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HQ 089423

September 24, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089423 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5603.00.9070; 8708.99.5085

Mr. Michael Wong
Kochiu Pacific (Singapore) PTE Ltd.
34 Genting Lane #03-03A
Kheng Seng Building

RE: Automobile cover of spun-bonded polypropylene fabric is an automobile accessory if contoured.

Dear Mr. Wong:

This is in reply to your letter of May 5, 1991, to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of polypropylene nonwoven fabric, produced in Singapore.


The merchandise at issue consists of spun-bonded nonwoven polypropylene fabric, imported in continuous lengths. You have inquired not only into the duty/quota issues of the fabric, but also of the finished product, a contoured car cover with elasticized corners and pockets for side view mirrors. Although you state that the country of origin will be Singapore, we note from the sample provided that most of your products are designed in Japan, and that products are manufactured in Germany, Indonesia and Taiwan. Please be aware that these countries have varying bilateral textile agreements with the United States, and that you should confirm with your local U.S. Customs office as to quota/visa restraints.

In your supplementary letter of July 1, 1991, you stated that you will also be importing a sheep skin car seat cover. The skin is from Australia, and the seat cover is made in Singapore. In order to respond to this latest request, we need to know what processes take place on the skin in EACH country; i.e., tanning and finishing, cutting, sewing, patterns, etc. In addition, the approximate costs involved in each process would be helpful. Finally, any sample you could send would be highly appreciated. When you have compiled this information, please submit a new classification/country of origin binding ruling request to:

Director, Commercial Rulings Division
Office of Regulations & Rulings
U.S. Customs Service
1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20229 U.S.A.


Whether the automobile cover is considered a textile article under the HTSUSA?



Heading 5603, HTSUSA, provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. This clearly describes the merchandise at issue.

Car Cover

Heading 8708, HTSUSA, provides for parts and accessories of motor vehicles. In HRL 087596 of January 31, 1991, we determined that automobile covers similar to those at issue would be classifiable in this heading if the shelters are more than loose covers; i.e., they are designed and contoured to fit over particular sizes of cars, they have either elasticized bottoms or drawstrings, and they have pockets for side view mirrors. These automobile covers are distinguishable from the loose tarpaulin-like covers of heading 6307, HTSUSA, which merely drape over the safeguarded object. Since your merchandise meets these qualifications, it is classifiable as an accessory to a motor vehicle.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classifiable as follows:


... under subheading 5603.00.9070, HTSUSA, textile category 223, as nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, other, other nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated or covered, other, of filaments. The applicable rate of duty is 12.5 percent ad valorem.

Car Cover

.. under subheading 8708.99.5085, HTSUSA, as parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, other parts and accessories, other, other, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 3.1 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we
suggest that 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

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.


John Durant, Director

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