United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0088106 - HQ 0088463 > HQ 0088188

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088188

December 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 088188 CMR


TARIFF NO.: 5512.29.00, 5407.72.00

District Director of Customs
111 W. Huron Street
Buffalo, New York 14202-2378

RE: Internal Advice Request 24/90 regarding classification of vertical blind material

Dear Sir:

This request for internal advice was initiated by A.N. Deringer, Inc./W.R. Filbin & Co., Inc. on behalf of Tisbek Vertical Limited, regarding the classification of three styles of vertical blind fabric. In addition to the merchandise which is the subject of the internal advice request, this ruling will address the classification of samples of vertical blind fabric submitted by C.S. Emery & Co. on behalf of Tisbek Vertical. Two of the samples are the same as two submitted by A.N. Deringer; the third sample is different, but was mentioned in the IA request although no sample was submitted. The vertical blind fabrics will be imported from Canada.


Four styles of vertical blind fabric are at issue here: Dara Greige, Trenton Greige, Paysan Greige (Trafalgar) and Madeline.

All of the imported fabrics are woven, coated and then cut to widths of between two inches to four inches prior to importation. They will be imported in 80 yard rolls.

Trafalgar is made of 100 percent acrylic spun yarn of staple fibers. It is coated with PVA and cut to a width of three and one-half inches.

Madeline is made of 100 percent acrylic spun yarn of staple fibers. It is coated with PVC and cut to a width of three and one-half inches.

Trenton is made of 100 percent olefin texturized filament yarn. It is coated with PVA and cut to a width of three and one- half inches.

Information submitted indicates Dara is made of acrylic and polypropylene fibers. It is coated with either PVC or PVA and is cut to a width of three and one-half inches.


Are the submitted samples classified as coated or impregnated fabrics of heading 5903, HTSUSA, as narrow fabrics of heading 5806, HTSUSA, or as woven fabrics of chapters 54 or 55?


Classification of products under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, provided such headings or notes do no otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

The General Explanatory Note for Chapter 58 indicates that narrow woven fabrics of heading 5806, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, are excluded from Chapter 58. Note 1, Chapter 59, provides, among other things, that woven fabrics of heading 5806 are included in the expression "textile fabrics" for the purposes of Chapter 59. Therefore, if we find that these fabrics are coated or impregnated with plastics, they are classifiable in Chapter 59. If they are not coated or impregnated with plastics, within the requirements of the HTSUSA, then classification as narrow woven fabrics of heading 5806 must be considered.

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902. Note 2, Chapter 59, provides in pertinent part:

Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually -3-
chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color

It is our view that the wording of Note 2(a)(1), "visible to 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 or covered."

Therefore, following the strict wording of Note 2(a)(1), for a fabric to be considered impregnated, coated or covered within the meaning of the Note, the plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from the fabric.

The fabric samples have been examined by Customs personnel at the port, in New York and here at Headquarters. There is agreement by all that the plastic coating or impregnation is not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, the fabrics are not classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA.

Note 5, Chapter 58, states, in relevant part:

For the purposes of heading 5806, the expression "narrow woven fabrics" means:

(a) Woven fabrics of a width not exceeding 30 cm, whether woven as such or cut from wider pieces, provided with selvages (woven, gummed or otherwise made) on both edges

The Explanatory Notes, which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level, provide further elabora- tion on which fabrics are included in heading 5806 as narrow woven fabrics. The Notes for heading 5806 state in pertinent part:

In accordance with Note 5 to this Chapter, this heading includes as narrow woven fabrics:

(2) Strips of a width not exceeding 30 cm, cut (or slit) from wider pieces of warp and weft fabric (whether cut (or slit) longitudinally or on the cross) and provided with false selvedges on both edges, or a normal woven selvedge on one edge and a false selvedge on the other. False selvedges are designed to prevent unravelling of a piece of cut (or slit) fabric and may, for example, consist of a row of gauze stitches woven into the wider fabric before cutting (or slitting), of a simple hem, or they may be produced by gumming the edges of strips, or by fusing the edges in the case of certain ribbons of -4-
man-made fibers. Strips cut (or slit) from fabric but not provided with a selvedge, either real or false, on each edge, are excluded from this heading and classified with ordinary woven fabrics.

The fabrics at issue do not appear to have real or false selvages. While the fabrics do not unravel, we believe this is the result of the PVC or PVA coating applied to the entire fabric and not as the result of some treatment to the edges of the fabrics to make them fast. No evidence is present in the materials presented to this office to indicate the edges of the subject fabrics have been treated to create false selvedges other than a letter from Pierre Barthe of Tisbek to Maurice DeSlauriers of John V. Carr and Son Inc. which indicates false selvedges exist. If the importer can present evidence, to your satisfaction, that the edges are made fast by gumming or fusing the fabric edges, then the fabrics are classifiable as narrow woven fabrics; if not, they are classified as ordinary woven fabrics.


If presented with evidence which satisfies you that the vertical blind fabrics do have false selvedges as defined above, then the fabrics are classifiable as narrow woven fabrics of subheading 5806.32.2000, HTSUSA, textile category 229, dutiable at 5.6 percent ad valorem if satisfying the originating requirements of the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement (US-Canada FTA).

If false selvedges are not present, the subject fabrics are classified as ordinary woven fabrics of Chapters 54 or 55. Styles Trafalgar and Madeline are classified woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple fibers, other under subheading 5512.29.00, HTSUSA. Style Trenton is classified as a woven fabric of synthetic filament yarn, dyed under subheading 5407.72.00, HTSUSA. All three styles are dutiable at 13.6 percent ad valorem if satisfying the originating requirements of the US-Canada FTA. Style Dara is classifiable in either subheading 5512.29.00, HTSUSA, or subheading 5407.72.00, HTSUSA, depending on whether it is made of staple fibers or filament yarns. We did not have enough information to determine the classification to the statistical annotation level.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 -5-
suggest 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 updated weekly and is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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 importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: