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HQ 950468

January 2, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950468 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5903.20.2500

Mr. Marty Langtry
Castelazo & Associates
5420 West 104TH Street
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: Plastic coating on fabric transforms warp and weft design to series of raised dots, and is visible to the naked eye.

Dear Mr. Langtry:

This is in reply to your letter of May 17, 1991. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of fabric, produced in Taiwan .


The merchandise at issue consists of two fabric samples, described by you as follows:

Style 6875 is a 300 denier 2-ply woven nylon filament fabric with a thread count of 48 x 36. The fabric is coated with polyurethane on one of its sides. The weight before coating is 8.03 ounces per yard. After coating, the material weighs 9 ounces per yard squared. The coating comprises 11% of the finished fabric's weight. Style 6875 is not a fabric of the type specified on [sic.] note 9 to Section XI.

Style 68420 WC is also woven nylon filament coated on one side with polyurethane. The fabric is 420 denier with a thread count of 60 x 38. The coated weight is 6.12 ounces per yard squared. Before coating the fabric weighs 5.22 ounces per yard squared. 15% of the weight is imparted by the plastic. The fabric described in Note 9 to Section XI does not apply to style 68420 WC.

Customs Laboratory, after examining the submitted samples, reported the following findings:

Style 6875 Style 68420 WC

Ounces/yd squared 8.79 5.73
grams/m squared 298.0 193.3
% Composition by
Fabric 80.0% 88.0%

PU 20.0% 12.0%


Whether the fabric is considered coated under the HTSUSA?


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, it is our opinion that Style 68420 WC is coated, and Style 6875 is not coated. With respect to the former, the application of plastics has transformed that appearance of the fabric from a clear warp and weft design to a series of raised dots. Style 6875, however, has merely a shininess, with no change in the actual "visual characteristic" of the fabric apparent.


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

Style 68420 WC

... under subheading 5903.20.2500, HTSUSA, textile category 229, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyurethane, of man-made fibers, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 percent ad valorem.

Style 6875

... under heading 5407, HTSUSA. The applicable subheading would depend upon whether the merchandise is considered bleached or unbleached, dyed, etc. This information should be brought to the attention of the Customs official at the time of importation.

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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