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HQ 950307

February 21, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950307 CC 089183


TARIFF NO.: 6310.10.2010; 6310.90.2000

Mrs. Nafees Akhtar
Ainy Inc.
146 Greenway Blvd.
Elmont, NY 11003

RE: Modification of HRL 089183; sewn-together rags classifiable in Heading 6310

Dear Mrs. Akhtar:

This is in response to your letter of August 27, 1991, requesting the reconsideration of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089183, which concerned the classification of cotton terry towels. Samples were submitted for examination.


The merchandise at issue, represented by samples B and C, measure approximately 15 inches by 20 inches and are composed of sewn-together rectangular pieces of cotton terry cloth. Some of the edges are cut and unfinished, and there are some stains on both samples. You have indicated that these articles will be used in garages, car washes, workshops, buses, trucks, and railroads.

In HRL 089183, dated August 20, 1991, we classified the merchandise at issue under subheading 6307.10.1000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other made up articles, floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths, dustcloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, of cotton. You believe that the merchandise at issue is properly classifiable under subheading 6310.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for used or new rags, sorted, other, of cotton.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUSA, or in Heading 6310, 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 determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6310, HTSUSA, provides for used or new rags, among other articles. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state concerning rags and articles classifiable in Heading 6310 the following:

(1) Rags of textile fabrics (including knitted or crocheted fabrics, felt or nonwovens). Rags may consist of articles of furnishing or clothing or of other old textile articles so worn out, soiled or torn as to be beyond cleaning or repair, or of small new cuttings (e.g., dressmakers' or tailors' snippings).


To fall in the heading, these products must be worn, dirty or torn, or in small pieces. They are generally fit only for the recovery (e.g., by pulling) of the fibers (which are usually re-spun), for the manufacture of paper or plastics, for the manufacture of polishing materials (e.g., polishing wheels), or for use as industrial wipers (e.g., machine wipers).

The pieces of fabric are clearly rags. They are dirty, worn, and torn. In addition, they are to be used as industrial wipers. The issue is does the sewing of the rags together create a different article that is not classifiable in Heading 6310.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles. Note 7 to Section XI, HTSUSA, defines the expression "made up" for tariff purposes. We found in HRL 089183 that the merchandise at issue is made up in application of Note 7 to Section XI. However, the fact that this merchandise is made up does not compel the conclusion that it must therefore be classified in Heading 6307. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 6307 state, "This heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature." Consequently if the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 6310, then it is precluded from classification in Heading 6307.

We have found nothing in the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes that specifically excludes a made up article from being classified in Heading 6310. The sewing of the pieces of fabric does not create a different article; it creates a larger rag from smaller rags. The merchandise at issue could still be used as rags for industrial wipers after the pieces of fabric are sewn together. In addition, the size of the merchandise at issue, approximately 15 inches by 20 inches, is similar in size to merchandise we have classified as rags. (See e.g., HRL 086230 of March 14, 1990, in which a towel measuring 15 inches by 21 inches was classified in Heading 6310 as a rag.)

We find no basis to preclude the merchandise at issue from being classified in Heading 6310. Consequently it is classifiable as rags in Heading 6310.


The merchandise at issue, if sorted, is classified under subheading 6310.10.2010, HTSUSA, which provides for used or new rags, sorted, other, of cotton. If not sorted, the merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 6310.90.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for used or new rags, other, other. Articles classified under either of the above subheadings are eligible for duty free treatment.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are modifying HRL 089183 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a modification of HRL 089183 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 089183 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 089183 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director

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