and the nylon webbing which makes up the strap. GRI 3(b) provides that goods consisting of more than one material are classifiable as if they consisted of the material which imparts their essential character. In this case, the neoprene rubber constitutes the bulk of the item's weight and gives the body of the bag both form and substance. While the PVC plastic liner actually holds the liquids the article is designed to contain, it is our opinion that it is negligible in terms of both weight and cost. Furthermore, the neoprene outer shell protects and provides a casing for the liner. It is Customs' position that the neoprene portion of the flask constitutes the article's essential character.

The neoprene material used here is a combination of rubber and textile material. The inner 'core' of the material is rubber to which textile has been adhered on both sides, forming a 'sandwich' of textile and rubber. The classification of such a textile/rubber combination is governed by several notes to the HTSUSA. Those pertinent to this issue provide that a material such as this may considered a textile material if it is:

(1) Textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber:

(a) Weighing not more than 1,500 g/m2; or, (b) Weighing more than 1,500 g/m2 and containing more than 50 percent by weight of textile material;

(2) Plates, sheets or strip, of cellular rubber, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is more than mere reinforcement.

(Legal Notes 4(a) & (d) to Chapter 59, HTSUSA). The neoprene fabric used here is classifiable as a textile under the HTSUSA. Regardless of whether it weighs in excess of 1,500 g/m2, we believe that the textile comprises over 50 percent of the weight. In addition, the textile fabric is used here for more than reinforcing. The textiles provide protection
against tears and punctures and provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. It may provide a barrier for the retention of water in the cellular rubber core to aid in insulation. And, in the many instances in which neoprene rubber is used for articles of clothing, the textiles aid in putting on and removing the tightly fitting garment.

Having determined that the neoprene is considered a textile for classification purposes, we have considered subheading 6307.90.9590, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up textile articles. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6307, HTSUSA, indicate that the heading is intended to cover those articles not provided for more specifically elsewhere. Since we find no other heading which more specifically provides for this merchandise, it is classified here.


The flask canteen, a composite good made from a PVC plastic liner, plastic cap and neoprene rubber exterior, is classified in subheading 6307.90.9590, HTSUSA, as an other made up textile article. The rate of duty applicable to this classification is 7 percent ad valorem. There is no textile visa category associated with this classification.


John A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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