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 959471 - HQ 959574 > HQ 959525

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959525

February 4, 1997
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959525 RH


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.2030

Mr. Stephen W. Marlow
Tower Group International, Inc.
205 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for eyeglass cleaning cloth and vinyl carrying case; heading 4202; heading 6307; Section 102.21; Section 102.11; NAFTA; Article 509; tariff shift

Dear Mr. Marlow:

This is in reply to your letter of July 12, 1996, on behalf of your client, Itochu Canada Limited, requesting a classification ruling and country of origin verification on man-made fabric cleaning cloths for eyeglass lenses which are packaged in vinyl cases.

You provided samples for our consideration.


Your client, a Canadian business, imports textile material in rolls from Japan to make fabric cleaning cloths which are packaged in vinyl cases. The textile is a multi-filament circular knit, consisting of 50% nylon and 50% polyester. The vinyl is imported from the United States. The imported materials are manufactured in seven steps in Canada, which you describe as follows:

1. Imprint the textile using sublimation method; 2. Rolls are layered and cut into small squares; 3. All sides are hemmed and a satin label with country of origin and composition of the textile is attached;
4. Vinyl cases are layered and slit;

We take 54 inch vinyl that we slit into 5 sections in order to produce 11 inch wide rolls. We then insert in an automatic feeder to weld by high frequency the vinyl to another vinyl in order to have a cut and sealed piece that we detach from the surrounding surplus, we then hot stamp the trade mark and the country of origin i.e. made in [c]anada [sic].

5. Cases are heat sealed and printed; - 2 -

6. Cloth is pleated and inserted in individual case holder together with an information sheet;

7. Cases are packaged in a carton display box.

You claim that the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6307.10.2030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), and that the country of origin is Japan.


What are the classification and country of origin of the above merchandise?



Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs are then applied.

The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

The merchandise in question consists of two components, a cleaning cloth and a vinyl carrying case. The vinyl case is classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides, in part, for "[t]runks, suitcases, vanity cases . . . spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases . . . and similar containers . . . of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper."

The cleaning cloth, on the other hand, is classifiable in heading 6307, HTSUSA. That heading covers other made up textile articles, including floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths of subheading 6307.10.

Since the two components are classifiable under different headings, GRI 1 is not applicable. GRI 2(a) is also not applicable. GRI 2(b) states that goods consisting of more than one material, as in this case, are to be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(a) states that the heading which provides the most specific description is to be preferred to one that is more general. However, when two headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to the items in a set put up for retail sale, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific.

GRI 3(b) states:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The EN to GRI 3(b) provides in pertinent part that:

For the purpose of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Customs has ruled that a carrying bag and its contents may be classified as composite goods, with the essential character imparted by the contents. Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 956661, dated October 7, 1994 (pouch classified with hand held glass mirror); HQ 088155, dated February 14, 1991 (pouch classified with spectacle device with magnifying lens); HQ 955787, dated April 26, 1994 (carrying bag classified with boxer shorts); HQ 087280, dated July 16, 1990 (carrying bag classified with ponchos); HQ 086343, dated July 16, 1990 (carrying bag classified with windbreaker); HQ 086344, dated July 5, 1990 (carrying bag classified with coveralls).

In this case, the cleaning cloth and carrying case satisfy the description of a composite good. They are separable components which are mutually complementary to each other and form a whole. The cloth is used to remove dirt and oily smudges from eyeglass lenses and the vinyl case is used to carry and store the cloth and keep it clean. Moreover, the components would not generally be sold separately.

Pursuant to GRI 3(b), we find that the essential character in this case is clearly the cleaning cloth, the use of which to clean eyeglass lenses is the primary characteristic of the composite good. Thus, we agree with you that the cleaning cloth and vinyl carrying case are classifiable under subheading 6307.10.2030, HTSUSA.

Country of Origin

On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.

As a composite good classified in heading 6307, the cleaning cloth and vinyl carrying case fall within the scope of Section 102.21. Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each foreign material incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section."

Paragraph (e) states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section":

6307.10 The country of origin of a good classifiable under heading 6307.10 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric-making process.

You state that the fabric imported into Canada was "manufactured" in Japan, which is compatible with the above rule. Hence, the country of origin will be Japan.


The cleaning cloth and vinyl carrying case are classifiable under subheading 6307.10.2030, HTSUSA. They are dutiable at the rate of 9.5 percent ad valorem. The country of origin is Japan.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 C.F.R. 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 C.F.R. 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 C.F.R. 177.2.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: