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HQ 086136

January 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086136 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5903.20.1000

Mr. Leonard Roos
Silverman Products and Textiles, Inc.
205 West 39th Street
New York, NY 10018-3102

RE: Hand woven fabric composed of woven polyurethane (PU) coated cotton fabrics, not made up under Note 7 to Section XI, is still a woven fabric coated with plastics.

Dear Mr. Roos:

This is in reply to your letter of October 13, 1989, con- cerning the tariff classification of woven polyurethane (PU) fabric, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of plastic covered strips hand woven into fabric form. The woven textile strips are composed of 68% cotton, 21% polyester and 11% rayon, coated on one side with a pigmented PU plastic. At this point, the strips are approximately 1/4" wide. Two 1/16" edges are then folded over and in some way bonded to form a 1/8" upper surface. The strips are subsequently hand woven to form a fabric 30" wide by 252" long.


Whether the finished product is considered a plastic coated fabric under heading 5903, HTSUSA?


Individual Strips

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 (usual- ly 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, the instant merchandise is clearly coated with plastics. The merchandise changes its appearance from a loosely woven cotton fabric to a sheet of plastics. The strips are therefore woven fabrics of heading 5903, HTSUSA.

Hand Woven Fabric

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, only applies to textile fabrics meeting the above-stated requirements. The General Explanatory Notes to Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that "[g]oods which have been made up within the meaning of Note 7 to Section XI....) are excluded from classification as woven fabrics. Note 7 to Section XI provides that:

For the purposes of [Section XI], the expression "made up" means:

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, tablecloths, scarf squares, blankets);

(c) Hemmed or rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe at any of the edges, but excluding fabrics the cut edges of which have been prevented from unravell- ing by whipping or by other simple means;

(d) Cut to size and having undergone a process of drawn thread work;

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end and piece goods composed of two or more textiles assembled in layers, whether or not padded); or

(f) Knitted or crocheted to shape, presented in the form of a number of items in the length.

Under these requirements, the instant merchandise is not "made up" for purposes of Section XI. It is merely a further worked fabric of heading 5903, and is still classifiable thereun- der.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 5903.20.1000, HTSUSA, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyurethane, of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 5.3 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 status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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