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HQ 956662

November 16, 1994
CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956662


TARIFF NO.: 6210.10.4010

U.S. Customs Service
Assistant District Director
Commercial Operations
610 S. Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60607

RE: Request for Further Review of Protest No. 3901-93-102128, October 29, 1993, concerning the classification of disposable garments

Dear Sir:

This is response to the protest that was timely filed by John V. Carr & Son, on behalf of Laivan Corporation, against your decision regarding the tariff classification of certain disposable garments. A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise at issue is a disposable surgical gown that has long sleeves with knitted textile cuffs, a full opening in the rear which is secured with plastic ties and plastic snap tab neck closures. The surgical gown is constructed of a lightweight nonwoven spun-bond scrim of man-made fibers which is bonded or laminated to a plastics film.

The protestant contends that the merchandise at issue consists of disposable apparel made up of plastic designed for use in hospitals. The protestant further states that the purpose of the gowns is to provide a protective barrier which prevents blood and other body fluids from contacting the skin during medical procedures.

The merchandise was liquidated under subheading 6210.10.4010 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for garments, made up of fabrics of headings 5602 or 5603. The protestant entered the merchandise under subheading 3926.20.5050, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.


Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable in Heading 3926, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastic, or in Heading 6210, HTSUSA, as garments made up of fabrics of 5602 or 5603?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

There are two headings that are possibly applicable to the subject merchandise. These two headings are Heading 6210, HTSUSA, which provides for garments, made up of fabrics of heading 5602, 5603, 5903, 5906 or 5907 and Heading 3926, HTSUSA, which is the provision for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, although not legally binding, are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 6210, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

With the exception of babies' garments of heading 62.09, this heading covers all garments made up of felt or nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, or of textile fabrics (other than knitted or crocheted fabrics) of heading
59.03, 59.06 or 59.07, without distinction between male or female wear.

In order to ascertain if the subject merchandise is classifiable in Heading 6210, HTSUSA, Customs must initially determine if it is made up of fabrics of Heading 5603, HTSUSA, which provides for nonwovens. Chapter Note 3, Chapter 56, HTSUSA, states the following:

Headings 5602 and 5603 cover respectively felt and nonwovens, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics or rubber whatever the nature of these materials (compact or cellular).

The instant merchandise is made of a nonwoven material that is laminated with a plastics material. Note 3, Chapter 56, HTSUSA, also provides for when a nonwoven laminated to a plastic will not be classifiable in Heading 5603, HTSUSA; the instant merchandise does not fit into any of the provided exclusions. Therefore, the instant merchandise fits squarely within the provision of Chapter 56, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing, the disposable garments at issue are classifiable under subheading 6210.10.4010, HTSUSA, as a garment made up of the fabric of heading 5603. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action.

In accordance with Section 3(A)(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 entry 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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