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NY 814191

September 28, 1995

CLA-2-59:R:N3:350 814191


TARIFF NO.: 5911.40.0000

Mr. Daniel K. Astin
Donohue and Donohue
232 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: The tariff classification of sludge dewatering filtering material, to be made into press belts, from Finland.

Dear Mr. Astin:

In your letter dated August 25, 1995, on behalf of Filter Belts, Inc., Winthrop, Maine, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The manufacturer is Tamfelt, Finland.

The merchandise in question, as illustrated by the submitted samples, consists of a textile fabric composed of 100% monofilament polyester yarns weighing more than 650 g/m2. We note, per a recent telephone conversation with your office, that the material will be imported in continuous lengths (220 feet) from the factory in Finland and will contain a linking device attached to each end. After its importation into the United States, the material will be further cut one or more times to smaller lengths to suit the specific needs of the individual importers. This will necessitate, at the very least, the addition of one or more linking devices to enable the finished belts to fulfill their ultimate applications.

Additionally, your correspondence indicates, that after importation, the material will be altered to form a finished press belt. That is, it will be cut to the appropriate belt size, heated, sealed and doped on the edges. Finally, again, urethane reinforced stainless steel clipper closures will be installed on the cut ends of the belt.

These belting materials, which differ mainly with respect to weight or unit flow expressed in CFR (cubic feet per minute) and undergo further manufacturing do not, as you suggest in your letter, meet the tariff inference in subheadings 5911.31/32, which imply that a product classified therein is ready to use without any further fabrication for its intended purpose of being used in various presses to separate solids from liquids in waste-water treatment plants as well as various chemical plants.

You supplied copies of two somewhat early NY HTS tariff rulings (837612 and 839284) as respects the classification of similar merchandise, but which was cut to exact size. We note that these rulings were issued in February and April 1989, shortly after the implementation of the Harmonized Tariff System. It has been a subsequent practice however, that "belting" material of this type must be closed loop, endless or fitted with linking devices in order for classification to be considered in either subheading 5911.31/ or 5911.32. Such headings are rather specific with respect to this kind of merchandise. Additionally, we wish to note, that there are at present two pending court cases involving this type of commodity.

As such, the applicable subheading for the material, in its imported condition, will be 5911.40.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like. The rate of duty will be 12.5 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist George Barth at 212-466-5884.


Roger J. Silvestri

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