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HQ 084611

June 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084611 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5111.30.6000

Ms. Sylvie Grondin
Victor Woollen Products Ltd.
250, Station Saint-Victor
Beauce, Qubec, Canada G0M 2B0

RE: Classification of Acrylic Coated Wool Fabric

Dear Ms. Grondin:

This is in reply to your letter of March 21, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of acrylic coated wool fabric, quality 159, produced in Canada, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue is a heavy weight (approximately 15 oz/yd2) fabric comprised of a woven blend of 75 percent wool, 20 percent nylon, and 5 percent other fabrics, by content. The weave is a broken twill, constructed on a dobbie loom. The warp contains 11 +- 2 ends yarns per centimeter. The weft contains 10 +- 2 ends yarns per centimeter. The yarn size is 4.5 metric. The yarn is single spun, carded on the woollen system. The fabric has been heavily fulled or napped to give it a melton appearance. An acrylic plastic has been applied to one surface on a dry weight basis of 1.2 +- 0.1 ounces per square yard. The method of application consists of applying the foamed plastic acrylic resin on the surface of the fabric. A blade levels off the coating and removes any excess foam. The foam is then dried. The applied surface has a lighter color than the untreated side.


Is the instant merchandise considered coated with plastics for classification purposes under the HTSUSA?


Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile products impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

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.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. Explanatory Note 59.03(3) states that fabrics with plastics which "can be seen only by reason of a resulting change of colour, usually fall[] in Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60."

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, the fabric does not have a plastics application which, but for a change in color, is visible to the naked eye. Accordingly, the fabrics, as represented by the samples, are not classifiable under Heading 5903, HTSUSA.


As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 5111.30.6000, textile category 410, as woven fabrics of carded wool or of carded fine animal hair, other, mainly mixed or solely with man-made staple fibers, other. Articles which meet the definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see General Note 3(c)(ii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If the merchandise constitutes "goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable rate of duty is 43.6/kg + 34.2 percent ad valorem. Otherwise, the rate of duty ("General rate") is 48.5/kg + 38 percent ad valorem.

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 applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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