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NY J81766

April 7, 2003

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:TA:350 J81766


TARIFF NO.: 3921.12.1910

Mr. David E. Thompson
527 South Fifth Street
Pembina, ND 58271

RE: The tariff classification of a cellular PVC and knit imitation leather fabric, from China.

Dear Mr. Thompson:

In your letter dated March 20, 2003, on behalf of Bonwitt manufacturing Company, Winnipeg, MB, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your sample is being returned per your request.

The instant sample, (black in color) which measures about 1.5 mm in overall thickness, consists of a relatively thick cellular polyvinyl chloride plastics layer (PVC) which contains a thin film embossed top which simulates leather grain. This layer has been glued or laminated to a thin, somewhat open plain jersey knit fabric which is stated to be of a 65% cotton/35% polyester man-made fiber blend. This lightweight material has application in the upholstery, luggage and garment industry. This material was informally weighed and was found to weigh approximately 496 grams per square meter.

You suggest classification in tariff subheading 5903.10.1000, which covers textile fabrics coated, covered or laminated with PVC plastic, however, this heading is governed by the following pertinent legal note which reads in part, as follows:

“Heading 5903 applies to:

(a) textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the Plastics (compact or cellular), other than:

(5) “Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 39); ”

In this regard, the Explanatory Notes to said chapter further define or outline what is meant by mere reinforcement by stating in part “in this respect, unfigured, unbleached, bleached or uniformly dyed textile fabrics, when applied to one face only of these plates, sheets or strip, are regarded as serving merely for reinforcing purposes.” That is, in the instant case, you only have a plain knit fabric laminated to a cellular PVC layer which is not further worked and, therefore, serves only as reinforcement.

Accordingly, consideration under heading 5903 is excluded.

Therefore, the applicable subheading for the material will be 3921.12.1910, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, cellular, of polymers of vinyl chloride, combined with textile materials, products with textile components in which vegetable fibers predominate by weight over any other single textile fiber. The duty rate will be 5.3 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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