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NY I80898

May 24, 2002

CLA-2-59:RR:NC:TA:350 I80898


TARIFF NO.: 5911.40.000

Mr. Denni Awana
Inter-Orient Services
1455 Monterey Pass Road #205
Monterey Park, CA 91754

RE: The tariff classification of woven substrata for filter media membrane, from China.

Dear Mr. Awana:

In your letter dated April 8, 2002, on behalf of Coast Pad & Trim Corp., Vernon, CA, which was made at the request of Texlon Corp., Torrance, CA, the importer to be, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two representative, full width, woven fabric pieces were submitted. Their specifications are the same except for the width of the roll. The furnished specifications are:

Fiber: 100% polyester, nontextured yarns. Warp: 70-75 denier 77.78 – 83.33 dtex
Fill: 150 denier 166.7 dtex
Weave: Plain weave.
Yarn count:
Warp: 110 ends per inch 43.31 ends per cm. Fill: 64 picks per inch 25.19 picks per cm. Weight 2.35 oz/sq. yd 80 g/sq. m.
Width 72.25" and 54" 183.5 cm and 137 cm (as woven).

The submitted samples were labeled ROGA (0715) 60" and ROGA (0715) 44".

A schematic diagram showing how this material will be incorporated to make membrane cartridges used in a pressure vessel for reverse osmoses for water desalination was included. The width of the material relates to the size of the cartridge being made.

Correspondence and a phone conversation with a staff member of Texlon indicates that this woven material is used as a backing or support for a membrane polymer that is cast on to one surface of the fabric. Such a membrane, in this instance, could be polysulfone, a thermoplastic polymer that is further treated and cured making it microporous. The two joined components, textile support and membrane polymer, are considered to be a filter media. Layers of this media are combined with other components such as spacers to make a spiral membrane element. These elements can range from 40 to 60 inched in length and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. A number of such elements are incorporated in a desalination pressure vessel.

It was mentioned that such goods imported in the past from India were entered under 5911.90.80 (5911.90.0080) as textile products for technical uses. The goods under this subheading are, generally, in a made up ready-to-use state that do not have to undergo further processing. Such is not the case with the subject goods, thereby excluding consideration under subheading 5911.90.

Fabric of this construction would generally be classified under subheading 5407.61.9905 as woven fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of polyester filaments. However, there is an Explanatory Note to heading 5407 that excludes woven fabrics for technical uses of heading 59.11. EN 54.07 This heading does not include:
(e) Woven fabrics for technical uses, of heading 59.11.

In the phone conversation with Texlon, the party indicated that the subject woven goods were specifically designed as a substrate or backing fabric. Such a fabric must have the qualities to facilitate the coating’s adherence to the surface, it must be a smooth surface, have certain porosity characteristics and have desired tear strength because of the pressures involved. These characteristics are engineered into the fabric.

Chapter 59 note 7. 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.

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

Note (a) (iii) lists straining cloth. The Court of International Trade U.S. in the GKD vs. US case (Slip Op 96-98) held the terms straining and filtration to be synonymous. Although the subject goods are not directly used as “straining cloth” they do, in fact, become an integral and necessary component in making a straining cloth or filter media.

Filtration is a technical use application. The known or intended use (by engineered design) of the subject material is for incorporation with a membrane to become a filter medium (straining cloth). Although the imported material is one step removed from the finished filter medium, by application of General Rule of Interpretation 4, it is most akin to the goods that do fall under the subheading 5911.40, i.e. straining cloth and the like.

The applicable subheading for the woven polyester substrate will be 5911.40.000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Straining cloth of a kind used in oil presses or the like, . . .. The rate of duty will be nine percent ad valorem. There are no textile restraints on goods of this subheading.

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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