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HQ 966051

March 3, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 966051 RH


TARIFF NO.: 5402.31.6000

Jason M. Waite, Esq.
Alston & Bird LLP
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
North Building, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20004-2601

RE: Classification of air-entangled yarn; textured yarn; gimped yarn; heading 5402; heading 5606; single yarn; multiple yarn

Dear Mr. Waite:

This is in reply to your letters of August 26, September 30, October 15 and November 7, 2002, on behalf of Kayser-Roth Corporation, requesting a ruling on the classification of air-entangled yarn. You state that the yarn will be imported from Italy and used in the manufacture of socks and hosiery.


The yarn in question is an air-covered yarn formed from a spandex core (4 percent) and two nylon filament covering yarns (96 percent). We assume the percentages you provided refer to the weight of the yarns in the finished air-entangled yarn. The core is 20 denier (22 decitex) spandex. We note that in your November 7th submission, you state that the core yarn is 20 decitex/18 denier. However, this difference does not effect the classification of the yarn. Each nylon covering yarn is 70 denier (78 decitex) and composed of 34 filaments.

In your August 26th letter, you describe the manufacturing process of the air-entangled yarn as follows:

The subject air covered yarns consist of an elastomeric core yarn that is not itself twisted, and two covering filament yarns. The core yarn and the covering yarns are carried by separate reels on a yarn-covering machine. They are run together at intervals through an air jet that interlaces the
cover yarns both along and around the core. The covering yarns interlace with and cover the core, and in intervals the covering yarns are entangled to a greater degree, creating a cloud like effect around the core. Within these cloud like covering yarn formations, the covering yarns wrap around the core in an irregular spiral or irregular loop. The finished product is a yarn that resembles both single covered yarn and fancy yarn, such as bouclé yarn.

A Customs laboratory examined a sample of the yarn, and its findings are contrary to your description of the merchandise. Customs laboratory report number NY20021078, dated September 27, 2002, reads:

The sample, a small strand of white filament yarn is composed of a elastic monofilament which is covered with two filament nylon yarns by air entanglement. We do not detect any twisting in the yarns.

You argue that the yarn is classifiable under heading 5606 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as gimped yarn containing elastomeric filaments. For the reasons set forth below, we find that the yarn is classifiable under heading 5402, HTSUS, as synthetic filament yarn.


Is the air-entangled yarn classifiable under heading 5606, HTSUS, as gimped yarn, or under heading 5402, HTSUS, as synthetic filament yarn?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

Additionally, the Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. The EN are not legally binding. However, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUS.

Heading 5402, HTSUS, provides for “Synthetic filament yarn (other than sewing thread), not put up for retail sale, including synthetic monofilament of less than 67 decitex.”

Heading 5606, HTSUS, encompasses “Gimped yarn, and strip and the like of heading 5404 or 5405, gimped (other than those of heading 5605 and gimped horsehair yarn); chenille yarn (including flock chenille yarn); loop wale-yarn.”

Part (B)(1)(i) and (ii) to the General EN to Section XI, HTSUS, states that textile yarns may be single, multiple (folded) or cabled. For the purposes of the Nomenclature:

Single yarns means yarns composed either of:

Staple fibres, usually held together by twist (spun yarns); or of

One filament (monofilament) of headings 54.02 to 54.05, or two or more filaments (multifilament) of heading 54.02 or 54.03, held together, with or without twist (continuous yarns).

Multiple (folded) yarns means yarns formed from two or more single yarns, including those obtained from monofilaments of heading 54.04 or 54.05 (twofold, threefold, fourfold, etc. yarns) twisted together in one folding operation. However, yarns composed solely of monofilaments of heading 54.02 or 54.03, held together by twist, are not to be regarded as multiple (folded) yarns.

The ply (“fold”) of a multiple (folded) yarn means each of the single yarns with which it is formed.

The Explanatory Notes to heading 5402, HTSUS, read in relevant part, that the heading covers synthetic filament yarn (other than sewing thread) and includes:

Monofilament (monofil) of less than 67 decitex.

Multifilament obtained by grouping together a number of monofilaments (varying from two filaments to several hundred) generally as they emerge from the spinnerets. These yarns may be without twist or twisted (single, multiple (folded) or cabled). They therefore include:

Single yarns consisting of the filaments reeled parallel without twist. Filament tow not provided for in Chapter 55 is also included.

Single yarns of such filaments twisted as they are taken from the spinnerets or in a subsequent operation.

(iii) Multiple (folded) or cabled yarns produced by combining such single yarns, including those obtained from the monofilament of heading 54.04 (see Part (I)(B)(1) of the General Explanatory Note to Section XI).

You argue that the subject yarn cannot be considered a single yarn because it is formed by the combination of a multifilament untwisted spandex core yarn and two multifilament untwisted covering yarns. Additionally, you argue that if the subject yarn is classifiable in Chapter 54 it must be plied yarn, which is defined as “two or more single yarns twisted together to form one new yarn.” Fabric Science, Seventh Edition, at p. 76. You submit that the subject yarn is formed by joining together three yarns to make “one new yarn” but unlike plied yarns are not joined together by twisting – therefore the subject yarn is neither single nor plied. You contend that the yarn is akin to gimped yarn under heading 5606, HTSUS, pursuant to GRI 4, HTSUS.

As discussed in a telephone conference between you and members of my staff, Customs agrees with you that the air-entangled yarn produced from a spandex monofiliament yarn and two nylon covering yarns is not a single yarn. However, the covering yarns composed of 34 nylon filaments are single yarns, pursuant to General Explanatory Note (B)(1)(i)(b) – i.e., two or more filaments (multifilament) of headings 54.02 or 54.03, held together, with or without twist (continuous yarns).

Moreover, these single yarns (covering yarns) are combined by an air jet process producing or forming a multiple yarn, in accordance with the phrase “multiple yarns means yarns formed from two or more single yarns” in the General EN B(1)(ii), and the EN to heading 5402, HTSUS. Therefore, contrary to your claim the air-entangled yarn falls squarely within the definition of a multiple yarn.

We further find that the yarn in question is a textured yarn. The EN to subheading 5402.31 to 5402.39 read:

Textured yarns are yarns that have been altered by a mechanical or physical process (e.g., twisting, untwisting, false-twisting, compression, ruffling, heat-setting or a combination of several of these presses), which results in individual fibres being set with introduced curls, crimps, loops, etc. These distortions may be partially or completely straightened by a stretching force but resume the shape into which they have been set upon being released.

Textured yarns are characterized by having either a high bulk or a very high extensibility. The high elasticity of both types makes them especially suitable for use in the manufacture of stretch garments (e.g., tights, hose, underwear) while the high bulk yarns give fabrics softness and warmth of touch.

Textured yarns may be distinguished from non-textured (flat) filament yarns by the presence of special twist characteristics, small loops or reduced parallel orientation of the filaments in the yarn.

Additionally, the evidence you submitted states that the air-jet method is a way to produce “bulk-textured yarns” and is an exception to the traditional texturing processes listed above. In this method, a jet of high-velocity air is directed at a multifilament yarn, which separates the fibers, forcing some filaments to form loops and turns. The result is a bulkier, less lustrous yarn. Fabric Science, Seventh Edition, at p. 79. Based on Customs laboratory findings, we disagree with you that the two multifilament yarns are wrapped around the core yarn as a result of the air jet process.

Finally, we disagree with you that the yarn is classifiable as gimped yarn, or most akin to gimped yarn pursuant to GRI 4, HTSUS, based on Customs laboratory findings, the EN, and your admission that the “the core does not itself undergo a twisting with the cover threads.”

The General EN to heading 5606, HTSUS, describe “gimped yarn” as follows:

These products are composed of a core, usually of one or more textile yarns, around which other yarn or yarns are wound spirally. Most frequently the covering threads completely cover the core, but in some cases the turns of the spiral are spaced; in the latter case, the product may have somewhat the appearance of certain multiple (folded), cabled or
fancy yarns of Chapters 50 t0 55, but may be distinguished from them by the characteristic of gimped yarn that the core does not itself undergo a twisting with the cover threads. . . .

Additionally, gimped yarn is defined as “Yarn consisting of a tightly twisted center or heart yarn wrapped around by soft twisted yarn, and usually colored, novelty yarn. Spirality in gimp is very important to bring out the effect.” Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 952801, dated July, 13, 1993, citing George E. Linton, The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary, at p. 265, (1973).

See HQ 088557, dated May 23, 1991 (Yarns manufactured by the conventional wrapping method in which multifilament nylon yarns are wrapped around a core of synthetic spandex yarn are classifiable in subheading 5606.00.0000, as gimped yarn. Yarn manufactured by the air jet process where multifilament textured nylon fibers are intermingled with spandex yarn by means of an air jet are classifiable under subheading 5402.31.3000, as synthetic filament yarn, not put up for retail sale).

Based on the foregoing, we find that the yarn is a textured, multiply yarn classifiable under heading 5402, HTSUS, as synthetic filament yarn.


The air-entangled yarn at issue is classifiable under subheading 5402.31.6000, HTSUS, which provides for “Synthetic filament yarn (other than sewing thread), not put up for retail sale, including synthetic monofilament of less than 67 decitex: Textured yarn: Of nylon or other polyamides, measuring per single yarn not more than 500 decitex: Multiple (folded) or cabled yarn.” It is dutiable at the general column one rate at 8.1 percent ad valorem.

Since this merchandise is from Italy, there are no quota restrictions or visa requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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