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HQ 084822

July 14, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084822 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5903.20.2500

James F. O'Hara, Esq.
Stein Shostak Shostak & O'Hara
Suite 1240
3580 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2597

RE: Classification of coated fabric

Dear Mr. O'Hara:

This is in reply to your letter of May 18, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of fabric coated with polyurethane, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Reference your client John King, Inc.


The merchandise at issue consists of 100 percent nylon filament woven fabric said to be coated on one surface with polyurethane plastics. The plastics is not over 70 percent of the weight of the finished product.


Is the fabric considered "coated with plastics" for tariff 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.

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 "of plastics." See HRL 084407 HP of May 10, 1989, attached.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, the instant merchandise has a transparent plastics application which, although borderline, changes the surface character of the fabric from textile to plastics. There is a coating visible to the naked eye. Accordingly, the fabrics, as represented by the samples, are classifiable under Heading 5903.


As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 5903.20.2500, 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.

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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