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HQ 950102

February 10, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950102 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5806.32.2000

Mr. Maurice J. Deslauriers
John V. Carr & Son, Inc.
P.O. Box 149
Norton, VT 05907

RE: Vertical blind fabric; narrow woven fabric; false selvedges; NYRL 863974 and HRL 088188 revoked.

Dear Mr. Deslauriers:

This is in reply to your letter of July 2, 1991, to our New York office, on behalf of Tisbek International Ltd., in which you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 863974 dated June 24, 1991.


NYRL 863974 concerned the classification of vertical blind fabric made from 100 percent staple acrylic material coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polvinyl acetate (PVA). The fabric consisted of marl or mixture yarns in the filling and unbleached or bleached yarns in the warp. After being coated, the material was cut into 3 inch strips and was used after importation into the United States to manufacture vertical blinds. The material was classified as a synthetic staple fiber of subheading 5512.29.0005, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

The fabric in question was also the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088188 (Internal Advice Request 24/90) dated December 20, 1990. There we stated that although the fabric did not unravel, this was due to the "coating applied to the entire fabric and not...the result of some treatment applied to the edges...to make them fast." Thus the fabric was not deemed to have a selvedge and, consequently, was not classifiable as a narrow woven fabric of heading 5806, but rather as a synthetic staple fiber of heading 5512. See also HRL 085991 (Internal Advice Request 59/89) dated March 13, 1990 (similar fabric).


The issue presented is whether fabric coated with plastics and cut into 3 inch strips, where the coating prevents the edges from unraveling, has a false selvedge such that the strips are classifiable under the provision for narrow woven fabrics.


Heading 5806, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for narrow woven fabrics, which are defined by Note 5, Chapter 58, HTSUSA, as:

(a) Woven fabrics of a width not exceeding 30 cm, whether woven as such or cut from wider pieces, provided with selvedges (woven, gummed or otherwise made) on both edges....

The fabric at issue is made from woven acrylic material that is coated with polyvinyl chloride. Once coated, the fabric is cut into strips approximately 3 inches (8.89 cm) wide. Thus the fabric satisfies the width requirement of Note 5; however, in order to be classified in heading 5806, it must also have some type of selvedge. Since the instant vertical blind fabric does not have a "real" selvedge, the question therefore arises as to whether the plastic coating creates a "false" selvedge.

The Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. With regard to the question of selvedges, Explanatory Note (EN) 58.06 A(2) states that:

False selvedges are designed to prevent unraveling of a piece of cut (or slit) fabric and may, for example, consist of a row of gauze stitches woven into the wider fabric before cutting (or slitting), of a simple hem, or they may be produced by gumming the edges, or by fusing the edges in the case of certain ribbons of man- made fibers. Strips cut (or slit) from fabric but not provided with a selvedge, either real or false, on each edge, are excluded from this heading and classified with ordinary woven fabrics. (Emphasis in original).

Thus as contemplated by the nomenclature, false selvedges are designed to prevent unraveling, and may be introduced onto a wide fabric before cutting. The vertical blind material in question measures less than 30 cm in width and was obtained from a wide fabric that was coated, before cutting, with a plastics substance that prevents the fabric from unraveling when it is slit.

While Note 5, Chapter 58, mandates that narrow woven fabrics be provided with selvedges, it does not define "selvedges" apart from observing that, in addition to being woven or gummed, they may be "otherwise made." The PVC coating prevents the vertical blind fabric from unraveling; it also stiffens and stabilizes the material so that it can be used as vertical blind fabric. Since the wide fabric is coated before cutting in order to stiffen the material, there is no need subsequently to make the edges fast, as this has already been achieved. Indeed, any further treatment of the edges would be redundant since the coating prevents the fabric from unraveling. Accordingly, since the coating prevents the fabric from unraveling, and since the fabric satisfies the width requirement of Note 5(a), Chapter 58, it is Customs' view that the instant vertical blind fabric has a false selvedge such that it is classifiable as a narrow woven fabric of heading 5806.


The vertical blind fabric in question is classifiable in subheading 5806.32.2000, HTSUSA, under the provision for narrow woven fabrics...; other woven fabrics; of man-made fibers; other. As a good originating in the territory of Canada pursuant to General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), the fabric is dutiable at the rate of 4.2 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking NYRL 863974 and HRL 088188 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.

Accordingly, this notice should be considered a revocation of NYRL 863974 and HRL 088188 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 863974 or HRL 088188 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not affect past transactions under these rulings. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, the above rulings will not be valid precedent.


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