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NY A84507

July 2, 1996

CLA-2-56:S:N:N6:350 A84507


TARIFF NO.: 5603.12.0090

Mr. D.D. Whitehead
WECI International
1904 S.E. 43rd Street
Portland, OR 97215

RE: The tariff classification of a plastic/nonwoven textile protective material, from China.

Dear Mr. Whitehead:

In your letters dated May 31 and June 14, 1996, you requested a classification ruling. The manufacturer is Jiangsu Provincial Plastic Industry Company, Jiangsu Province, China.

The subject merchandise, as represented by the instant sample is very similar to that which was the subject of NY ruling 805094 of December 15, 1994, addressed to your company. That merchandise consisted of a plastic/nonwoven protective material consisting of two distinct layers. One layer, comprising about 55% by weight, was a spunbonded textile layer composed of polypropylene man-made fibers. The material was laminated on one surface with a polyethylene plastic film comprising 45% by weight, respectively. That design combined a moisture barrier with a soft, absorbent textile layer. The overall thickness of the material was 0.007" and we presumed that the material would be imported as piece goods. The only difference between the material currently under consideration and that which was the subject of NY ruling A84507 is the fact that you now indicate that the nonwoven textile portion now comprises between 40-45% by weight with the polyurethane plastic portion comprising 55-60%. The material was informally weighed and was found to weigh approximately 60g/m2.

You now request consideration under tariff number 3920.10.0000, which provides for films of polymers of ethylene, in the apparent belief that since the product is now in greater weight of the plastic film the classification would change accordingly.

Heading 5603 provides for Nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. Your product consists of a nonwoven material that has been laminated with a plastic film. There is nothing in the legal language of the tariff that distinguishes or differentiates a component weight consideration as a criterion in classifying under heading 5603. Since there is a comfort factor imparted by the nonwoven portion, the nonwoven is considered to be present equally for the essential character of the product as a whole.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the product will be 5603.12.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated of man-made filaments, weighing more than 25g/m2 but not more than 70g/m2. The duty rate will be 7.5 percent ad valorem. The provisions under Heading 5603 have changed somewhat from how they read prior to January 1996.

This merchandise falls within textile category designation 223. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 that 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Roger J. Silvestri Director
National Commodity Specialist Division

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