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HQ 089058

July 25, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089058 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 5603.00.9090

Richard S. Hoffman, Esq.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
1800 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 10036

RE: Classification of a nonwoven cloth wipe; made up article

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

This ruling is in response to your submission of March 25, 1991, on behalf of DMK Industries, Ltd., requesting the classification of a cloth wipe made from nonwoven fabric. The product will be imported from Mexico. A sample was received with your submission.


The cloth wipe is made from a nonwoven fabric consisting of 50 percent polyester and 50 percent rayon staple fibers. In your letter, you describe the fabric as being produced by using a dry-laid process, including air laying and carding to form a sheet or web. During this process, bales of staple fibers are first separated mechanically and then deposited onto a rotating, perforated cylinder or moving screen belt to align the fibers for the web. The fibers are further separated and aligned using a rotating drum covered with fine wires and teeth to comb the fibers into parallel arrays. The fibers are then deposited in a final web form, either by free fall or with the aid of compressed air and/or suction. The web structure is bonded by chemical means using an acrylic resin in a chemical bonding process. After bonding, the web is dried and then passed through cutting machines where the cloth wipe is cut to size. Once cut, the cloth wipe is packaged in units of eight to ten wipes per bag. The cloth wipe will be marketed as an all purpose cleaning cloth.


Is the submitted cloth wipe classifiable as a cleaning cloth of subheading 6307.10.20, HTSUSA, or as nonwoven fabric of subheading 5603.00.90, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Subheading 6307.10.20, HTSUSA, provides for cleaning cloths other than cotton dustcloths, mop cloths, and polishing cloths. In order to be classified as a cleaning cloth of subheading 6307.10.20, HTSUSA, the cloth wipe at issue must be a made up article within the meaning of the tariff schedule.

Note 7, Section XI, HTSUSA, defines the expression "made up" for purposes of the section, in pertinent part, as:

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, table cloths, scarf squares, blankets);

The Explanatory Notes for Section XI further clarify the meaning of "made up" as follows:

(1) Merely cut, otherwise than into squares or rectangles, for example, dress patterns of textile material; articles with their edges pinked (e.g. certain dusters) are also regarded as made up.

The Notes further state:

However, rectangular (including square) articles simply cut out from larger pieces without other working and not incorporating fringes formed by cutting dividing threads are not regarded as "produced in the finished state" within the meaning of this Note. The fact that these articles may be presented folded or put up in packings (e.g., for retail sale) does not affect their classification.

The cloth wipe at issue is an article which is simply cut in a square or rectangular shape from a larger piece without other working. Although folded and packaged and sold to consumers as a completed article, the Explanatory Notes advise these factors are of no consequence. Therefore, the cloth wipe is not considered a made up article as defined in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule and not classifiable as a cleaning cloth of 6307.10.20, HTSUSA.

Heading 5603, HTSUSA, provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, describe nonwovens of heading 5603, HTSUSA, as follows:

A nonwoven is a sheet or web of predominantly textile fibres oriented directionally or randomly and bonded. These fibres may be of natural or man-made origin. They may be staple fibres (natural or man-made) or man-made filaments or be formed in situ.

The Explanatory Notes further state, in relevant part:

Except where they are covered more specifically by other headings in the Nomenclature, the heading covers nonwovens in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape from larger pieces without other working, whether or not presented folded or put up in packings (e.g., for retail sale). These include: * * * ; handkerchiefs, bed linen, table linen, etc.

The submitted cloth wipe is made of a nonwoven fabric and is not considered made up, therefore it is classifiable in heading 5603, HTSUSA, as a nonwoven.


The cloth wipe at issue is classified as a nonwoven in subheading 5603.00.9090, HTSUSA, which provides for other nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated or covered, other, of staple fibers. The cloth wipe falls within textile category 223 and is dutiable at 12.5 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 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 updated weekly and 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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