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NY M86076

January 29, 2007

CLA-2-55:RR:NC:TA:352 M86076


TARIFF NO.: 5515.12.0040

Mr. Ameet Shah
Culp, Inc.
P.O. Box 2686
High Point, NC 27265

RE: The tariff classification of a bonded upholstery fabric consisting of a printed 100% polyester satin woven face fabric laminated to a dyed polyester/cotton blend dobby woven backing fabric from China.

Dear Mr. Shah:

In your letter dated August 14, 2006 you requested a classification ruling.

Laboratory analysis of the submitted sample, designated as style “Corky”, indicates that it is a bonded fabric consisting of a printed woven face fabric laminated to a dyed dobby woven backing fabric. The two fabrics have been bonded together by a plastic adhesive that is not visible in cross section. The face fabric is a brushed satin woven fabric composed of 52.1% staple polyester and 47.9% filament polyester. It is characterized by a dense fibrous surface created by a brushing or sanding process and features a printed design created by printing the fabric surface with a plastic material. The plastic material covers only certain areas of the surface and creates a pattern by matting the brushed fibers. The printed pattern gives the fabric the appearance of cork. Although the face fabric was initially woven with filament fiber yarns, the subsequent brushing or sanding process has broken the fibers in a portion of the yarns transforming the fiber in those yarns from filament fiber to staple fiber. The face fabric weighs 180.2 g/m2. The backing fabric is a dyed dobby woven fabric composed of 49.3% filament polyester, 32.5% cotton and 18.2% staple polyester. Weighing 257.2 g/m2, the backing fabric functions to stiffen and reinforce the face fabric. The bonded fabric consisting of the face fabric, the backing fabric and the plastic adhesive layer weighs 437.4 g/m2 and will be imported in 145 centimeter widths. Based on the relative value, weight, function and decorative appeal of the fabrics that form this composite good, it is the face fabric that imparts the bonded fabric with its essential character. Your correspondence indicates that this product will be used as an upholstery fabric.

Note 2 to Chapter 59, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTS), defines the scope of heading 5903, under which textile fabrics which are coated, covered, impregnated, or laminated with plastics are classifiable. In addition, it provides guidance on the classification of combinations of textile and plastics. Note 2 states in part that heading 5903, HTS, applies to:

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

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60): for the purposes of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change in color;

(2) Products which cannot, without fracturing, be bent manually around a cylinder of a diameter of 7 mm, at a temperature between 15 C and 30 C (usually chapter 39)

(3) Products in which the textile fabric is either completely embedded in plastics or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such material, provided that such coating or covering can be seen with the naked eye with no account being taken of any resulting change of color (chapter 39);

(4) Fabrics partially coated or partially covered with plastic and bearing designs resulting from these treatments (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60);

Since the plastic adhesive that bonds the fabric layers together in the fabric designated as style “Corky” is not visible to the naked eye and the plastic coating on the face fabric only partially covers the fabric creating a design, this fabric is not considered a coated fabric either for the purposes of classification in heading 5903, HTS, as a coated fabric of textile nor as a plastic product of chapter 39.

In addition, The Explanatory Notes, which have been ruled to be the official interpretation of the Harmonized Code at the international level, state that heading 5903 does not include goods similar to the bonded fabric referenced above. The Explanatory Note to heading 5903 states in part that:

The laminated fabrics of this heading should not be confused with fabrics which are simply assembled in layers by means of a plastic adhesive. These fabrics, which have no plastic showing in cross-section, generally fall in Chapters 50 to 55.

Since the bonded fabric under consideration here is assembled in layers and no plastic is visible in cross section, it is excluded from classification in heading 5903, HTS, as textile fabrics laminated with plastics.

The applicable subheading for the bonded upholstery fabric designated as style “Corky” will be 5515.12.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, of polyester staple fibers, mixed mainly or solely with man-made filaments, satin weave or twill weave. The duty rate will be 12 percent ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

This fabric falls within textile category 628. At the present time goods that are produced in China and fall within textile category 628 are not subject to either quota restraints or visa requirements. Quota and visa requirements are the result of international agreements that are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information on quota and visa requirements applicable to this merchandise, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the “Textile Status Report for Absolute Quotas” which is available on our web site at www.cbp.gov. For current information regarding possible textile safeguard actions on goods from China and related issues, we refer you to the web site of the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the Department of Commerce at otexa.ita.doc.gov.

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 Alan Tytelman at 646-733-3045.


Robert B. Swierupski

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