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HQ W968128

November 15, 2006

CLA-2 RR:CTF:TCM 968128 BtB


TARIFF NO.: 5501.30.0000

Eugene Ricci
Pier International
61 Broadway
Suite 1115
New York, NY 10006

RE: Classification of acrylic filament tow from Japan; revocation of NY L84817

Dear Mr. Ricci:

On May 17, 2005, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) L84817 to you, on behalf of Grafil, Inc. In NY L84817, CBP classified what you described in your request as “synthetic filament yarn (non-twisted)” in subheading 5402.49.9040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”), which provides for: “Synthetic filament yarn (other than sewing thread), not put up for retail sale, including synthetic monofilament of less than 67 decitex: Other yarn, single, untwisted or with a twist not exceeding 50 turns/m: Other: Other, Monofilament; multifilament, untwisted or with twist of less than 5 turns per meter: Other: Other.” You brought to our attention on November 13, 2006, that the article classified in NY L84817 is identified by Grafil, Inc. as Product No. “AH24H” and we reference that product number here for clarity.

We have recently recognized that the merchandise that is the subject of NY L84817 is not synthetic filament yarn, but synthetic filament tow. Consequently, this ruling, Headquarters Ruling (“HQ”) 968128, revokes NY L84817 and provides the correct classification of the synthetic filament tow at issue.

We note that CBP issued a separate ruling (NY L89976) directly to Grafil, Inc. on January 27, 2006, on the classification of acrylic filament tow. We believe that the tow that is the subject of NY L89976 is identical to the tow that is the subject of NY L84817 and, in turn, this ruling letter. The holding of this ruling letter corresponds with the holding of NY L89976.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY L84817 was published in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 40, Number 41, on October 4, 2006. CBP received no comments during the notice and comment period that closed on November 3, 2006.


NY L84817 provides the following very limited details about the merchandise at issue:

You have submitted a sample of acrylic monofilament yarn. You state that it will not be put up for retail sale but will be used in the production of carbon fiber for use in such products as fishing rods and tennis rackets.

After issuance of NY L84817, CBP retained the sample noted in the quotation above. During the preparation of NY L89976, Grafil, Inc. provided the following additional information to CBP regarding the merchandise at issue (referred to below as “tow”):
the tow exceeds 2 meters in length (it is greater than 50,000 meters); it has fewer than 5 twists per meter (it is not twisted); it measures less than 67 decitex per filament (each filament is between 1.0 and 1.3 decitex); the tow cannot be stretched by more than twice its length (it cannot be stretched to more than 10% of its length); and the total measurement of the sample tow is more than 20,000 decitex (the total is between 24,000 and 31,000).

Additionally, Grafil, Inc. informed us that the tow at issue would not be resold in this [tow] form, but would be carbonized to form carbon fiber, which would then be used in products such as golf club shafts, bows and arrows, bicycle frames, and aerospace applications. We also note that the tow at issue consists of parallel filaments of uniform length equal to the length of the tow. The tow is made in Japan.

As a result of the additional information from Grafil, Inc. (obtained after the issuance of NY L84817) and our recent re-review of the sample, it is now clear that the merchandise at issue was incorrectly classified in NY L84817.


What is the classification of the article at issue?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI”). GRI 1 provides, in part, that classification decisions are to be "determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes." If the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied, in order.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. While neither legally binding nor dispositive of classification issues, the EN provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127-28 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Note 1 to Chapter 55, HTSUSA, states that

Headings 5501 and 5502 apply only to man-made filament tow, consisting of parallel filaments of a uniform length equal to the length of the tow, meeting the following specifications:

Length of tow exceeding 2 m;
Twist less than 5 turns per meter;
Measuring per filament less than 67 decitex; Synthetic filament tow only: the tow must be drawn, that is to say, be incapable of being stretched by more than 100 percent of its length; and Total measurement of tow more than 20,000 decitex.

The article at issue consists of parallel filaments of uniform length equal to the length of the tow. The article also satisfies the other requirements of Note 1 to Chapter 55, HTSUSA, listed above. As a result, we find that the article is provided for by heading 5501, HTSUSA, which provides for synthetic filament tow, and was incorrectly classified as synthetic filament yarn in NY L84817. As the tow at issue is acrylic, it is specifically provided for by 5501.30.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Synthetic filament tow: Acrylic or modacrylic.”


The article at issue is classified in subheading 5501.30.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for: “Synthetic filament tow: Acrylic or modacrylic.” The applicable column one (general) duty rate for the merchandise under the 2006 HTSUSA is 7.5% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the world wide web at www.usitc.gov.


NY L84817, dated May 17, 2005, is hereby revoked.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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