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HQ 960170

April 22, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960170 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 5802.11.0000

Jean D. Duncan, CHB
Jean D. Duncan Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 20696/Atlanta Airport
Atlanta, GA 30320

RE: Classification of toweling fabric; Heading 5802; Heading 6307

Dear Ms. Duncan:

This is in response to your inquiry of December 11, 1996, requesting a tariff classification ruling for certain fabric on behalf of Unitex International, Inc., in accordance with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise at issue is either 100 percent cotton or 80 percent cotton/20 percent polyester woven terry toweling fabric. The fabric is imported in material lengths which are hemmed along the edges. The fabric is also imported in various widths. After Customs unstitched both hems, we found that one of the edges was a finished selvage before being hemmed while the other edge was a cut edge before being hemmed. The selvage on the fabric is a -inch wide portion along the edge that has no pile yarns, is woven more tightly than the remainder of the fabric, and encloses the weft yarns to prevent the edge from unraveling.


Whether the instant fabric is classifiable under Heading 5802, HTSUSA, as terry toweling fabric or as an other made up article of Heading 6307, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by 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 5802, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, terry towelings and similar woven terry fabrics, other than narrow fabrics of heading 5806. The fabrics classifiable under Heading 5802, HTSUSA, are fabrics in the piece that are not considered "made up" for purposes of tariff classification. Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up textile articles not more specifically provided for elsewhere in the tariff.

Section XI, Note 7, HTSUSA, states the following:

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

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use (or merely needing separation by cutting dividing threads) without sewing or other working
(for example, certain dusters, towels, tablecloths, scarf squares, blankets);

(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 unravelling by whipping or by other simple means;

(d) Cut to size and having undergone a process of drawn thread work;

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end and piece goods composed of two or more textiles assembled in layers, whether or not padded); or

(f) Knitted or crocheted to shape, whether presented as separate items or in the form of a number of items in length.

To be properly classifiable under Heading 6307, HTSUSA, a good must be "made up" for tariff classification purposes. According to Note 7(c), in order to be considered "made up", a good must be 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 unravelling by whipping or by other simple means.

In this instance, the subject fabric is hemmed. However, after conferring with the importer concerning the purpose of the hemming, Customs ascertained that the hemming was done to prevent unravelling and does not dedicate the fabric to a specific use. Consequently, this fabric cannot be considered "made-up" for tariff classification purposes and Note 7(c) is not applicable. See, HQ 083013, dated March 20, 1989, which dealt with irrigation dam material which was hemmed along its entire length. Customs determined that since the hemming was done for a specific utilitarian purpose and was necessary for the intended use of the merchandise, the merchandise was classifiable as an article rather than a material. See also, HQ 083862, dated June 12, 1989, which concluded that hemmed fabric used in the construction of umbrellas was not considered a "made-up" article for tariff classification purposes since the hem in the fabric served only to prevent the material from unravelling and did not dedicate the fabric to a specific use. Since the subject material is not considered "made-up", it is not classifiable under Heading 6307, HTSUSA. The material is properly classifiable under Heading 5802, HTSUSA.


Based on the foregoing the instant fabric is properly classifiable under subheading 5802.19.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for terry toweling and similar woven terry fabrics, of cotton, other. The applicable rate of duty is 10.6 percent ad valorem and the textile restraint category is 224.

The 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 internal 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 restraint requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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