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HQ 950104

October 18, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950104 JS


TARIFF NO.: 6302.99.2000

Scott Reynolds
Robert F. Barnes
Customs Brokers
1909 East 38 1/2 Street
Austin, Texas 78723

RE: "Ayate" wash cloth; exfoliating cloth; other made up articles classifiable heading 6302, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Reynolds:

This is in reference to your letter of July 11, 1991, on behalf of Bee Creek Botanicals, requesting classification of agave washcloths, tradename "Ayate", to be imported from Mexico.


A sample of the merchandise at issue was provided for our inspection. It is a loosely woven cloth measuring approximately 13 square inches, which is made of 100 percent agave fibers. The cloth contains 90 weft threads and 125 warp threads which are hand woven and hand tied to form selvedged edges; two corners are knotted to prevent fraying. You state that the item may be used as an exfoliating cloth, as well as a "utility scrubber" in the household.


Whether the present item is considered a face or hand cloth of heading 6302 or, in the alternative, a made up article of heading 6307, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Classification of merchandise under the tariff is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 states that classification shall be in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.


All items considered for classification under Chapter 63, which provides for other made up articles, must meet the definition of "made up textile articles" as defined in Note 7 to Section XI. In relevant part, that definition requires that the item is constructed as follows:

(b) produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, tablecloths, scarf squares, blankets)

The present merchandise qualifies as a "made up textile article" since each one is individually woven to shape (rather than cut from a larger piece) and finished with selveged edges and knots. It is ready for use and needs no other working.

Heading 6302, provides for, inter alia, toilet linen. The Explanatory Notes (EN), the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state that this heading includes articles that are usually made of cotton or flax, but sometimes also of hemp, ramie or man-made fibres, etc.; they are normally of a kind suitable for laundering. They include:

(3) Toilet Linen, e.g., hand or face towels (including roller towels), bath towels, beach towels, face cloths and toilet gloves.

The Ayate cloth, which is made of agave (a hemp or flax-like plant which yields valuable fibers) is similar to toilet linen, which the EN indicate can include items such as hand and face cloths, and toilet gloves. The wide, open weave and rough texture of the present cloth suggest that it is ideally suited for use as an exfoliating cloth, as you indicated. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087148 (July 2, 1990), we classified a similar article, made of 100 percent polyester abrasive material backed with a pocket of satin-like material and terry, as a facial mitt under heading 6302. Although the EN state that such articles are normally of a kind suitable for laundering, this language does not serve to exclude some items which would not withstand laundering, as in the present case. Nor did this language prohibit classification of the wash mitt of HRL 087148 under heading 6302, although it was made as described above and thus also difficult to launder.

In the alternative, classification under heading 6307 as a floorcloth, dishcloth, duster or similar cleaning cloth is rejected, since the wide open weave would not retain dirt, dust, water, or liquid or abrasive cleaners (however, use of this cloth on the body, as an exfoliating cloth, does not require these properties since it is the rough surface of the weave which

performs the intended function). Moreover, rigorous scrubbing against hard household surfaces would virtually destroy the subject cloth, whereas a true cleaning cloth is constructed so as to withstand such use. Therefore, despite your statement that the present merchandise may also be used as a "utility scrubber" in the house, we find that the article is not designed or constructed to fit this class of merchandise.


The merchandise at issue is properly classified under subheading 6302.99.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for bed linen, table linen, toilet linen and kitchen linen: other: of other textile materials: other, textile category 899, and dutiable at the rate of 9.5 percent ad valorem.

Although Mexico is designated a beneficiary developing country under the Generalized System of Preferences, there is no provision in the HTSUSA which would render this article duty free under the Trade Act of 1974.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 your client 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 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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