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May 16,2000

HQ 963616

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963616 MBG


TARIFF NO.: 3926.20.9050

Mr. Jay Shynn
Kotap America Ltd.
10 Bayview Avenue
Lawrence, NY 11559

RE: Classification of warning vest made from nylon mesh fabric coated on both sides with plastics; Revocation of HQ 950212.

Dear Mr. Shynn:

On September 4, 1991, Customs issued HQ 950212 to your company, Kotap America Ltd., regarding the tariff classification of a warning vest made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) dipped, polyester mesh fabric. The warning vest was originally classified under subheading 6217.10.0030 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Upon review, Customs has determined that the warning vest was erroneously classified under subheading 6217.10.0030, HTSUSA, under the provision for other made up clothing accessories. The correct classification for the product should be under subheading 3926.20.9050, HTSUSA, based on classification as a clothing accessory of plastics. This ruling revokes HQ 950212 for the reasons set forth below.


The article at issue is a warning vest made from PVC dipped, polyester mesh fabric. The vest is completely covered on both sides by the PVC dipping. The vest is florescent orange in color and flame retardant. The reflector on the chest is made from PVC while the binding around the neck opening, arm holes, and borders is of vinyl. There is an elastic adjustable band at the bottom sides of the vest, and a hook and loop closure at the back.


What is the proper classification for a safety vest coated with polyvinyl chloride?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes (ENs), represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Legal Note 2(a)(3) to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, states that Heading 5903 applies to:

Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular) other than: (3) Products in which the textile fabric is either completely embedded in plastic or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such material, provided that such coating or covering can be seen with the naked eye with no account being taken of any resultant change in color (chapter 39). (emphasis added).

The intent of Note 2(a)(3) to Chapter 59 is to classify those products “embedded in” or “completely covered” with plastics under the headings that provide for plastics or articles of plastics because they have acquired the characteristics of plastics. The fabric comprising the article under consideration is entirely coated or covered with plastics and, therefore, that fabric would be excluded from classification in chapter 59, HTSUSA. Since the fabric from which the vest is constructed is classifiable as a plastics good in chapter 39, the vest is classifiable as an article of plastics. Thus, pursuant to GRI 1, the warning vest is classified in subheading 3926.20.9050 HTSUSA, which provides for other apparel and clothing accessory articles of plastics.


HQ 950212 is hereby revoked.

The instant warning vest, which is made from a knit textile fabric that has been completely covered with plastics, is classified in subheading 3926.20.9050, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Articles of apparel and clothing accessories (including gloves): Other: other: other.” The general column one rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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