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NY 860902

March 22, 1991

CLA-2-46:S:N:N1:230 860902


TARIFF NO.: 4601.20.9000; 6302.59.0000

Mr. James Shaw
Associated Merchandising Corp.
1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: The tariff classification of placemats of grass and of spun abaca from the Philippines

Dear Mr. Shaw:

In your letter dated February 22, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Three samples of two kinds of placemats were submitted. We regret that the samples cannot be returned to you as you requested. They were destroyed during our examination.

The first kind of placemat, manufactured by Ran Bros., is made of wild grass. It is a course oval shaped mat measuring 13 inches by 19 inches. It is made from grass found in a ricefield which is then dried and braided. The braids are assembled together in a parallel manner to form the oval placemat.

The second kind of placemat, manufactured by Armitena, is made of abaca. According to the description on the sample, the abaca plant leaf is cut into fine strips and is dried and woven. Examination of the samples, however, reveals that the abaca has been spun. Abaca fibers have been spun and made into twine. The twine has been woven into a fabric and made into a placemat measuring 13 inches by 19 inches. The two samples from Armitena differ only in color pattern. They are made of the same spun abaca fiber.

According to Chapter Note 1 of Chapter 46, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), the only natural textile fibers which are included in Chapter 46 are those that are unspun. Spun natural textile fibers are classifiable as textiles.

The applicable subheading for the placemat made of braided grass will be 4601.20.9000, HTS, which provides for plaits and similar products of plaiting materials, bound together in parallel strands or woven, in sheet form, whether or not being finished articles; mats, matting and screens of vegetable materials, other. The duty rate will be 8 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable under subheading 4601.20.9000, HTS, which are products of the Philippines are entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

The applicable subheading for the placemats made of spun abaca will be 6302.59.0000, HTS, which provides for other table linen, of other textile materials. The rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem.

The abaca placemats fall within textile category designation 899. As a product of the Philippines this merchandise is subject to visa restraints based upon international textile trade agreements.

Due to the changeable nature of these agreements you are advised to contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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