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HQ 950022

September 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950022 SK


TARIFF NOS.: 5903.20.2500; 5407.42.0030

Mr. Bill Kaczmarek
Seattle Textile Co.
5700 1st Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98108

RE: Polyurethane plastic coating applied to nylon woven fabric; Note 2(a)(1), Chapter 59; plastic coating visible to the eye

Dear Mr. Kaczmarek:

This is in response to your inquiry of June 24, 1991, requesting a classification ruling on behalf of Seattle Textile Company. The articles at issue are polyurethane-coated woven nylon fabrics. The fabrics will be imported from Thailand and sample swatches have been submitted for Customs' examination.


The articles at issue consist of two styles of denier woven nylon coated with polyurethane plastic and imported in 60 inch rolls.

The first sample (Sample 1) is a black colored, woven 420 denier nylon packcloth, with a thread count of 60 x 38. The weights, in oz./sq. yd. are as follows: base fabric -- 4.90 oz., coating -- 1.27 oz. for a total weight of 6.17 ounces. The percentage of coating attributed to the total weight of the article is 20.58 percent.

The second sample (Sample 2) is a light yellow, woven 210 denier nylon oxford cloth with a thread count of 60 x 55. the specification weights are as follows: base fabric -- 3.30 oz., coating 1.12 oz. for a total weight of 4.42 ounces. The percentage of coating attributable to the total weight of the article is 25.34 percent.


Whether the fabrics are coated with polyurethane such that they are classifiable under heading 5903 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may applied in the order of their appearance.

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, covers textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics. Note 2(a)(1), Chapter 59, sets forth that heading 5903 includes all coated fabrics regardless of the weight per square meter or nature of the plastic material, so long as the plastic component can be seen with the naked eye. Accordingly, Customs must initially examine coated fabrics with the naked eye alone. Only when such examination suggests the presence of coating is it then within Customs' discretion to examine the fabric under magnification. See HRL 082644 of March 2, 1990.

In the instant analysis, we need not resort to magnification as it is apparent upon examination that Sample 1 is coated with plastic. This is determined by comparing the coated fabric with the uncoated material. We note that in the case of the coated fabric, all of the interstices have been filled with polyurethane so as to leave no visible gaps in the weave of the fabric. The plastic coating is visible to the naked eye and therefore Sample 1 is properly classifiable under heading 5903, HTSUSA.

Upon initial examination of Sample 2, plastic coating is not discernable with the naked eye. Moreover, when the above method of examination is applied to Sample 2, there are noticeable gaps in the fabric's weave where plastic has not occluded the interstices. Sample 2 fails to meet the standard mandated by Note 2(a)(1) to Chapter 59 inasmuch as plastic coating is not discernable to the naked eye. Accordingly, Sample 2 is not considered coated for tariff purposes and does not fall within the provisions of heading 5903, HTSUSA. Sample 2 is properly classifiable under heading 5407, HTSUSA, which provides for woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn.


Sample 1 is classifiable under subheading 5903.20.2500, HTSUSA, under the provision for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyurethane, of man-made fibers, other, other, and are dutiable at a rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 229.

Sample 2 is classifiable under subheading 5407.42.0030, HTSUSA, under the provision for woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn ...; other woven fabrics containing 85 percent or more by weight of filaments of nylon or other polyamides. The fabrics are dutiable at the rate of 17 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile quota category 620.

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 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 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

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