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NY H89288

April 8, 2002

CLA-2-59:RR:NC:TA:350 H89288


TARIFF NO.: 5911.40.0000

Mr. Rob Smith
Alliance Customs Clearance, Inc.
5799 Broadmoor Drive
Suite 500
Mission, KS 66202

RE: The tariff classification of nonwoven filter material from Finland

Dear Mr. Smith:

In your letter dated March 6, 2002, on behalf of Delaval, Inc., Kansas City, MO, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Three representative samples were submitted and identified as: K620 80 00; K622 60 00, and K628 80 30. Their furnished specifications from Ahlstrom Tampere OY, the Finnish manufacturer, are given in the table below.

Grade of the nonwoven
Ready product
K 620 80 00
10% cellulose
90% polyester fibres, plus binder
K 622 60 00
20% cellulose
80% polyester fibres, plus binder
K 628 80 30
10% cellulose
83% polyester fibres,
7% viscose fibres, blue plus binder

There is a blend of various fiber lengths and diameters in the respective grades. You mention cellulose, but it not clear if this is a wood pulp fiber. However, from the low percentages of these fibers, they would not have an effect on the classification of the goods.

The manufacturer describes the manufacture of the nonwovens as a wetlaid process, that all the raw materials, fibers and acrylate binder, are placed in the water at the beginning of the process. There follows the web forming and first drying, binder bonding and drying plus curing, finishing, slitting and packing.

Your letter goes on to say that “From the large imported rolls, the material is folded, cut, and sewn into filters at Delaval’s facility in Kansas City.” The filters are used for milking equipment to strain the milk after it is milked from the cow and prior to it going into the milk tank for cooling. We note that Delaval has a web site – www.delaval.com – that touches on some of the functions of these filters.

Although the subject materials are used in filtration, which is a technical use application, you request classification consideration as nonwovens under heading 5603. You cite Headquarters ruling HQ959276 as the basis for your claim. The Headquarters ruling revoked NY A80354 in which rolls of, according to your letter, like goods from the same manufacturer were reclassified from filter material under subheading 5911.40.0000 to nonwovens under 5603.13.0090. You claim Delaval, Inc., is importing the same material in the same condition as Ahlstrom Filtration, Inc., which was the importing party of the goods that was the subject of the Headquarters ruling.

You also make reference to GRI 2(a) in that Headquarters, in their revocation ruling (HQ959276), considered the therein subject goods to be material and not an article, thereby saying that GRI 2(a) does not apply. However, we note Headquarters ruling HQ086435 in where imported yarns that had to be further manufactured by twisting and braiding to make packing braids were, by virtue of GRI 2(a), considered to be unfinished packing braid under 5911 and not under one of the subheadings for yarns.

It is our understanding or belief that it was Headquarters position that the therein (HQ959276) subject goods had to and did undergo further manufacturing processes before being actually used in filtration applications. Further, we note the ascribed classification therein was for nonwovens of filament fibers. Your goods are of staple length fibers.

The “technical use” aspects of the goods apparently were never a point of discussion. Filtration machinery connotes technical use. Components of filtering machines likewise involve the concept of “technical use”. The subject materials of this letter have only to be cut and sewn to the desired shape for particular filtering apparatus. Nothing further has to be done.

The nonwoven materials, imported as rolls, were designed for technical use applications. As such they are excluded from consideration under tariff heading 5603 by note (ij) under the EXCEPT heading to the Explanatory Notes to 56.03.

The applicable subheading for the subject nonwoven goods designed for technical use and imported without the need for further processing will be 5911.40.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Straining cloth . . . or the like . . .. The rate of duty will be nine 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 George Barth at 646-733-3044.


Robert B. Swierupski

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