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HQ 955458

June 8, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955458 CMR


TARIFF NO: 5208.21.2090; 5208.21.4090

Catherine A. Shyan
CBC Customshouse Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 66420 O'Hare AMF
Chicago, IL 60666

RE: Revocation of HRL 088143 of February 1, 1991; classification of a tack cloth as fabric of heading 5208, HTSUSA, and not as an other made up article in heading 6307; Explanatory Note clarification of "made up"

Dear Ms. Shyan:

On February 1, 1991, this office issued a ruling to you, HRL 088143, on the classification of a tack cloth. In that ruling, the article was classified as an other made up textile article of heading 6307 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The basis for the decision was our interpretation of the meaning of the term "made up" for purposes of the tariff. Note 7 of Section XI defines "made up" as it applies to textiles classified in Section XI. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System further explain the meaning of "made up" as it is used in Note 7. While the Explanatory Notes are not legally binding, they are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level and may provide assistance in determining the proper interpretation of provisions within the tariff.

The Explanatory Notes underwent various amendments (Amending Supplements 1 through 5) from 1988 to 1990. These amendments were contained in the edition of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (Complete First Edition (1986) with Supplements 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Incorporated) issued February 1990 and distributed to Customs personnel. One of the amendments related to the meaning of "made up" and revealed that our initial interpretation of "produced in the finished state" as it is applies to the term "made up" was partially incorrect. HRL 088143 was based on early interpretations of the meaning of "produced in the finished state". As a result of the amended Explanatory Note, it
evident that HRL 088143 was decided incorrectly. Rulings issued subsequent to receipt of the amended version of the Explanatory Notes have followed the interpretation evident by the amended notes. In order to avoid confusion and ensure uniformity of treatment, it is necessary to revoke the ruling issued to you for Ulti-Med International, Inc., on the classification of a tack cloth. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of HRL 088143 was published April 27, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 17.


The tack cloth in HRL 088143 was described therein as follows:

The merchandise at issue is 100 percent cotton gauze constructed with a mesh that measures 20 X 16, 20 X 20, or 20 X 24 thread counts per square inch, and impregnated with linseed oil, varnish, resin and other chemicals. The material is cut into rectangles, left unhemmed, and folded a number of times into approximately 4 inch squares. You state that the article is ready for retail sale in that state, which is how it is imported. The tack cloth has various household and industrial uses, including the cleaning of dust, dirt and sanding residue off any wood, metal or plaster surfaces.


Is the tack cloth classifiable as a made up article?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRIs taken in order]."

Note 7, Section XI, defines the term "made up" as follows:

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working (for example, certain dusters, towels, table cloths, scarf squares, blankets);

(c) Hemmed or with rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe any of the edges, but excluding fabrics the cut edges of which have been prevented from unravelling by whipping or by other simple means;

(d) Cut to size and having undergone a process of drawn thread work;

(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 textiles assembled in layers, whether or not padded);

(f) Knitted or crocheted to shape, presented in the form of a number of items in the length.

In HRL 088143, Customs classified the tack cloth as a made up article based upon the language of part (b) of Note 7 cited above. We stated in that ruling:

The tack cloth in this instance is considered to be in its finished state, at the time of importation, because no further cutting or processing will take place. In fact, it is impregnated, cut folded and ready for use as a cleaning cloth prior to importation.

As stated earlier, in February 1990, an amended version of the Explanatory Notes was available and distributed to Customs personnel. One of the amendments contained therein was the addition of a new paragraph to the notes which expound on the language of Note 7, i.e., what is meant by "made up." Specifically, the new paragraph expanded the explanation of the language of Note 7(b), "produced in the finished state, ready for use". It states:

However, rectangular (including square) articles simply cut out from larger pieces without other working and not incorporating fringes formed by cutting dividing threads are not regarded as "produced in the finished state" within the meaning of this Note. The fact that these articles may be presented folded or put up in packings (e.g., for retail sale) does not affect their classification.

The cited paragraph describes the tack cloth. It is cut into rectangles, left unhemmed and folded. Based upon this clarification paragraph added to the Explanatory Notes regarding the meaning of "made up" for purposes of Note 7, Section XI, HRL 088143 is incorrect. The tack cloth is not regarded as "produced in the finished state" and does not fit any of the other possible meanings of "made up" as defined in Note 7. Therefore, the tack cloth is properly classified as cotton fabric.


HRL 088143 is hereby revoked. The tack cloth at issue therein is properly classified as woven bleached cotton fabric, plain weave, weighing no more than 100 grams per meter squared, of an average yarn number of 42 or lower, cheesecloth, in subheading 5208.21.2090, HTSUSA, dutiable at 8.4 percent ad valorem, or 5208.21.4090, HTSUSA, if of an average yarn number of 43 to 68, dutiable at 10.2 percent ad valorem. As cotton fabric of either subheading, the article falls within textile category 226.

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

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10 (c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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