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March 4, 1999

CLA-2-60:RR:NC:TA:351 D88452


TARIFF NO.: 6001.92.0040

Ms. Renee L. Hoem
Columbia Sportswear Company
6600 North Baltimore
Portland, OR 97203

RE: The tariff classification of knit fabric from Taiwan

Dear Ms. Hoem:

In your letter dated February 9, 1999, you requested a classification ruling.

You submitted samples of a knit fabric in its five stages of production. You also submitted a specification sheet and a laboratory analysis of the construction of the fabric. The information which you submitted is as follows:

Fabric swatch #1 - the fabric in the loom state Fabric swatch #2 - the fabric as dyed
Fabric swatch #3 - the fabric “raised” (we assume you are referring to the visible raised loops) Fabric swatch #4 - the fabric is sheared
Fabric swatch #5 - the fabric is in its finished imported condition, laminated.

Your specification sheet disclosed that the fabric is made of 100 percent spun polyester yarn. In your letter you state that the fabric is “a rib knit fabric constructed with two different yarns which are integrally knitted into the structure of the base fabric”. The enclosed laboratory report from ACTS Testing Labs states: “if either of these yarns are removed, the integral structure of the fabric would make the fabric unusable”. The laboratory report also stated: “...the fabric is a rib knit construction with an extra texturized yarn (used to make the loops) integrally knitted into the structure. Both the spun yarn and the texturized yarn can be removed from the fabric. However, if either of the yarns are removed, the integral structure of the fabric is unknitted and the fabric structure no longer exists.”

In your letter you claim that the fabric is not a pile because all of the threads (yarns) are essential to the base fabric. You refer to Headquarters letter 084317 where the fabric at issue was composed of three yarns. In that Headquarters letter the fabric was determined to be a pile fabric. You draw the conclusion that all fabrics, in order to be pile fabrics, must have an “extra” yarn dedicated to forming the pile. This is not the case. The laboratory report which you submitted with your ruling request confirms the presence of a loop made by the texturized yarn. The loop is formed during the knitting of the fabric. The loop is the direct result of the knitting process and not the result of further processing (ie., brushing).

You cite Tilton Textile Corp. V. United States, 77 Cust. Ct.27, C.D. 4670 (1976) as follows:

“[What] is termed a ‘nap’ or ‘napped fabrics’ is produced by the raising of some of the fibers of the threads which compose the basic fabric, whereas the ‘pile’ on ‘pile fabrics’ must be the raising at intervals, in the form of loops, the entire thickness of extra threads introduced into, but not essential to the basic fabric, which thus form an ‘uncut pile’.”

By citing this case, you again infer that an extra yarn must be present to form the pile. As your fabric does not have an extra yarn, you claim that the fabric is not pile fabric. The Tilton Textile C.D. involved the classification of woven pile fabric. The merchandise at hand is knit fabric. The methodology for creating woven pile fabric differs from that used to create knit pile fabric. Therefore, conclusions drawn from the Tilton C.D. cannot automatically be assumed to apply equally and identically to knit fabric.

Your laboratory report states that the extra texturized yarn makes the loops. Loops are what, in the initial stages of production, create the pile for certain pile fabrics, but not for all. There is more than one manner in which pile fabric is formed. The Explanatory Note for HTS heading 6001, in describing what is covered by the heading states: The following methods of production are those mainly used:

1.) A circular knitting machine produces a knitted fabric in which, by means of an additional yarn, protruding loops are formed; afterwards the loops are cut to form pile...

2.) A special warp knitting machine knits two fabrics face to face with a common pile yarn; the two fabrics are then separated by cutting to produce two knitted fabrics with a cut pile;

3.) Textile fibers from a carded sliver are inserted into the loops of a knitted ground fabric as it is formed (‘long pile’ fabrics);

4.) Textile yarn to form loops (‘imitation terry fabrics’) (see General Explanatory Note). Such fabrics have rows of chain stitches on the back of the fabric and they differ from the pile fabrics of heading 58.02, which are characterized by rows of stitches having the appearance of running stitches along the length of the back of the fabric.”

The above methods of production are not all inclusive. Of the four methods listed, the last, “textile yarn to form loops” most closely equates the type of fabric you have presented for classification. It is important to note that it is the existence of loops as the fabric comes from the knitting frame, not the presence of an extra yarn, which is a determining factor in classifying pile fabric.

In examining the sample swatches submitted, it is clear that loops exist at the loom state of production. They are pronounced and easily visible. (Headquarters ruling 959801, November 7, 1997 noted).

In your letter you state that you believe that the fabric is properly classified under the provisions of HTSUS 5903.20, as the fabric is laminated. Classification in Chapter 59 is precluded by virtue of Chapter Note 1 to Chapter 59 which states:

“Except where the context otherwise requires, for the purposes of this chapter the expression “textile fabrics” applies only (emphasis added) to the woven fabrics of chapters 50 to 55 and headings 5803 and 5806, the braids and ornamental trimmings in the piece of heading 5808 and the knitted or crocheted fabrics of heading 6002.”

The fabric is a pile fabric of heading 6001 and therefore is excluded from classification in Chapter 59.

The applicable subheading for the fabric will be 6001.92.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for pile fabrics, other, of man-made fibers, other, other. The duty rate will be 18.4 percent ad valorem.

Man-made pile fabric falls within textile category designation 224. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. 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 available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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 Camille Ferraro at 212-637-7086.


Robert B. Swierupski

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