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HQ 953342

March 16, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953342 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 5609.00.4000

Mr. Ira J. Katz
5833 Burchfield Avenue
Pennsylvania 15217

RE: Classification of stretchable shoe lace-like articles with a rubber thread core and a polyester covering

Dear Mr. Katz:

In your letter of January 6, 1993, you requested a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for certain shoe lace-like articles to be manufactured in Canada. You submitted a sample along with your letter.


The sample submitted is a stretchable shoe lace-like article made of polyester textile material covering a rubber thread core. It measures approximately 31 inches in length and 3/16 inches in width. It has plastic fitted ends.


What is the HTSUSA classification of this merchandise?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Section XI, Note 10, HTSUSA, states that "Elastic products consisting of textile materials combined with rubber threads are classified in this section." The instant merchandise is elastic because it returns to its original state after being stretched. It is composed of a man-made textile fiber fabric covering wound around rubber threads. Accordingly, this item is classified in Section XI.

Heading 6307 provides for other made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI. However, Note 1 of Chapter 63 specifies that Subchapter 1 of Chapter 63 applies only to made up articles of any textile of fabric. Inasmuch as the instant merchandise is made of braided cordage, it is not a fabric for tariff purposes and is therefore precluded from classification in Heading 6307, HTSUSA.

Heading 5604, covers, inter alia, "rubber thread and cord, textile covered." The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. The EN of Heading 5604 state, in part:

(A) Rubber Thread and Cord, Textile Covered

Provided they are covered with textiles (e.g., by gimping or plaiting), this group includes thread (single strand) of rubber, of any cross-section, and cord (multiple strand) of rubber, made of these threads.

The instant article imported in material lengths would meet this description, However, the sample has been cut to size and fitted with plastic ends. Therefore, it is beyond the scope of Heading 5604, HTSUSA..

Heading 5609, covers, inter alia, "articles of cordage, rope or cables, not elsewhere specified or included." The EN of Heading 5609, state, in pertinent part:

This heading covers articles of the yarns of Chapters 50 to 55....It includes yarns, cordage, rope, etc., cut to length and looped at one or both ends, or fitted with tags, rings, hooks, etc.

The instant merchandise is a cord of man-made fibers (and rubber threads), cut to length and fitted with plastic tips. Accordingly, it is classified under Heading 5609.


The instant article is classified in subheading 5609.00.4000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 7.8 percent ad valorem. If it meets the requirements of the United States/Canada Free Trade Agreement, it is eligible for duty at the rate of 3.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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