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HQ 089772

September 11, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089772 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5903.10.1000; 5903.90.2500

Mr. Phil Fligstein
General Manager
Home Furnishings Division
LB International Inc.
30 Hub Drive
Melville, NY 11747

RE: Roller blind fabric is coated visible to the naked eye where plastics application creates visible patterns on the fabric.

Dear Mr. Fligstein:

This is in reply to your letter of May 6, 1991, concerning the tariff classification of roller blind material, produced in Germany, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of three styles of roller blind material, Honan Special, Honan Strutkur, and Kimono. Honan Special is 100% cotton, while Honan Strutkur and Kimono are of 100% polyester filament yarns. Honan Special is coated with polyvinyl chloride; Honan Strutkur and Kimono with a polyvinyl acrylic copolymer.


Whether the plastics application is visible to the naked eye?


Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902.

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading No. 59.03 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, ... other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of colour; * *

The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. Any change in the "feel" of the material is not taken into account. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual characteristic of the fabric in order for the fabric to be considered coated with plastics.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, we consider the instant merchandise to be visibly coated. Not only does the application of the plastics occlude the interstices of the fabric, but the application also creates in each style a distinct, visible pattern: rectangular in Honan Special, horizontal in Honan Strutkur, and vertical in Kimono.

Clearly, this creation of a visible pattern changes the visible characteristics of the fabric.


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

Honan Special

... under subheading 5903.10.1000, HTSUSA, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyvinyl chloride, of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Honan Strutkur & Kimono

... under subheading 5903.90.2500, textile category 229, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, other, of man-made fibers, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 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.


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