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HQ 967170

August 2, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 967170 SG


TARIFF NO.: 6110.90.9090

Ms. Joanna Cheung, Trade Specialist
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office
1520 18 Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-1306

RE: Women's knitted pullover; Degummed natural bamboo fiber; Heading 6110, HTSUSA

Dear Ms. Cheung:

This is in reference to your letter of December 11, 2003, on behalf of Pacific Best Ltd., requesting classification of a women's garment, claimed to be made of 100% degummed natural bamboo, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample as well as two laboratory reports was submitted. The sample is being returned under separate cover.


The merchandise at issue, style no. S200310, is a woman's knitted pullover featuring a capped, round neckline, long sleeves with rib knit cuffs, and a rib knit waistband. The knitted fabric of the pullover has more than nine stitches per two centimeters, measured in the direction that the stitches are formed. There are full-fashion marks at the joining of the sleeves and the shoulder.

The two laboratory test reports submitted by the manufacturer, Pacific Best Ltd., Hong Kong (Pacific Best), state that the fiber content of the yarn from which the pullover is made is identified as bamboo.

A letter from Pacific Best attempts to explain the difference in the formation process that degummed natural bamboo fiber and regenerated bamboo fiber undergo. Pacific Best explains that degummed natural bamboo fiber "is a find of natural fiber that is
extracted directly from natural bamboo without any chemical additives." The letter goes on to state that regenerated bamboo fiber "is a kind of generated cellulose fiber. Bamboo pulp, honey, and pectin are processed with a serious (sic) of techniques yielding a distilled material, which is dissolved, regenerated, and then spun into bamboo fiber." It is indicated that degummed natural bamboo could be obviously identified by a fiber analysis.

It is claimed the degummed natural bamboo fiber "should be classified as a non-cotton vegetable fiber, (unlike the) regenerated bamboo fiber, which may be classified as a man-made fiber."


The proper classification of merchandise said to be manufactured of 100% degummed natural bamboo fibers under the HTSUSA.


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 Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes ("ENs") constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Heading 6110, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, women's or girls' knit sweaters and pullovers of textile materials.

Insofar as the composition of the sample garment is concerned, we requested a fiber breakdown of the garment's material from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Laboratories and Scientific Services. Laboratory analysis concluded that the sample, a small swatch of weft knit material said to be cut from style S200310 "is composed of natural vegetable fibers, other than cotton." We have been advised that the CBP laboratory conducted both a microscopic examination and a burn test on the submitted fabric, and conclusively determined that the fabric swatch is composed of natural vegetable fibers, not of rayon fibers.

We note that in HQ 965979, dated January 8, 2003, a women's panty composed of 70% bamboo, 30% tencel fibers, was considered to be made of "wholly filament rayon" which is an artificial fiber. Analysis by the CBP laboratory found "no evidence of the sample fabrics being made of bamboo." In HQ 966424, dated August 4, 2003, various fabric swatches that were claimed to be bamboo were found by laboratory analysis to consist of rayon or rayon blends and "no evidence of the sample fabrics being made of or containing bamboo was detected."

Filament rayon is classified as an artificial fiber, accordingly in these two rulings, the goods of filament rayon were classified as "of man-made fibers".

It appears from the CBP laboratory report that the sample before us is constructed of degummed natural bamboo fibers that are formed differently from the regenerated bamboo fibers that were used in the goods that were the subjects of the previous bamboo rulings. Specifically, in the instant case, the sample is made from bamboo fibers that were not subject to chemical processing during their formation. Accordingly, based on the laboratory analysis, we have determined that "degummed natural bamboo fiber" which is extracted directly from natural bamboo without any chemical additives is a natural fiber and not a man-made fiber, and garments made of such fibers are classified accordingly.


The applicable subheading for style S200310 will be 6110.90.9090, HTSUSA, which provides for "Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, waistcoats (vests) and similar articles, knitted or crocheted: Of other textile materials: Other: Other: Other: Women’s or girls'." The merchandise is dutiable at the general column one rate of 6 percent ad valorem, and the quota category is 838.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 Pacific Best, check, close the time of shipment, the Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas, which is available on the CBP Web site at www.cbp.gov.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, Pacific Best should contact
its local CBP office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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