United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 956912 - HQ 956975 > HQ 956956

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956956

September 23, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 956956 SK


TARIFF NO.: 5911.10.2000

William J. Maloney
Rode & Qualey
295 Madison Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017

RE: Classification of cladding fabric; metalized textile fabric for making electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding gaskets; classification in heading 5911, HTSUSA, mandates that the fabric be for "technical use"; the fabric must also be one of the fabrics enumerated in Note 7(a)(i)-(vi) to Chapter 59; Note 7 (a)(i) does not require that coating be visible to the naked eye; HRL 952421 (5/14/93).

Dear Mr. Maloney:

This is in response to your letter of October 25, 1993, on behalf of Schlegel Corporation, requesting a binding classification ruling for cladding fabric. Representative samples were submitted to Customs for examination.


The subject merchandise consists of textile fabrics (cladding fabric) that have been plated with metal, either silver or a silver/copper combination. The plated fabrics are used to make gasket material by covering or encapsulating urethane foam that has been continuously molded into various cross-sectional shapes. These conductive shielding gaskets are used to prevent leakage of electromagnetic waves from electrical machinery and apparatus.

Four sets of sample swatches were submitted to this office and labeled Exhibits A, B, C and D. "A" is a woven ripstop nylon plated with silver. "B" and "C" are both of nonwoven nylon plated with silver. "D" is a nonwoven nylon plated with silver and subsequently plated with copper. All materials will be imported in the piece. These materials have been electrolytically plated with metal. The metal was deposited through chemical means. These samples were submitted to the New

York Customs laboratory for analysis. The lab report confirmed that the samples were only plated with metal, and no plastic matrix or additional coating substances were involved.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification will be determined by the terms of the headings, and any relative section or chapter notes.

Chapter 5911, HTSUSA, provides for textile products and articles for technical uses so long as they are specified in Note 7 to Chapter 59. Note 7 to Chapter 59 reads:

"Heading 5911 applies to the following goods, which do not fall in any other heading of Section XI:

(a) Textile products in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape (other than those having the character of the products of headings 5908 to 5910), the following only:

(i) Textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined woven fabrics, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for other technical purposes;

(ii) Bolting cloth;

(iii) Straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, of textile material or human hair;

(iv) Flat woven textile fabric with multiple warp or weft, whether or not felted, impregnated or coated, of a kind used in machinery or other technical purposes;

(v) Textile fabric reinforced with metal, of a kind used for technical purposes;

(vi) Cords, braids and the like, whether or not coated, impregnated or reinforced with metal, of a kind used in industry as packing or lubricating materials.

(b) Textile articles (other than those of headings 5908 to 5910) of a kind used for technical purposes (for example,
textile fabrics and felts, endless or fitted with linking devices), of a kind used in paper-making or similar machines (for example, for pulp or asbestos-cement), gaskets, polishing discs and other machinery parts)."

In order for a fabric to be classified in heading 5911, HTSUSA, two prerequisites need be met: 1) the fabric must be for technical use; and 2) the fabric must be one of the fabrics enumerated in Note 7(a) (i) through (vi). In the instant case, the subject fabrics satisfy both requirements. The fabrics are used in the manufacture of EMI shielding gaskets and panels which are incorporated into electrical machinery and apparatus so as to prevent electromagnetic radiation from escaping into the environment. This office has previously determined that similar fabric, also used in the manufacture of EMI and glare shields for video display terminals, is deemed "for technical use." See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 952421, dated May 14, 1993. Secondly, the subject fabrics are described by Note 7 (a) (i) to Chapter 59 which requires that the textile fabric be "coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material" [emphasis added]. The subject fabric consists of woven and nonwoven nylon covered with silver or silver and copper. Based on the foregoing, the subject fabrics are classifiable under subheading 5911.10.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, other textile fabrics for technical use, covered with metal plating.

While Note 7(a)(i) to Chapter 59 requires that fabric classifiable in heading 5911 be "coated, covered or laminated" with rubber, leather or other materials, there is no requirement that such coating be visible to the naked eye. The visibility requirement is explicitly set forth in Note 2(a)(1) and Note 5(a) to Chapter 59, which states that heading 5903 and 5907 provide for textile fabrics in which coating can be "seen with the naked eye." This language is absent from Note 7(a)(i). The visibility language is similarly omitted from the Explanatory Notes to heading 5911. It is this office's opinion, based on an analysis of the Legal Notes to Chapter 59 taken in their entirety, that the visibility requirement was intentionally omitted from the language of Note 7(a)(i) and no such requirement shall be imputed.


The subject textile fabrics (cladding fabric), plated with either silver or a silver/copper combination, are classifiable under subheading 5911.10.2000, HTSUSA which provides for "[T]extile products and articles, for technical uses, specified in note 7 to this chapter: textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined
woven fabrics, coated covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for card clothing, and similar fabrics of a kind used for other technical purposes: other... ," dutiable at a rate of 7.5 percent ad valorem.

Due to the nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification), your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: