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HQ 084821

June 21, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084821 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5911.40.0000

Ms. Donna Witowski
Panalpina, Inc.
P.O. Box 66437 AMF O'Hare
Chicago, IL 60666

RE: Classification of filtering fabric

Dear Ms. Witowski:

This is in reply to your letters of May 10 and 23, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of filter cloth, produced in Japan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Reference your client Hitachi Metals Trading Corp.


The merchandise at issue is a needleloomed nonwoven man- made fiber fabric with a woven scrim fabric center layer. One surface is lightly calendered. The fabric is comprised of approximately 28 percent by weight of polyester, and approximately 72 percent by weight of polyamide. The fabric is used on a machine in the production of magnets to strain moisture via a vacuum process from the liquid magnet slurry. The material, referred to as "filter cloth model FT20508," will be imported by the roll with dimensions ranging from .76m to .95m wide, and 4000m in length.


What is the proper classification of the article under the HTSUSA?


Heading 5911, HTSUSA, provides for textile products for technical uses. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

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

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Note 7 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides:

Heading 5911 applies to the following goods, which do not fall in any other heading of section XI:

(a) Textile products in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape (other than those having the character of the products of headings 5908 to 5910), the following only:

(i) Textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined woven fabrics, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for card clothing, and similar fabrics of a kind used for other technical purposes;

(ii) Bolting cloth;

(iii)Straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, of textile material or of human hair;

(iv) Flat woven textile fabric with multiple warp or weft, whether or not felted, impregnated or coated, of a kind used in machinery or for other technical purposes;

(v) Textile fabric reinforced with metal, of a kind used for technical purposes;

(vi) Cords, braids and the like, whether or not coated, impregnated or reinforced with metal, of a kind used in industry as packing or lubricating materials;

(b) Textile articles (other than those of headings 5908 to 5910) of a kind used for technical purpos- es (for example, textile fabrics and felts, end- less or fitted with linking devices, of a kind used in papermaking or similar machines (for exam- ple, for pulp or asbestos-cement), gaskets, pol- ishing discs and other machinery parts).

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Note to heading 5911, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

[(A)(3)] Straining cloth (e.g., woven filter fabrics an [sic.] needled filter fabrics) [is covered], whether or not impregnated, of a kind used in oil presses or for similar filtering purposes ..., and for gas clean- ing or similar technical applications in industrial dust collection systems.

It is our opinion that the phrase "which do not fall in any other heading of section XI" in Chapter Note 7 mandates classification of articles in heading 5911, and prohibits classification in any other Section XI heading, if the article meets the requirements of Chapter Note 7 and its accompanying Explanatory Notes. The filter cloth is covered by Note 7(a)(iii), and must be classified as a straining cloth under heading 5911, HTSUSA.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 5911.40.0000, as textile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chap- ter, straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, including that of human hair. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent per kilogram.

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 require- ments.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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