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NY 872021

March 18, 1992

CLA-2-59:S:N:N3H:350 872021


TARIFF NO: 5903.90.2500

Mr. Mitchel R. Scher
Vandegrift Forwarding Company
One Evertrust Plaza
Jersey City, NJ 07302

RE: The tariff classification of a polyester foil print lame knit fabric, from Korea.

Dear Mr. Scher:

In your letter dated March 4, 1992, on behalf of Teijin Shoji (America), Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject material consists of a 100% polyester circular knit fabric, black in color, that has been covered on one surface with small, gold colored dots, somewhat oval in shape in the warp direction. These dots measure approximately 0.029 of an inch in length (wale or warp direction of the fabric) and 0.024 of an inch in the width (course or weft direction). These dots are positioned in rows that are parallel to the selvage; with the dots of each succeeding row being offset from the previous row by a half-dot distance - "brick and wall" style. All the above dots in the same wale direction are separated from each other by 0.020 of an inch, while the dots in the same course direction are separated by nearly 0.021 of an inch. There are approximately 1100 dots to the square inch.

These type of dots are generally composed of a very thin polyester plastic film that has been coated with a microns thin metallic deposit, in this case gold in color, but other colors may be used. This film by itself, would be classifiable as a plastic film. The plastic film, after a series of steps and the use of selectively applied adhesive, in conjunction with a heat and pressure roll, becomes "laminated" to the knit fabric.

This results in a configuration of closely spaced parallel dots that creates a uniform and overall covering effect void of design. The finished material simulates a woven lame fabric. From visual inspection, this plastic portion is less than 70 percent of the weight of the material.

It is Customs' position that the terms impregnated, coated, covered and laminated are synonymous and interchangeable when used in conjunction with applying plastic substances to a textile fabric. The "foil" is a plastics substance, which is laminated to the textile and is visible to the naked eye other than by a change in color.

Although the tariff chapter notes exclude fabrics from 5903 that have been partially coated or covered with plastic applied in the form of a design, the exclusion applies only when a design has been created by this application. This note does not automatically exclude partially "coated" fabrics if no design is created. Further, there is no implication in the tariff language that the plastic substance must form a continuous or solid film over the entire surface.

The dots, per se, are not applied so as to create a design. The fabric is uniformly covered to simulate a lame material. The plastic could have been applied as a solid film over the entire fabric, but this would create a stiffer fabric not suitable for garment making. However, by having spaces between the dots, as in the subject material, it gives the fabric a more subtle hand, adds to its drapability and allows the material to breathe, thus being more comfortable to the wearer of the garment.

We will consider any material as a plastic coated or laminated textile fabric, using such terms interchangeably, when the applied plastic creates the effect of a uniform surface void of any perceived design. Each and every style should be clearly identified on the commercial invoice.

The applicable subheading for the simulated lame foil print material will be 5903.90.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics other than polyvinyl chloride or polyurethane, of man-made fibers and not over 70 percent by weight of the plastic. The rate of duty will be 8.5 percent ad valorem.

The material falls within textile category designation 229. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of Korea are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

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 that 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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director
New York Seaport

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