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HQ 088638

May 7, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088638jlj


TARIFF NO.: 4601.91.2000

Mr. J. A. Kaufman, Jr.
St. Johns Import & Export Co., Inc.
P. O. Box 4460
Jacksonville, Florida 32201

RE: Classification of rattan webbing sheets used in the manufacture of furniture; Heading 4601

Dear Mr. Kaufman:

In your letter of January 4, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) for rattan webbing imported from China. You submitted pictures and a small sample of the merchandise along with your request.


The instant merchandise is rattan webbing made from half- round rattancore which is woven into sheets 22 inches wide or wider and in lengths of 50 feet or more.

You state that this material will be used in the United States in the manufacture of furniture, e.g., headboards, dressers, desks, chairs, television stands, night stands, and tables.


Is the merchandise in question classified under subheading 4601.20 or 4601.91 of the HTSUSA?


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is determined by the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Subheading 4601.20, HTSUSA, provides for "mats, matting and screens of vegetable material." All other types of plaited products in sheet form of vegetable materials are classified as "other" in subheading 4601.91, HTSUSA.

The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, define these terms as follows:

(2) Certain finished materials, for example:

(a) Mats and matting (floor coverings, etc.), including in particular the so-called
Chinese (or Indian) mats and matting
(whether rectangular or in other shapes), made by weaving or binding parallel strands of plaiting materials with other plaiting materials, twine, cord, etc.

(b) Coarse matting such as the straw mats used for horticultural purposes.

(c) Screens or panels such as those of willow or ossier; building panels of plaiting materials (straw, reeds, etc.) laid parallel, compressed and bound together at regular intervals with base metal wire. These building panels or slabs may be covered on all surfaces and edges with kraft paperboard.

The instant rattan webbing sheets do not fit within the above-given definitions of mats, matting and screens. As indicated above, mats and mating are floor coverings or horticultural coverings. Screens are room dividers, building panels or (as defined in most dictionaries) devices to close off windows or doors.

Since the instant merchandise cannot be classified in subheading 4601.20, it must be classified in subheading 4601.91.


The instant merchandise is classified under the provision for plaiting materials, plaits and similar products of plaiting materials,...woven, in sheet form...: other: of vegetable materials: of one or more of the materials bamboo, rattan, willow or wood, in subheading 4601.91.2000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 6.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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