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HQ 959878

March 10, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 959878 DHS


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.1000

Mr. Charles Erkus
Import Manager
Trade Am International, Inc.
6580 Jimmy Carter Blvd.
Norcross (Atlanta), GA 30071

RE: Tariff classification of cotton terry towels; Dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths; Auto detail cloths

Dear Mr. Erkus:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of September 12, 1996, sent to our New York office, wherein you inquire about altering the packaging procedures, of cotton terry towels from India, presently utilized by your company. The Chief, Textile and Apparel Branch, National Commodity Specialist Division, has forwarded your letter for our response and a review of the proper tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples have been provided for our inspection. Our response follows.


The submitted samples consist of 100 percent cotton woven terry towels. They are full terry, of one solid color, with loops on both sides and hemmed on all four sides. The towels have been rolled three to a bundle and wrapped with a paper strap. Six of the towels were measured; these measurements were found to be: 37 x 46 cm., 36 x 43 cm., 37 x 47 cm., 38 x 48 cm., 38 x 45 cm. and 38 x 46 cm.

Trade Am International, Inc. (Trade Am) imports these towels in bulk and currently repacks them, in packaging (paper strap label or poly bag) supplied by your customer, Clean Rite, Inc., in the United States. The paper strap label refers to these items as "The Detailers Choice" 3 pack Terry Towels 100% Cotton 14 in. X 17 in. (35.5 cm. X 43.1 cm.). Only one towel fits the size specified on the label. The label also indicates that the towels are "Made in India," and contains Clean Rite's name and U.S. address approximately one inch below and in the same size as the "Made in India" marking. Clean Rite, Inc. sells the towels as auto detailing towels to auto parts wholesalers, retailers, detail shops, etc. Trade Am would like to retail pack these towels in India rather than in the U.S.


I. What is the tariff classification of the towels?

II. What are the country of origin marking requirements of the towels?


I. Classification

Classification of merchandise is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Heading 6307, HTSUS, provides for other made up textile articles. According to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, at page 867, Heading 6307 covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings of Section XI or elsewhere in the nomenclature.

Note 7, Section XI, HTSUSA, states, in pertinent part:

For the purposes of this section, the expression "made up" means:

(c) Hemmed or with rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe at any of the edges, but excluding fabrics the cut edges of which have been prevented from unraveling by whipping or by other simple means;

In accordance with Note 7(c), Section XI, HTSUSA, the instant cloths have been hemmed on all four sides; therefore, for tariff classification purposes, they are "made up". The articles are not otherwise specifically provided for elsewhere in the tariff, thus classification under Heading 6307, HTSUS, is required.

The question then arises as to whether the towels in question are classifiable under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA, as dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, or subheading 6307.10.2020, HTSUSA, as bar mops. Previous importations of these towels, by Trade Am, have been entered and classified, according to a furnished copy of a C.F. 7501, under subheading 6307.10.2020, HTSUSA, as bar mops.

Heading 6307 and the applicable subheadings provide:

6307 Other made up articles, ...:

6307.10 Floor cloths, dish cloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths:

6307.10.1000 Dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, of cotton ....

6307.10.20 Other

6307.10.2020 Bar mops (measuring 46 to 57 cm. in length and 38 to 43 cm. in width) of cotton terry fabric...

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, CIE 13/88, states with respect to the size requirements specific to bar mops: "While sizes may vary, only those bar mops which are 38 to 43 centimeters in width and 46 to 57 centimeters in length fall within category 369. Tolerances are not allowed. Bar mops not within the stated dimensions are included in category 363." Not all of the towels in issue fit within these size requirements (only two of the six towels measured).

Furthermore, as seen in the cases below cotton terry cloths used for cleaning and polishing automobiles have been classified under subheading 6307.10.10, HTSUSA, as dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths.

In HQ 084794, dated September 7, 1989, we held that terry towels, measuring 38 by 40 centimeters, used principally as cleaning towels for auto detail shops was classifiable under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA. In drawing this conclusion, we noted that: "Generally, "auto detail" shops provide services for care of the exterior and interior of automobiles and vans. These services include washing and waxing the exterior, applying stripes or decals, cleaning the engine, shampooing the carpeting, and polishing the interior. The merchandise under consideration would be used to apply and remove wax, shampoo, cleaners, or other liquids or to be used as a cloth to remove dust or dirt. Other uses of a towel of this size and construction would be as a cleaning cloth to remove dirt or absorb liquids."

In HQ 952926, dated March 9, 1993, we concluded that terry towels measuring 47 centimeters by 41.5 centimeters (within the bar mop size) were more specifically provided for in subheading 6307.10.10, HTSUSA, as dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths than in subheading 6307.10.20, HTSUSA, which is the "other" provision that ultimately leads to the "bar mops" at the 10-digit level. Since this merchandise is specifically provided for as a dust cloth, mop cloth, or polishing cloth of subheading 6307.10.10, HTSUS, it could not be classifiable as a bar mop under subheading 6307.10.2020, HTSUSA.

Based upon the foregoing, the principle use of the towels in issue, and the description of these towels, makes them classifiable under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA, as dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths.

II. Country of Origin Marking

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 134) implements the country of origin marking requirements and exceptions of 19 U.S.C. 1304.

The "ultimate purchaser" is generally the last person in the U.S. who will receive the article in the form in which it was imported. 19 CFR 134.1(d). In this case, the auto parts wholesalers, retailers, detail shops, etc. will be the ultimate purchasers. Accordingly, provided these ultimate purchasers will receive the towels in the paper straps or poly bags properly indicating the country of origin of the towels, it will not matter whether the towels are packaged in the U.S. or in India.

Please note that if a locality other than the article's country of origin (in this case Clean Rite's U.S. address) appears on an imported article, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of", or other words of similar meaning. See 19 CFR 134.46. In this case, we find that the requirements of 19 CFR 134.46 will be satisfied since "Made in India" appears in the same size and approximately one inch away from Clean Rite's U.S. address. As a sample of the towels packaged in a polybag was not provided, we cannot rule whether the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 will be satisfied.


The towels in issue are classified under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for "[O]ther made up articles, ...: floor cloths, dish cloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths: Dust cloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, of cotton."
The towel is dutiable at a rate of 4.5 percent ad valorem and is subject to textile quota category 369. Provided the ultimate purchasers (i.e., the auto parts wholesalers, retailers, detail shops, etc.) will receive the towels in the paper straps or poly bags properly indicating the country of origin of the towels, it will not matter whether the towels are packaged in the United States or in India. If the towels are used in a manner inconsistent with that stated in this ruling, it may affect the classification.

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 of 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 tariff number) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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