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HQ 952267

September 23, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952267 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 5705.00.2030

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
40 South Gay Street
Baltimore, Md. 21202

RE: Poligras; artificial turf; sports equipment; carpets and other textile floor coverings; Note 1, Chapter 57.

Dear Sir:

This is in response to an application for further review of Protest No. 1301-92-100140 dated May 19, 1992, filed by John S. O'Connor, Inc., on behalf of Poligras USA, Inc. A sample of the protested merchandise was not provided.


The merchandise at issue is an artificial turf product known as "Poligras." According to descriptive literature submitted in connection with the protest, Poligras is made from raschel-knit synthetic material "consisting of grass-tapes knitted together with high-strength polyester fibers and additional PVC resilient drain mat reinforced by an additional knitted inlay fabric." The merchandise is manufactured in Germany and will be imported in rolls.

Poligras is used as a playing surface in a number of sports including soccer, field hockey, football, baseball, cricket and tennis. Poligras also has a wide variety of non-sporting applications and is used to cover patios, balconies and rooftops. In this instance the protested merchandise will be used to cover a soccer field.

Protestant contends that the instant artificial turf product is classifiable in subheading 9506.99.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), rather than as appraised, in subheading 5703.30.0090, HTSUSA.


The issue presented is whether the artificial turf product in question is classifiable as sports equipment or as a carpet or textile floor covering.


Heading 9506, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for articles and equipment for sports. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), which although not legally binding constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, list numerous examples of the types of articles covered by this heading at EN 95.06, 1592-93. As a general matter, the heading covers apparatus such as balance beams and vaulting horses, and equipment such as balls, bats, skis and rackets. Customs does not consider "Poligras" to be similar to the apparatus or equipment described in the EN; accordingly, the protested merchandise is excluded from heading 9506.

Note 1, Chapter 57, HTSUSA, states that for the purposes of Chapter 57, "the term 'carpets and other textile floor coverings' means floor coverings in which textile materials serve as the exposed surface of the article when in use and includes articles having the characteristics of textile floor coverings but intended for use for other purposes." We have assumed for the purposes of this ruling that "Poligras" is within the size limitations of Note 1(g), Section XI, HTSUSA, such that it would be considered a textile product.

Within Chapter 57, heading 5703, HTSUSA, provides for tufted carpets and textile floor coverings. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081903 dated November 25, 1988, an artificial turf product similar to the merchandise in question was classified in heading 5703 on the grounds that the textile portion served as the exposed surface of the article when in use. Similarly, the textile portion of "Poligras" artificial turf, is the exposed surface of the article in question. Note 1, Chapter 57. However, the instant artificial turf is not tufted, but according to literature submitted in connection with the protest, is made from raschel knit grass tapes attached to a PVC drain mat. We are advised that this suggests that the pile was added during the knitting process as opposed to having been inserted into a pre- existing knitted base, as with a tufted product. Consequently, "Poligras" is not classifiable in heading 5703.

Heading 5705, HTSUSA, provides for other carpets and floor coverings. Pursuant to EN 57.05, 788, the heading covers those carpets and floor coverings not provided for in the more specific headings of Chapter 57. "Poligras" is a textile article similar to a floor covering; however, it is not specifically provided for in Chapter 57. In Customs' view, it is therefore classifiable in heading 5705.


The merchandise in question is classifiable in subheading 5705.00.2030, HTSUSA, under the provision for other carpets and other textile floor coverings, of man-made fibers. It is dutiable at the rate of 6.5 percent ad valorem and is subject to textile category 665.

You are instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this ruling should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


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