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HQ 964722

March 8, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964722 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.10.2005

Mr. Masood Ahmad
First Century Textiles Inc.
P.O. Box 63211
Philadelphia, PA 19114

RE: Request for reconsideration of NY G80901: Tariff classification of shop towel

Dear Mr. Ahmad:

This is in response to a letter, dated October 1, 2000, requesting reconsideration of Customs New York Ruling (NY) G80901 which classified woven cotton shop towels under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The sample you have submitted is a 100 percent cotton woven greige towel measuring approximately 17 inches x 17.5 inches. The corners are rounded with three sides finished in overlock stitching. The fourth side is selvedge. In the original request for tariff classification the article was described as a wiping towel weighing 4 oz per square yard and constructed of 10/s yarn in the warp and weft.

In NY G80901, the subject article was classified as a “shop towel” in subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA. Under the current 2001 HTSUSA, the rate of duty under the general one column is 6.9 percent ad valorem with a corresponding textile quota category of 369. You disagree with this classification and claim that the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 6307.10.1000, HTSUSA. Under the current tariff, we presume that your intention is for the article to be classified in the provision for “Dustcloths, mop cloths and polishing cloths, of cotton, Other” at 6307.10.1090, HTSUSA. Under the 2001 HTSUSA, the general column one rate of duty is 4.3 percent and the textile category is 369.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


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 heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. The EN, although not dispositive, are used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA by providing a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

With respect to the classification of “shop towels” under the HTSUSA, the Guidelines for the Reporting of Imported Products in Various Textile and Apparel Categories, C.I.E. 13/88, November 23, 1988 (Textile Guidelines) sets forth the following:

Shop towels (category 369) are dedicated to use in garages filling stations, machine shops, etc., and are always plain woven nonpile construction, made from a coarse fabric, usually an osnaburg or similar low grade fabric, the average yarn number of which normally falls within the 3 to 12 range. However, some shop towels are from a heavier duck-type fabric. 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. Shop towels are usually gray (greige) material, but may be colored, usually dull reds, blues, greens, and yellows.

The subject towels are constructed of coarse, woven, greige fabric and are 17 inches x 17.5 inches. As such, this merchandise falls squarely within the above definition for shop towels. Although the Textile Guidelines identify “osnaburg” as common shop towel fabric, the guidelines also specify that they may be of “similar low grade fabric. Similarly, the Textile Guidelines merely state that shop towels “may” be colored in various dull colors with the average yarn number in a certain range.

It is important to note that the subheading for “shop towels”, 6207.10.2005, HTSUSA, is an eo nomine and not an actual use provision. It provides for the class or kind of imported articles belonging to shop towels. As we stated in Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 084799, dated September 6, 1989, “Shop towels, provided for in this subheading, are used in, but not limited to use in, garages, filling stations, and machine shops.” In this ruling, coarse woven cloths of greige fabric, intended for use in the printing industry to wipe and absorb surplus ink were classified as “shop towels” under subheading 6307.10.2015, HTSUSA. In HQ 085571, dated December 7, 1989, towels of loosely woven, coarse, greige fabric, to be used as polishing cloths to wipe down brass, marble, etc., were, nevertheless, classified as “shop towels” under subheading 6307.10.2015, HTSUSA. See, also, HQ 087471, dated September 21, 1990, wherein woven cotton towels of osnaburg fabric were not classifiable as kitchen linen of heading 6302, HTSUSA, but were properly classified as “shop towels” of 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA; HQ 088324, dated June 18, 1991, classified coarse towels of osnaburg fabric marketed to retail consumers under the logo “Grease Getters”™ as “shop towels” under subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA.

In view of the foregoing, it is our determination that the subject merchandise was correctly classified in NY G80901 as “shop towels” in subheading 6307.10.2005, HTSUSA.


NY G80901, dated August 25, 2000, is hereby affirmed.

The subject merchandise is correctly 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 general column one duty rate is 6.9 percent ad valorem. The textile 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 renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your 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 applicable to textile merchandise, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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