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HQ 963115

December 27, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 963115 RH


TARIFF NO.: 5407.69.1060

George R. Tuttle, Esq.
Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 1160
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: Request for Reconsideration of NY B86497; Classification of woven synthetic fabric

Dear Mr. Tuttle:

This is in reply to your letter of November 21, 1997, on behalf of Epson America, Inc., requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) B86497, dated July 30, 1997. In that ruling, Customs classified woven synthetic fabrics in subheading 5407.69.1060 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

You contend that the material is properly classified under subheading 5911.10.2000, HTSUS, as other textile fabric of a kind used for technical purposes.


A thorough description of the merchandise as stated in NY B86497 reads:

The submitted sample, identified as Epson part S041132, is an unbleached plain woven fabric composed of 100% filament polyester. It contains 20.9 single yarns per centimeter in the warp and 18.9 single yarns per centimeter in the filling. The fabric is constructed using 250 denier non-textured yarns in the warp and 300 denier textured yarns in the filling. Weighing 190 g/m², this product will be imported in 42 centimeter
widths. The fabric has been coated with a mixture of alumina and silica, however the coating is not visible to the naked eye. The product will be imported in 3 meter rolls and will be used as a media for printing in conjunction with an ink jet printer. The coating functions to increase image clarity and facilitate image retention.


Is the fabric classifiable as woven synthetic fabrics under heading 5407, HTSUS, or as textile fabric of a kind used for technical purposes under heading 5911, HTSUS?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI's will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

Additionally, the Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the scope and content of the nomenclature at the international level. They represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. While not treated as dispositive, the EN are to be given considerable weight in Customs interpretation of the HTSUS. It has, therefore, been the practice of the Customs Service to consult the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUS.

Chapter 5911, HTSUS, provides for textile products and articles for technical uses so long as they are specified in Note 7 to Chapter 59. Note 7 to Chapter 59 reads:

Heading 5911 applies to the following goods, which do not fall in any other heading of Section XI:

Textile products in the piece, cut to length or simply cut to rectangular (including square) shape (other than those having the character of the products of headings 5908 to 5910), the following only:

(i) Textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined woven fabrics, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for other technical purposes;

(ii) Bolting cloth;

(iii) Straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, of textile material or human hair;

(iv) Flat woven textile fabric with multiple warp or weft, whether or not felted, impregnated or coated, of a kind used in machinery or other technical purposes;

(v) Textile fabric reinforced with metal, of a kind used for technical purposes;

(vi) Cords, braids and the like, whether or not coated, impregnated or reinforced with metal, of a kind used in industry as packing or lubricating materials.

(v) Textile articles (other than those of headings 5908 to 5910) of a kind used for technical purposes (for example, textile fabrics and felts, endless or fitted with linking devices), of a kind used in paper-making or similar machines (for example, for pulp or asbestos-cement), gaskets, polishing discs and other machinery parts).

You correctly state that the term "for technical uses" is not defined in the section or chapter notes, but the EN provide guidance as to the scope of that phrase. The EN to heading 5911 read, in part:

The textile products and articles of this heading present particular characteristics, which identify them as being for use in various types of machinery, apparatus, equipment or instruments or as tools or parts of tools.

You argue that the EN apply to this case because the imaging cloth, in its imported condition, is ready for use as a medium for having images imprinted in inkjet printers connected to “ADP” machines. You further argue that by virtue of its cut-to-size shape, its special coating and use, the imaging cloth falls within the scope of heading 5911, HTSUS.

Moreover, you state that the transparent coating on the imaging cloth consists of a mixture of alumina and silica, which enables the canvas to function as an image receptor and retainer. You state that the coating is essential to allow the imaging cloth to perform its intended function. Without this coating, the imaging would be faint, blurred and unacceptable for practical and commercial purposes.

We disagree that the fabric is of a kind used for technical purposes. In our opinion, the ink jet canvas cloth is a printing media. The jet printers can accommodate a host of printing media such as transfer paper, transparencies, decal film photo paper, cut fabric sheets and regular paper sheets, none of which are considered for technical use. Accordingly, we find that the inkjet printer imaging cloth was properly classified as woven synthetic fabric under subheading 5407.69.1060, HTSUS, in NY B86497.


NY B86497 is AFFIRMED. The inkjet printer imaging cloth is classified under subheading 5407.69.1060, HTSUS, as woven synthetic fabric. It is dutiable at the general column one rate of duty at 15.5 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 620.

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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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