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HQ 962494

August 18, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962494 RH


TARIFF NO. 5806.32.2000

Mr. Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: Request for Review of NY D85617; Ribbon Tape

Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

This is in reply to your letter of January 6, 1999, on behalf of Alfred Angelo, requesting review of New York Ruling Letter (NY) D85617, dated December 9, 1998, concerning the classification of polyester jacquard "ribbon tape."

Initially, we note that the holding and principles set forth in NY D85617 were correct, based on the facts presented in that ruling. This ruling is based on new facts and, therefore, NY D85617 is not subject to modification or revocation under 19 U.S.C. §1625(c) and 19 CFR §177.9.


A description of the ribbon tape in NY D85617 reads as follows:

The item submitted is described as a jacquard ribbon tape. The tape is a woven jacquard strip of fabric measuring approximately ½ inch in width. The name "Alfred Angelo" is woven into the tape
at spaced intervals. You state that the tape is made of polyester fiber and is intended to be sewn into the neckline of a dress. The item in fact, could best be described as labels in the piece.

Based on the explanation that the tape is "sewn into the neckline of a dress", Customs classified it under subheading 5807.10.0520 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for labels, badges and similar articles of textile materials.

New evidence was received in your January 6 submission, specifically a sample of a dress with the ribbon tape sewn inside. It is obvious from examining the dress that the ribbon tape is made into loops and sewn inside the neckline of the dress so that it can be hooked over the top portion of a clothes hanger to prevent the dress from slipping. The ribbon tape is clearly not a label.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is to be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes and, provided that the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs.

Heading 5806, HTSUSA, covers narrow woven fabrics. Note 5(a), Chapter 58, HTSUSA, defines narrow woven fabrics for the purposes of heading 5806 as follows:

(a) Woven fabrics of a width not exceeding 30 cm, whether woven as such or cut from wider pieces, provided with selvages (woven, gummed or otherwise made) on both edges;

Tubular woven fabrics of a flattened width not exceeding 30 cm; and

Bias binding with folded edges, of a width when unfolded not exceeding 30 cm.

We note that although you refer to the material as “ribbon tape”, you recommend classification of the material under subheading 5806.32.20, HTSUSA, which provides for “other” narrow woven fabrics, and not under subheading 5806.32.10, HTSUSA, which provides for “ribbons.”

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, and provide guidance as to the scope of the tariff provisions. The ENs to 5806 relating to ribbons state, in part, that:

Ribbons are usually of silk, wool, cotton or man-made fibres, whether or not containing elastomeric yarn or rubber thread, and are used in underwear, in women’s apparel, in the manufacture of hats and fancy collars, as medal ribbons, as a decorative binding material, in furnishing, etc.

In our opinion, the ribbons described in the EN are used to provide decoration, embellishment or ornamentation to an article, whereas the material in question serves a purely functional purpose, i.e., to form loops that can be hooked over a clothes hanger to prevent the dress from slipping off the hanger. Accordingly, we agree with you that the material is classifiable under subheading 5806.32.2000, HTSUSA, as other narrow woven fabric.


The ribbon tape is classifiable under subheading 5806.32.2000, HTSUSA, as narrow woven fabric of man-made fibers. It is dutiable at the general column one rate of duty at 6.5 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 229.

The designated 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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) categories, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

A copy of both rulings (NY D85617 and HQ 962494) should be provided to the port at the time of entry.


John Durant, Director

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