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HQ 951938

September 15, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951938 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 7019.20.10

District Director
United States Customs Service
300 South Ferry Street- Room 2017
Terminal Island
San Pedro, CA 90731

RE: Protest No. 2704-92-100086; fiberglass fabric used for vertical blinds; narrow woven fabric; false selvedges; subheading 7019.20.20; Additional U.S. Note 6 to Chapter 70; Legal Note 5 to Chapter 58; Explanatory Note 58.06(A)(2); HRL 089551; HRL 950102

Dear Sir:

The following is our response to the Protest and Request For Further Review No. 2704-92-100086, dated January 8, 1992, concerning the classification of fiberglass fabric for vertical blinds under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The product in question is a fiberglass fabric used for vertical blinds. The fabric is coated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is weave set or "gummed" for stability, and is then slit to finished widths of 3.5 inches.

Upon importation, the fiberglass fabric was classified in subheading 7019.20.20, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]lass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics): [w]oven fabrics, including narrow fabrics: [o]ther: [n]ot colored.

In liquidating the fiberglass fabric in subheading 7019.20.20, HTSUS, you relied on Headquarters Ruling Letter 085991, dated March 13, 1990, which dealt with the classification of woven fabrics used to manufacture vertical blinds that were coated with polyvinyl or polyethylene. While the fabric edges did not unravel, this was the result of the plastic finish applied to the entire fabric and not as the result of some treatment to the edges of the fabric to make them fast. Therefore, HRL 085991 held that the fabrics did not have real or false selvedges and they were not classified as "narrow woven fabrics" in heading 5806, HTSUS.

In addition, you relied on Los Angeles Customs Laboratory Report No. 7-92-30104-001, dated February 20, 1992, which tested the sample and determined that the sample failed to have fast edges and therefore, did not have a real or false selvedge.

The protestant argues that the fiberglass fabric is classified in subheading 7019.20.10, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]lass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics): [w]oven fabrics, including narrow fabrics: [n]arrow fabrics.


Is the fiberglass fabric used for vertical blinds classified as "other not colored woven fabric" in subheading 7019.20.20, HTSUS, or as "narrow fabric" in subheading 7019.20.10, HTSUS?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

Subheading 7019.20, HTSUS, provides for "[g]lass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics): [w]oven fabrics, including narrow fabrics." Additional U.S. Note 6 to Chapter 70, HTSUS, provides the following:

For the purposes of subheading 7019.20, the expression "narrow fabrics" covers fabrics which meet the definition of "narrow woven fabrics" in note 5 to Chapter 58.

Legal Note 5 to Chapter 58, HTSUS, provides the following, inter alia:

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;

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950102, dated February 10, 1992, also dealt with the issue of whether vertical blind fabric coated with plastics and cut into small (3-1/2 inch wide) strips was classified as "narrow woven fabric" pursuant to Legal Note 5 to Chapter 58, HTSUS. In determining that the fabric had a "false" selvedge, Customs looked to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs). The ENs, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 58.06 (A)(2) states the following:

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 man-made fibres. 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....

Moreover, Customs stated that Legal Note 5 to Chapter 58, HTSUS, does not define selvedges apart from stating that, in addition to being woven or gummed, they may be "otherwise made". As the coating on the vertical blind fabric prevented the fabric from unravelling and it measured less than 30 cm, Customs held that the fabric had a false selvedge and was classifiable as narrow woven fabric in heading 5806, HTSUS.

HRL 950102 cited HRL 085991, as it dealt with a similar type of fabric. However, HRL 950102 did not revoke this case. In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we have revoked HRL 085991 in HRL 952436, a copy of which is enclosed.

Thus, in determining whether the subject fabric has a selvedge we must now look to the guidelines in HRL 950102. We have to look at this fabric to determine whether the plastic coating, which appears to have been applied prior to cutting the fabric to a narrow width, serves to prevent the edges of the fabric from unravelling. The PVC coating does prevent the fabric from unravelling and the fabric has a false selvedge. Therefore, because the fabric meets the criteria for "narrow woven fabric" in Legal Note 5 to Chapter 58, HTSUS, it is classified as narrow fabric in subheading 7019.20.10, HTSUS.


The protest should be allowed in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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