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NY C80262

January 15, 1998

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:TA:350 C80262


TARIFF NO.: 5602.10.9090

Mr. Sid Grace
Grace International, Inc.
34 Garvey Road
Framingham, MA 01701

RE: The tariff classification of needleloom felt material for use in the manufacture of wiping cloths and strips for mop heads, from Slovenia.

Dear Mr. Grace:

In your letter dated September 11, 1997, and follow up letter which was received October 2, 1997, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

In your inquiry, you make reference to an earlier NY ruling (NY 864520) dated October 3, 1991 which you claim concerned similar merchandise.

Two identical representative samples were submitted which you indicate are composed of 100% cellulosic rayon staple fibers. The material, as analyzed by the New York Customs laboratory, consists of a needleloom felt that has been lightly treated on both surfaces with an application of an acrylic type plastics binder. This treatment smooths the surface of the material and facilitates the application of the printing of a diamond pattern on both surfaces, however; it does not permeate throughout the thickness of the fabric.

The fabric will be imported in rolls having widths ranging from 22 to 63 inches and lengths of approximately 100 yards. It will weigh between 170 and 300 grams per square meter in its imported condition. These weights are not a factor in the subheading classification determination.

In your current inquiry, you believe that this material is classifiable in subheading 5603.14.9090 since the old number 5603.00.9090, cited in the 1991 ruling no longer exists ( the subheadings under 5603 were radically changed in 1996). The classification on which the initial ruling was predicated was based on the information in your letter; the Customs Laboratory did not analyze the material for construction.

Your October 2nd letter indicates that the current material was made by a needling operation. This needle construction was verified by the Customs Lab and, further, the "binder" did not penetrate throughout the thickness of the material. The application of the acrylonitributadien binder is superficial and is considered secondary to the method of construction of this material.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the material will be 5602.10.9090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for needleloom felt and stitch-bonded fiber fabrics, of other than wool or fine animal hair. The rate of duty will be 11.7 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist George Barth at 212-466-5884


Robert B. Swierupski

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