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HQ 952697

January 12, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952697 jb


TARIFF NO.: 5407.73.2060

Mr. Arthur M. J. Chen
AKKO Canada Limited
21 Penn Drive, Unit #1
Weston, Ontario
Canada M9L2A6

RE: Polyurethane plastic coating applied to woven textile fabric; Note 2(a)(1), Chapter 59; plastic coating visible to the eye

Dear Mr. Chen:

This is in response to your inquiry of February 11, 1992, on behalf of your client, Metro Textile Inc., requesting a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for woven nylon fabric coated with polyurethane. Sample swatches were submitted to Customs for examination.


The woven material is described as follows:

- Style #12765, nylon/polyester cross dyed coated twill, 60 inches wide
- Content: 21.5 percent nylon and 78.5 percent polyester - Yarn size: 70 denier nylon in warp and 500 denier polyester in weft
- Yarn count: 70x49
- Weight before coating: 4.90 oz/sq.yd. (78 percent) - Weight after coating: 6.25 oz/sq.yd.
- Coating weight: 1.35 oz/sq.yd. (22 percent) - Coating substance: clear polyurethane plastic, 600mm

A sample swatch was submitted with the initial request which proved to small for purposes of laboratory analysis. Subsequently, a second sample swatch was received and sent to a Customs laboratory. We assume that both samples are the same in all material respects, except for the color.

The laboratory report indicated a slightly higher overall weight for the fabric-- 6.8 ounces versus the given weight of 6.25 ounces. The report also indicated that the plastic was 15 percent of the total weight of the material and not the stated 22 percent.

Because of the discrepancy between the stated weight and the laboratory results, we asked the laboratory to reconfirm their initial findings and, in addition, to remove the plastic from an additional piece of the resubmitted fabric to see what the fabric looks like without the plastic. The results of this further testing evidenced that this second piece only contained 11.9 percent weight by plastic.


Whether the submitted fabric is classifiable in heading 5903, HTSUSA, as a textile fabric coated with plastic?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in the order of their appearance.

Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics. Note 2(a)(1), Chapter 59, HTSUSA states, 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)...

It follows that previous to making a determination, Customs must initially examine coated fabrics with the naked eye alone. Only when such an examination suggests the presence of coating, is it within Customs' discretion to examine the fabric under magnification (See HRL 082644, dated March 2, 1990).

Though the submitted sample evidences a degree of shine on one surface, we do not consider the plastic applied to this material to be visible to the naked eye. Furthermore, even when the plastic was removed on a section of the fabric, the fabric still retained a degree of its original shine on the surface.

As the submitted fabric fails to meet the standard mandated by Note 2(a)(1) to chapter 59, HTSUSA, that is, that the plastic coating be discernible to the naked eye, it is not considered coated for tariff purposes. The subject sample is properly classifiable in heading 5407, HTSUSA, which provides for woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn (See HQ 950022, dated September 26, 1991).


The submitted fabric, Style number 12765, is classified in subheading 5407.73.2060, HTSUSA, which provides for other woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic filaments, of other yarns of different colors, weighing more than 170 g/m.

The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 620.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 suggest that your client 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 available for inspection at the 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, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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