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NY G81896

October 10, 2000

CLA-2-55:RR:NC:TA:351 G81896


TARIFF NO.: 5503.20.00

Tena M. Cogswell
Leigh Fibers, Inc.
P.O.Box 1132
Spartanburg, S.C. 29304

RE: The tariff classification of polyester staple fiber from Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, and Japan.

Dear Ms. Cogswell:

In your letter dated August 21, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You state that your company imports polyester staple fiber which has been produced in the following manner: polyester plastic bottles are collected from consumers, reground into polyester chips, and remelted. This remelted polyester is then converted into staple fiber by an extrusion process. You do not state the decitex. We assume from your letter that the fibers are not processed for spinning.

Your letter asks if this fiber, because it is from bottle waste, as you put it, can be classifiable as waste in subheading 5505.10.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Waste (including noils, yarn waste, and garnetted stock) of man-made fibers: Of synthetic fibers: Of polyesters.”

Under the HTS, Customs has classified as “waste,” products which are the by-product of a manufacturing process, generally not suitable for the ordinary and original purposes of manufacture. Waste is a refuse product and not a manufactured good in and of itself. In this case, all of the evidence you have provided indicates that the fibers are the specific (and intended) result of a deliberate manufacturing process. It is not a by-product of manufacture or the result of a mistake of manufacture. The fact that the final product is produced from regenerated or recycled products does not in and of itself make the end product “waste.”

In addition, the Explanatory Notes to the HTS define waste of heading 5505 as follows: “Fibre wastes (soft waste), such as relatively long fibres obtained as waste during the formation and processing of filaments; short fibres obtained as waste from the carding, combing and other processes preparatory to the spinning of staple fibres (e.g., noils, small broken pieces of laps, slivers or rovings).” Your product does not fall within this definition.

The applicable subheading for the polyester staple fiber will be 5503.20.00, HTS, which provides for “synthetic staple fibers, not carded, combed, or otherwise processed for spinning: Of polyesters.” The classification at the 10-digit level would depend on the decitex: 5503.20.0020, measuring less than 3.3 decitex; 5503.20.0040, 3.3 decitex or more but less than 13.2; 5503.20.0060, 13.2 decitex or more. The rate of duty in any case will be 4.5 percent ad valorem.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 212-637-7086.


Robert B. Swierupski

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