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April 22, 1999

CLA-2-63:RR:NC:TA:349 D89808


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.2005

Mr. Khalid Rashied
Rashied International Inc.
P.O. Box 661
Norcross, GA 30091

RE: The tariff classification of shop towels from Pakistan and Bangladesh

Dear Mr. Rashied:

In your letter dated March 23, 1999 you requested a classification ruling.

You submitted several samples of towels that you refer to as a “Cotton Plain Weave Towel”. All of the samples are plain woven nonpile towels made from a coarse fabric. The first sample is a plain woven towel in factory condition prior to washing, bleaching or dyeing. It measures approximately 17 x 17.5 inches. The second sample is a retail package of six plain woven, washed and bleached towels. The polybag refers to the towels as “Painter’s Towels.” The third sample is identical to the second with the exception that these towels are dyed red. The fourth sample is a retail package of twelve towels that have been formed into a roll and are held together with a paper band. The towels have been dyed red. The paper band refers to the towels as “Shop Towels” and notes their multi purpose for painting, clean up, automotive and household. All of the packaged towels, samples 2, 3 and 4 measure approximately 13-14 x 15 inches.

You have indicated that these towels are made from 100 percent cotton yarn using yarn numbers 10/s-12/s in the warp and anywhere from 6/s to 12/s in the weft. The plain woven construction is approximately 32 x 22 or 29 x 20. The fabric is woven in widths that are multiples of 18 inches. After weaving, the cloth is cut into 18 inch squares and surged on three or four sides (a selvage edge would not be surged). The towels are washed and bleached or dyed. The towels are packaged in rolls of 6, 7 or 12 towels per roll or in polybags containing 12, 20, 25, 40 or 50 towels per bag or they may be bulk packed. The bleaching, dyeing and packaging could be performed overseas or in the United States.

These towels will be sold in retail stores in the automotive, cleaning supplies or gardening sections of automotive stores such as Pep Boys and Napa, chain stores such as K-Mart and Wal-Mart, home building supply stores such as Home Depot and Lowes, gardening stores such as Hastings and Pikes and in membership stores such as Costco and Sam’s. You state that the use for these towels is in bathrooms, gardens, garages, kitchens and other parts of the house for cleaning, wiping, staining, etc. You have also enclosed two catalogs from Stout Industries, showing towels that are similar to the submitted samples being sold as shop towels in an the “Automotive Products” catalog and as paint towels in the “Paint Products” catalog.

The submitted plain woven, nonpile towels made from a coarse osnaburg or similar fabric are considered shop towels. It is your belief, however, that these towels should be classified under the provision for dustcloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths. The issues that your submission raise have been previously addressed in Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) 084799 dated September 6, 1989, 087471 dated September 21, 1990 and 088324 dated June 18, 1991. HQ 087471 stated in pertinent part:

The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories ("Textile Guidelines"), 53 FR 52563, 52564, state that shop towels are: always plain woven nonpile construction, made from a coarse fabric, usually an osnaburg or similar low grade fabric, the average yarn number of which usually falls within the 3 to 12 range.....Shop towels may be square or rectangular in shape and usually vary in size from 16 to 30 inches wide and from 16 to 32 inches wide. The instant towel is woven from a coarse fabric (osnaburg), has a yarn count of between 3 and 12, and measures approximately 17 inches by 17 inches. As such, Customs considers it to be a shop towel, a separate and distinct class of merchandise from kitchen linen and, therefore, not covered by the terms of heading 6302. Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles. Subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA, provides for shop towels dedicated for use in garages, filling stations and machine shops. As we stated with regard to subheading 6307.10.20 in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084799 dated September 6, 1989, at 2: The above?mentioned subheading is an eo nomine and not an actual use provision. It provides for the class or kind of imported articles belonging to shop towels. Shop towels, provided for in this subheading, are used in, but not limited to use in, garages, filling stations, and machine shops. Because the towels at issue are made of coarse, woven, greige fabric, they have virtually no other use than as shop towels. Here, while the instant towel will be used for general cleaning purposes and not necessarily, or perhaps at all, in garages, filling stations and machine shops, it is nevertheless the class of merchandise covered by subheading 6307.10.20 and is therefore classifiable accordingly.

We also note that the “Textile Guidelines” indicate that shop towels are usually gray, (greige) material, but may be colored, usually dull reds, blues, greens and yellows.

The applicable subheading for the shop towels will be 6307.10.2005, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: floorcloths, dishcloths, dusters and similar cleaning cloths: other... shop towels dedicated for use in garages, filling stations and machine shops: of cotton. The duty rate will be 7.9 percent ad valorem.

Shop towels fall within textile category designation 369. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of Pakistan and Bangladesh are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa. Shop towels from Pakistan are subject to Countervailing Duties. Shop Towels from Bangladesh are subject to Antidumping Duties.

The designated textile and apparel categories and their quota and visa status are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the U.S. Customs Service Textile Status Report, an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available at the Customs Web Site at WWW.CUSTOMS.USTREAS.GOV. In addition, 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 and should also be verified at the time of shipment.

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 John Hansen at 212-637-7078.


Robert B. Swierupski

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