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HQ 963506

February 9, 2000

CLA2 RR:CR:TE 963506 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.2005

Marla Swamipersaud
Sigmatex, Inc.
641 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022

RE: Classification of towels; revocation of NY D82812

Dear Ms. Swamipersaud:

On October 8, 1998, our New York office issued to you New York Ruling Letter (NY) D82812, classifying certain towels in subheading 6307.10.2027, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), in the provision for cotton dishcloths. This letter is to inform you that upon subsequent review of that ruling we find that the classification is in error. Accordingly, we are revoking NY D82812 pursuant to the analysis which follows below.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY D82812 was published on January 5, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 1. No comments were received.


In NY D82812, the subject merchandise is referred to as “dish towels” measuring approximately 18 inches square, and made from 100 percent cotton woven fabric that is lightweight, coarse and unbleached. The “dish towels” feature four edges which are finished with an overlock stitch, and a green center stripe. It is indicated that the cloths will also be imported in bleached form.

We note that when a new sample of this merchandise was obtained from you by Customs, that sample was made from an osnaburg type fabric.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification 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.

When considering the appropriate tariff classification for merchandise such as this there are several factors which, among others, are determinative. Namely, these include the construction, yarn size and dimensions of the towels at issue. The Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories (53 F.R. 52563, at 52564 (1988), CIE 13/88 of November 23, 1988, hereafter Guidelines), state in pertinent part:

Shop towels...are always plain woven nonpile construction, made from a coarse fabric, usually an osnaburg or a similar low grade fabric, the average yarn number of which normally 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 long.

Upon examination of the subject merchandise we note its construction is typical of shop towels. The subject towel (both with respect to the sample that was obtained at the time NY D82812 was issued, and the sample recently obtained by Customs), is made from a coarse low grade fabric (in the case of the new sample, osnaburg fabric) that measures 18 inches square. As such, this merchandise falls squarely within the physical description suggested by the Guidelines for shop towels. See also, HQ 083446, dated February 23, 1990, HQ 083138, dated September 19, 1989, and HQ 083291, dated September 19, 1989, classifying similar merchandise in subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA. Accordingly, it is our determination that the subject merchandise is more appropriately classified as a shop towel in subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA.


The subject merchandise is classified in subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA, 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 applicable general column one rate of duty is 7.9 percent ad valorem and the textile quota category is 369.

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) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

NY D82812 dated October 8, 1998, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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