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NY G83557

November 14, 2000

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:3:353 G83557


TARIFF NO.: 3926.20.9050

Ms. Sheila Malloy
Design Systems
75 Frontenac Drive
Markham, ON
Canada L3R 6H2

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of a belt from Canada; Article 509

Dear Ms. Malloy:

In your letter dated October 20, 2000 you requested a ruling on the status of a belt under the NAFTA.

The submitted sample is a Style 946 Belt that is approximately 1 3/8 inches in width. The belt is constructed of an overlay of knit 50% polyester/50% cotton fabric that is affixed to a nonwoven polyester-coated paper. The base of the belt is constructed of a cellular PVC material that coats a backing of knit 75% polyester/25% cotton fabric. The belt features brass eyelets and a cast iron buckle. There is an approximately ½ inch wide nonwoven polyester/rayon fabric in the center of the belt, which reinforces the eyelets.

The knit 50% polyester/50% cotton fabric for the overlay is of Canadian origin; the nonwoven polyester-coated paper to which it is affixed is of Korean origin. The nonwoven polyester/rayon fabric at the center of the belt is of German origin. The cellular PVC coated knit 75% polyester/25% cotton fabric that creates the base of the belt is of Korean origin. The brass eyelets are of USA origin and the cast iron belt buckle is of Canadian origin. The components for the belt are cut to shape in Canada, and assembled and sewn in Canada.


The belt is composed of knit fabric, nonwoven fabric, paper and a cellular PVC material that coats a backing of polyester/cotton fabric.

When goods are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, GRI 3 provides in pertinent part that:

The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more specific description of the goods.

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

As the belt is made of more than one material and is classifiable under multiple headings, it cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a). GRI 3(b) requires that the article be classified by reference to its essential character.

While the fabric overlay adds a significant decorative effect, it is merely an embellishment. In terms of bulk, the cellular PVC coated knit 75% polyester/25% cotton fabric base far surpasses the fabric overlay and gives the item its form. In the instant case, it is the PVC coated fabric that girds the waist and thus constitutes the article known as a belt. Consequently, the PVC coated fabric base constitutes the essential character of the belt in question.

Chapter 59 note 2(a)(5), states that:

2. Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) 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:

(5) Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 39)

The knit 75% polyester/25% cotton fabric backing for the cellular PVC material is used merely for reinforcing purposes and the Style 946 Belt is therefore classified in Chapter 39.

The applicable subheading for the Style 946 Belt will be 3926.20.9050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), 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 rate of duty will be 5% ad valorem.


Each of the non-originating materials used to make the Style 946 Belt has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under the HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/39.10. The belt will also be subject to a Regional Value Content (RVC) requirement of 60% under the Transaction Value Method or 50% under the Net Cost Method as required under the rule applicable to the belt. Assuming the goods are eligible for preferential treatment under the NAFTA, the merchandise will be entitled to a Free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181). Because of insufficient information in your ruling request, Customs has not addressed the Regional Value Content (RVC) of the subject goods. If you desire a ruling regarding the RVC of your goods and their eligibility for NAFTA preferential treatment, the information noted in Section 181.93(b) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181.93(b)), to the Director, Commercial Rulings Division, Headquarters, U.S. Customs Service, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229, along with a copy of this letter.

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

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 Kenneth Reidlinger at 212-637-7084.


Robert B. Swierupski

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