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HQ 085237

October 19, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085237 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5407.42.00; 5903.20.2500

Mr. Barry E. Powell
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 707 Wilshire Boulevard
Suite 5320
Los Angeles, CA 90017

RE: Classification of fabric coated with plastics

Dear Mr. Powell

This is in reply to your letter of June 22, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of fabric coated with plastics, produced in South Korea, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your reference LA 89-7169-


The merchandise at issue consists of three sample pieces of fabric. All are plain woven textiles of 420 denier 100 percent grouped nylon filament yarns with a 60 by 40 count, to be imported in 60 inch widths. We assume that the nylon yarn has a tenacity, expressed in cN/tex (centinewtons per tex), not greater than 60. Number 1, colored a bright lime-yellow and labeled "COATING: PIGMENT," is coated on one side with a clear polyurethane with a coating weight of 3/4 oz/yd2. Numbers 2 and 3, colored purple and labeled "COATING: PIGMENT P/U," are coated with a pigment polyurethane with coating weights of one oz/yd2, and 1.5 oz/yd2, respectively.


Whether the fabrics are considered to be coated with plastics under the HTSUSA?


Heading 5903, HTSUSA, provides for classification of textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than tire cord covered by Heading 5902.

Note 2 of Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part:

Heading No. 59.03 applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, ... other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually Chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of colour; * * * [Emphasis added.]


The wording of Note 2(a)(1) ("cannot be seen with the naked eye") is a clear expression by the drafters of the Harmonized System that a significant, if not substantial, amount of material must be added to a fabric for it to be considered "impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The plastics material added to the fabric must be visibly distinguishable from that fabric without the use of magnification. Any change in the "feel" of the material is not taken into account. In essence, the plastics coating must alter the visual characteristic of the fabric in order for the fabric to be considered coated with plastics.

Applying the statutory test to the submitted samples, using normally corrected vision in a well lighted room, only sample No. 3 has a coating visible to the naked eye. The 3/4 oz/yd2 polyurethane coating is visible on sample No. 1 only through a change in color. The one oz/yd2 coating on sample No. 2 does further obscure the filaments, but it is our opinion that this is through a change in color caused by first pigmenting the polyurethane; the coloring of the plastic has influenced the visual aspects of the fabric. The 1.5 oz/yd2 coating on sample No. 3 obscures the filaments to the point that the individual filaments are less readily apparent, causing the coated surface character of the fabric to be markedly different from its non- coated surface.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified as follows: sample Numbers 1 and 2 under subheading 5407.42.00, HTSUSA, textile category 620, as woven fabrics of synthetic filament yarn, including woven fabrics obtained from materials of heading 5404, other woven fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of filaments of nylon or other polyamides, dyed. The statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the subheading, shall depend upon the weight of the fabric in g/m2. The applicable rate of duty is 17 percent ad valorem. Sample Number 3 is classified under subheading 5903.20.2500, HTSUSA, textile category 229, as textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902, with polyurethane, of man-made fibers, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 8.5 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category 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 issuance of the U.S. Customs


Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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