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HQ 956146

November 16, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956146 BC


TARIFF NO.: 5703.90.0000

District Director of Customs
U.S. Customs Service
101 East Main Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

RE: Further review of protest no. 1401-94-100032; classification of cotton rugs; bath mats; powerloom; tufted cotton rugs; not woven rugs

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on an application for further review of protest no. 1401-94-100032, filed by John A. Bessich, Esq., on behalf of Hayim & Company of Chesapeake, Virginia. The protest objects to your classification of cotton bath mats/rugs.


The protest covers three entries made on August 6, 1993, and liquidated on November 12, 1993. The protest was timely filed on February 10, 1994.

The merchandise at issue are 100% cotton bath mats/rugs. They were invoiced as "100% cotton powerloom bath mats (made ups)." They were classified in subheading 5702.49.1080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for carpets and other textile floor coverings, woven, not tufted or flocked, whether or not made up . . . : other, of pile construction, made up: of other textile materials: of cotton . . . other. It is contended in this protest that the rugs should be classified in subheading 5703.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for carpets and other textile floor coverings, tufted, whether or not made up: of other textile materials. The dispute centers around whether the rugs are of woven or tufted construction.


Whether the cotton bath mats/rugs at issue are classifiable as woven cotton rugs in heading 5702, HTSUSA, or as tufted cotton rugs in heading 5703, HTSUSA?


This office contacted the National Import Specialist with expertise in the classification of carpets and textile floor coverings. He stated that the invoice descriptions for the entries in question supported the classification of the rugs at issue as woven, not tufted, rugs in heading 5702, HTSUSA. However, he indicated that the term "powerloom," which suggests woven construction, could apply to the base of the rugs. If it is the base of the rugs that is woven, and the pile is of tufted construction, the rugs should be classified in heading 5703, HTSUSA, as tufted rugs.

By letter of September 13, 1994, to PROTESTANT's counsel, we requested additional information to support PROTESTANT's claim. By letter of November 2, 1994, counsel submitted a statement from the manufacturer of the rugs at issue, Paliwal Overseas Ltd., dated November 1, 1994. The statement describes the rugs at issue, identified by the manufacturer as the Revival, Kimberly, Jubilee, and Somerset, as cotton rugs of tufted construction. The statement asserts that the reference to "powerloom" in the invoices is to the woven cotton canvas base of the rugs. The rugs covered by this protest are described in the Customs Protest and Summons Information Report (CF 6445) as the Revival, Kimberly, Jubilee, and Somerset.

Given the foregoing information, we find that the rugs at issue are tufted cotton rugs. They are similar to the rug classified in New York Ruling Letter 873035, issued to the PROTESTANT on April 16, 1992. The rug classified in that ruling in subheading 5703.90.0000, HTSUSA, is described therein as a "woven, tufted, 100 percent cotton rug." The ruling states that the "rug's pile surface is formed by the insertion of tufts into a pre-existing base." This is the same production process applicable to the rugs at issue, as provided in the above statement by the manufacturer.

Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the rugs at issue are classifiable as claimed by PROTESTANT in subheading 5703.90.0000, HTSUSA.


This protest should be allowed, in accordance with section 174.27 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 174.27). The tufted cotton bath mats/rugs at issue, constructed with woven cotton canvas bases, are classifiable in subheading 5703.90.0000, HTSUSA. The applicable duty rate is 7.6% ad valorem.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the PROTESTANT no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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