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 > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 958871 - HQ 959149 > HQ 958963

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 958963

April 3, 1997
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958963 jb


TARIFF NO.: 5607.49.2500

Shannon McNally
New England Fishing Gear, Inc.
200 Spaulding Turnpike
Portsmouth, NH 03801

RE: Request for Reconsideration of NY 817044; classification of twisted polypropylene cordage; chapter 56

Dear Ms. McNally:

This is in response to your letter, received by our New York office, dated January 10, 1996, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 817044, dated December 29, 1995, which classified twisted polypropylene cordage in heading 5607, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated. We also note that although in your original letter (in response to which NY 817044 was issued) you referred to the item as "polypropylene", the subject letter dated January 10, 1996, refers to the item as "polyethylene". A sample of the merchandise was obtained from the original classification ruling request submitted to Customs.


For the purposes of this ruling we will assume that the cordage is the same as the original sample submitted to this office. If this assumption is incorrect you should contact this office with the appropriate facts. The original sample consisted of a twisted three-stand polypropylene cordage approximately 10 millimeters in diameter. Each of the strands was approximately 5 millimeters in diameter and was made of eleven twisted strips of polypropylene material. Each of these eleven twisted strips was twisted into an apparent width of approximately 2 millimeters. The strips were fibrillated, probably in the process of twisting, into visible interconnecting fibrils.

In your original letter you referred to the sample as a " three strand, split film, polypropylene cordage made up of over 70 percent by weight of plastics". In NY 817044, the subject merchandise was classified in subheading 5607.49.2500, HTSUS. You disagree with this determination. In your opinion the subject merchandise is more accurately described as split film polypropylene.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI's will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Heading 5404, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, strip and the like of synthetic textile materials of an apparent width not exceeding 5mm. Heading 5405, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, strip and the like of artificial textile materials of an apparent width not exceeding 5mm. In the case of the subject merchandise, the strips in the strand are classifiable in either heading 5404 or 5405, HTSUS.

The EN to headings 5404 and 5405, HTSUS, state that strip and the like, of synthetic textile materials, is flat, of a width (that is, in the folded, flattened, compressed or twisted state) not exceeding 5mm, either produced as such by extrusion or cut from wider strips or from sheets. Additionally, in the opinion of Customs, strip of headings 5404 and 5405 is considered "filament yarn" based on the language of headings 5407 and 5408, HTSUS, which refers to filament yarn as including materials of heading 5404 and 5405, HTSUS.

Chapter 56, HTSUS, provides for twine, cordage, ropes and cables, among other things. Subheading 5607.49, HTSUSA, is the provision for polypropylene twine, cordage, ropes and cables. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN) to heading 5607, HTSUS, state that "[t]his group also includes twine, cordage, ropes and cables obtained from fibrillating strip which has been more or less completely split into filaments by twisting". In HQ 083629, dated March 26, 1990, Customs ruled that fibrillation requires a strip to be split into visible interconnecting fibrils. Furthermore, in HQ 089586, dated September 12, 1991, Customs determined that the methods by which plastic strips may be fibrillated, that is, split longitudinally, included, the physical twisting process.

In the case of the subject merchandise, the strips were fibrillated, probably in the process of twisting into visible interconnecting fibrils. Additionally, the three stand rope is twisted and consists of three strands made up of eleven twisted strips, each of which was twisted into a width of approximately 2 millimeters. Accordingly, as this strip is less than 5mm in width, and is considered a textile, rope made of such yarn is properly classified in heading 5607, HTSUS.


The subject twisted polypropylene cordage was properly classified in NY 817044.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client 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 the 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, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: