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HQ 960313

August 14, 1997
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960313 jb


TARIFF NO: 6307.90.9989

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
55 Erieview Plaza
Cleveland, OH 44114

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 4102-96-100117; all- purpose cleaning pads; coarse texture imparted by the knitted strip; heading 6307, HTSUS

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of a protest timely filed by Busa Corporation, on December 4, 1996, against your decision regarding the classification of all-purpose cleaning pads. All entries were liquidated on September 6, 1996.


The subject merchandise consists of an "all-purpose cleaning pad" composed of a plastic foam sponge encased in a tubular knit man-made fiber fabric. The pad measures approximately 2-3/4 inches wide, 4-3/8 inches long and 5/8 inch thick. As per a New York Customs Laboratory Report, the knit fabric is knitted from individual polyester fibers and the composition of the sample in percent by weight is 59 percent polyurethane plastics and 41 percent polyester fibers. The polyester is in the form of yarns (probably filament) and strip, less than one millimeter wide. This yarn and strip are knitted together to form the fabric.

The Protestant claims this merchandise was improperly classified by Customs in subheading 6307.10.2030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths: other: other. Classification is sought in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other:other: other.


What is the proper classification of the merchandise at issue?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation ( GRI). 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 in the order of their appearance.

No factual disagreement exists with respect to the fact that the subject merchandise is a composite good and that classification is based on the textile portion of the good. However, there is dispute with respect to the appropriate subheading of 6307, HTSUS, which is applicable to the subject merchandise. The competing provisions are subheading 6307.10, HTSUS, which provides for floor-cloths, dish-cloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths, and subheading 6307.90, HTSUS, which provides for other made up articles. The word "cloth" when used alone and in relation to material, generally refers to material consisting of a single layer of fabric. In HQ 085671, dated January 3, 1990, we determined that "the definition of specific purpose cloths' such as those enumerated in subheading 6307.10, is not similarly restricted, so long as the articles are used for cleaning purposes and reasonably fit the description of floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters or similar cleaning cloths".

As was stated in HQ 952491, dated November 20, 1992:

The instant items are described as "cleaning pads" instead of "cleaning cloths". However when determining a proper classification category, we look to more than the way in which an article is described. The articles in question fit into a class or kind of merchandise used for cleaning. The merchandise is constructed of polyethylene, a textile material, on the exterior and a foam material on the interior. Such a construction enhances the articles' durability and absorbency during cleaning. However, even though the instant articles are designed expressly for cleaning, they are not "cloths" as described by subheading 6307.10. Generally, "cloths" are soft, very flexible pieces of material. The articles in question, however, contain a rigid, hard surface that is not commonly recognizable as a "cloth". Moreover, they do not reasonably fit the description of similar cleaning cloths and therefore, are not classifiable under subheading 6307.10, HTSUSA.

Similarly, the subject all purpose cleaning pad does not fit the description of a cleaning cloth. The polyester knit fabric encasing the foam sponge imparts a coarse and rigid texture to the pad as a whole- without this surface, the pad's scouring capacity is compromised. The subject all purpose cleaning pad is distinguishable from the wash mitt and polishing mitts that were the subject of HQ 953558, dated March 25, 1993, in that the latter merchandise was described as consisting of "a soft and flexible material". Accordingly, subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other:other: other, is the correct classification for the subject merchandise.


The subject merchandise is classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other:other: other. The applicable rate of duty at the time of entry was 7 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be granted in full and a copy of this ruling should be appended to the CF 19 Notice of Action to satisfy the notice requirement of section 174.30(a) Customs Regulations.

In accordance with Section 3(A)(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the Protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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