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HQ 088293

March 5, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T: 088293 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5903.90.1000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
111 West Huron Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

RE: Internal Advice 45/90; application of thermoplastic coating to fabric does not constitute "printing" for the purposes of 19 CFR 12.130(e)(i); country of origin; Note 2(a)(1), Chapter 59, HTSUSA; thermoplastic microdot coating visible to the naked eye.

Dear Sir:

This is in reply to an Internal Advice request dated May 31, 1990, filed through the port of Buffalo by C.J. Tower, Inc., on behalf of Canada Hair Cloth Co., Ltd. Sample merchandise was provided.


The merchandise in question is fusible interlining fabric, style F6, manufactured in Canada from 100 percent cotton greige material imported from the People's Republic of China. Style F6 is available in a number of colors of which the following were submitted with the request: Pd2, white; Pd3, white, napped; Pd2, natural; Pd2, beige; Pd2, tan; Pd2, brown; Pd2, grey; and Pd2, black.

In Canada, the imported greige material is submitted to an eight step process to produce the finished interlining fabric. The operations performed include: inspection; desizing; rinsing and drying (after drying); beam dyeing (after dyeing); napping; resin finishing and partial curing; and dot coating and final curing. C.F. Tower and Canada Hair Cloth contend that the dot coating process constitutes printing, and that in combination with the other operations undertaken in Canada, results in a substantial transformation, such that the country of origin of the fabric would be considered to be Canada rather than the People's Republic of China.

You have also asked for internal guidance concerning the applicability of Note 2(a), Chapter 59, HTSUSA, to the various colors of the style F6 fabric, i.e., whether the style F6 fabric is classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA.


Whether coating a 100 percent cotton greige material with thermoplastic resin constitutes "printing" pursuant to section 12.130, Customs Regulations.

Whether the manufacturing and processing operations to which the fabric in question has been subjected are sufficient to constitute a substantial transformation.

Whether the thermoplastic coating applied to the fusible interlining fabric at issue is visible to the naked eye pursuant to Note 2(a), Chapter 59, HTSUSA.

Whether the fusible interlining fabric in question are goods originating in the territory of Canada pursuant to General Note


Pursuant to section 12.130, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130), a textile or textile product which consists of materials produced or derived from, or processed in, more than one foreign territory or country shall be a product of that foreign territory or country where it last underwent a substantial transformation. A textile or textile product will be considered to have undergone a substantial transformation if it has been transformed by means of substantial manufacturing or processing operations into a new and different article of commerce.

Section 12.130(e), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.130(e)) provides further guidance as to what constitutes substantial manufacturing or processing. Specifically, 19 CFR 12.130(e)(i) states that an article will usually be a product of a particular foreign territory or country when it has undergone:

[d]yeing of fabric and printing when accompanied by two or more of the following finishing operations: bleaching, shrinking, fulling, napping, decating, permanent stiffening, weighting, permanent embossing, or moireing ....

The issue of whether a coating of thermoplastic microdots constituted "printing" for the purposes of the country of origin regulations was the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) dated March 8, 1990. There we stated in pertinent part that "printing is the process of applying color to a fabric to provide a decorative function. The plastic coating on the fabric at issue cannot be considered to be printed."

The fabric in question is coated with thermoplastic dots. However, while the application of these adhesive dots is achieved by means of a process similar to printing, it remains the view of this Office that a thermoplastic coating is not "printing" since it imparts neither color nor ornamental value. Consequently, as it has not been both dyed and printed, the interlining fabric at issue has not undergone a substantial manufacturing or processing operation pursuant to 19 CFR 12.130(e)(i). As a result, the coating operation in Canada does not result in a substantial transformation of the interlining fabric which remains a product of China.

Note 2(a), Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides that heading 5903 applies to plastic coated textile fabrics, whatever the nature of the plastic material, other than those fabrics in which the coating cannot be seen with the naked eye. The Explanatory Notes (EN), constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level state at EN 59.03, 816, that heading 5903 covers:
textile fabrics which are spattered with visible particles of thermoplastic material and are capable of providing a bond to other fabrics on the application of heat and pressure.

The thermoplastic dot coating applied to the fabric in question is visible to the naked eye and is not the result of a change in color. Consequently, all of the sample of F6 fabric is classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA.

General Note 3(c)(vii)(B)(2)(I), HTSUSA, provides in relevant part that goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for treatment as goods originating in the territory of Canada only if they have been transformed in Canada or the United States so as to be subject to a change in tariff classification as described in the rules of subdivision provides that goods will be considered to be goods originating in the territory of Canada when they undergo:

A change to any heading of chapter 59 from any heading outside that chapter other than headings 5111 through 5113, 5208 through 5212, 5309 through 5311, 5407, 5408, or 5512 through 5516.

The cotton fabrics at issue are coated with plastics and are classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA. Were they not coated, the fabrics would be classifiable within headings 5208 to 5212, HTSUSA, which provide for woven fabrics of cotton of various weights. Consequently, the fabrics are not eligible for treatment as goods originating in the territory of Canada since as a result of the coating process, the classification of the fabrics changes from one within headings 5208 to 5212, to one in Chapter 59.


The coating of cotton fabric with thermoplastic microdots does not constitute "printing" for the purposes of 19 CFR 12.130.

The country of origin of the style F6 fabric in question is the People's Republic of China.

The fabric in question, style F6 (varieties Pd2, white; Pd3, white, napped; Pd2, natural; Pd2, beige; Pd2, tan; Pd2, brown; Pd2, grey, medium; Pd2, black), is classifiable in subheading 5903.90.1000, under the provision for textile fabrics ... coated ... with plastics ..., other, of cotton, and is dutiable at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The interlining fabrics are not eligible for treatment as goods originating in the territory of Canada.


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