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HQ 955200

October 21, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955200 HP


TARIFF NO.: 9701.10.0000

Mr. Paul M. Miller, Jr.
Trading Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 106
Glenshaw, PA 15116-0106

RE: NYRL 856529 revoked. Unframed Batik is painting, not other made up article of textiles.

Dear Mr. Miller:

This is further to your letter of September 17, 1990. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of unframed Batik, produced in Kenya.


The merchandise at issue consists of an unframed Batik article. It is composed of cotton woven fabric and measures approximately 33" x 17 5/16" with unhemmed edges. The article has printed designs of human figures and objects.

The creation process for Batik paintings is normally as follows: (1) the outlines of the images of the paintings are first sketched on paper and then transferred to the material; (2) the wax is then heated and applied with a thin brush to the areas where the cloth to be dyed is not wanted; (3) this process is repeated for each color, starting with the lightest and moving to the darkest; (4) after each dyeing the batik is hung to dry; (5) after the dying is completed a piece of newspaper is placed on top of the painting and a hot iron is passed over it to remove the wax. Regardless of the number of Batiks made, the same step- by-step process is followed for each painting.

In NYRL 856529 of October 18, 1990, we classified this merchandise under subheading 6307.90, HTSUSA, as an other made up article of textiles. We have had occasion to review this decision, and have determined it to be in error. ISSUE:

Whether the unframed Batik is considered a painting or an other textile article under the HTSUSA?


Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides for paintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) constitute the official interpretation of the scope and content of the tariff at the international level. They represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. Totes, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-09-00714, slip op. 92-153, 14 Int'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1916, 1992 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 158 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1992). While not treated as dispositive, the EN are to be given considerable weight in Customs' interpretation of the HTSUSA. Boast, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-11-00793, slip op. 93-20, 1993 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 19 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1993). It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The EN to this heading, at 1616, specifically includes therein "wax paintings." See also HRL 089933 of November 8, 1991; HRL 089762 of October 2, 1991; DD 879766 of November 25, 1992. The unframed Batik is correctly classifiable in heading 9701, HTSUSA. Accordingly, NYRL 856529 is hereby revoked.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 9701.10.0000, HTSUSA, as paintings, drawings and pastels executed entirely by hand. Merchandise entered under this provision is entitled to a Free rate of duty.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking NYRL 856529 of October 18, 1990, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 177.9(d)(1), to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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