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HQ 953558

March 25, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953558 ch


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.1000; 6307.10.2030

Rocky Bruni
Bruni International, Inc.
8001 San Gabriel at Mines Road
P.O. Box 2756
Laredo, Texas 78044-2756

RE: Classification of wash and polishing mitts; floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths; polishing cloths.

Dear Mr. Bruni:

This is in response to your letter of January 13, 1993, requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for a wash mitt and two polishing mitts. Samples were provided to our office for examination. Please reference your client, Filtros y Mallas Industrial, S.A. de C.V.


Sample A is a wash mitt measuring approximately 9 inches by 14 inches. The mitt is made from an 85 percent polyester and 15 percent acrylic sliver knit pile fabric. The fabric has been folded over and sewn on two sides with one side left open. A 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester knit wristband has been sewn to the open end.

Sample B is a polishing mitt measuring approximately 7 inches by 12 inches. The outer surface is composed of a cotton knit terry. This fabric has been folded over an equal size polyurethane sponge. The mitt is sewn on two sides with one side left open. A 50 percent cotton and 50 percent polyester knit wristband has been sewn to the open end.

Sample C is a polishing mitt measuring approximately 8 inches by 11 inches. The outer surface is composed of a cotton knit terry. This fabric has been folded over a polyurethane sponge layer, a plastic sheeting layer and an inner brushed man- made fiber knit layer. The layers have been sewn in the same fashion as sample B. A 50 percent polyester, 50 percent cotton, knit wristband has been sewn to the open end.

The mitts are manufactured in Mexico and will be imported through the Port of Laredo, Texas.


What is the proper classification of the wash mitt and the two polishing mitts under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

Sample A is comprised of polyester and acrylic fibers. These fibers are both man-made textiles and are classifiable in Section XI, HTSUSA, which provides for textile and textile articles.

Samples B and C feature outer surfaces of cotton knit terry, a textile fabric. Each mitt possesses inner layer(s) comprised of plastics. The textile and plastic materials are classified individually under different sections of the tariff schedule.

GRI 3(b) states that goods consisting of different materials shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to GRI 3(b) provide:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In this case, samples B and C are polishing mitts. Although the inner layers of the mitts provide absorbency, it is the outer layer that will be applied directly to the surface in need of polishing. Consequently, it is this layer that provides the shine to the surface of, for example, a pair of leather shoes. Hence, the outer layer imparts their essential character. As the outer layer of these mitts are composed of a textile fabric, the goods as a whole are classifiable in Section XI, HTSUSA.

The General EN to Section XI, at page 714, state that Chapters 56 to 63 of the tariff schedule include made up textile articles. Note 7 to Section XI states that:

For the purposes of this section, the expression "made up" means:

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end and piece goods composed of two or more textile assembled in layers, whether or not padded).

Samples A, B and C are assembled by sewing on two sides. In addition, they feature knit cuffs sewn to an open end. Accordingly, they are made up textile articles and are classified between Chapters 56 to 63 of the tariff schedule.

Heading 6116 encompasses gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted, and arguably describes the three articles. However, we conclude that mitts of this heading protect the hand in some fashion. The instant wash and polishing mitts do not serve to protect, but rather are used for cleaning or buffing purposes. Hence, heading 6116 is inapplicable.

Heading 6307 provides for other made up articles. The EN to this heading state that it covers "articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature." As these items are not elsewhere described within Chapters 56 and 63, they are classifiable under heading 6307.

Subheading 6307.10 provides for floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning articles. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085671, dated January 3, 1990, we found that:

The word "cloth" when used alone and in relation to material generally refers to material consisting of a single layer of fabric. Nevertheless, it is the position of the Customs Service that the definition of specific purpose "cloths" such as those enumerated in subheading 6307.10, is not similarly restricted, so long as the articles are used for cleaning purposes and reasonably fit the description of floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters or similar cleaning cloths. The article in question is used and advertised as a cleaning cloth and, indeed, is particularly suited to its task. It is highly absorbent, can withstand harsh treatment and abrasive cleaners, and is easily cleaned.

A cleaning cloth is therefore not excluded from this heading merely because it is made from two pieces of fabric that been sewn together on all four sides or from a single piece of fabric folded over and sewn closed on three sides.

In this case, the wash mitt is used for cleaning purposes, appears to be highly absorbent and is comprised of a soft and flexible material. As previously noted, the mitt has been assembled by simple sewing and folding operations. Accordingly, this item reasonably fits the description of a cleaning cloth and is classifiable under subheading 6307.10.

Similarly, the polishing mitts are absorbent and feature a soft and flexible outer material associated with cloth. Subheading 6307.1010 lists polishing cloths as a type of cleaning cloth. In HRL 088281, dated March 21, 1991, we classified a "shoe mitt" used to polish shoes under this subheading. Therefore, samples B and C are also classifiable under subheading 6307.10 as cleaning cloths.

We note in passing that the instant items are distinguished from "scrubbers" and "cleaning pads." These articles feature rigid or hard surfaces, as opposed to the soft and flexible surfaces associated with cloths. Hence, they do not fit the description of a cleaning cloth despite the fact that they are used for cleaning purposes. These articles are classified under subheading 6307.90. See HRL 952491, dated November 20, 1992.


The wash mitt is classifiable under subheading 6307.10.2030, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths: other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 10.5 percent ad valorem.

The two polishing mitts are classifiable under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths: dustcloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, of cotton. The applicable rate of duty is 4.7 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category is 369.

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 the subject of frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available 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, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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