CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084137 PR

Mr. Ben Deahl
Traffic & Insurance Division
Mitsubishi International Corporation
520 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10022

RE: Lightweight Conveyor Belts/Sunline "A" Series

Dear Mr. Deahl:

This ruling is in response to your request of March 3, 1989, your reference NYDTH-89-192, concerning the tariff status of certain belting material.


The belts, which will be manufactured by Bando Chemical Industries in Japan, will be imported in long lengths to be made into finished belts after importation. Although some 20 samples were submitted, they fall into three basic categories:

1. One group of samples, hereafter called group 1, consists of one woven polyester fabric, or two such fabrics with an inner layer of plastics which cannot be seen with the naked eye. The samples in this group are AP/SL-4P, AP/SL-5P, AP/SL-8P, and AP/SL-8PS.

2. A second group of samples consists of one or two layers of woven polyester fabrics with a fabric on one surface and a visible plastics layer on the other surface. Where there are two layers of fabric, there is a distinct visible layer of plastics between them. The samples in this group are AU/SL-3U(W), AU/SL- 4U(G), AU/SL-5U(G), AU/SL-6U(W), AU/SL-8U(G), AU/SL-10U(G),AU/SL- 4DU(W),AC/SL-4C(W), AC/SL-5C(G), AC/SL-8C(G), and AC/SL-8C(W)J.

3. The third group of samples (those remaining) consists of one or two woven polyester fabrics that are completely embedded or entirely coated or covered with plastics.

The belting may be ordered in lengths of from 0.8 to 100 meters; in any width up to 1.8 meters; and in any thickness from 0.5 to 2.6 millimeters.


Heading 5910 provides for transmission or conveyor belts or belting, of textile material. However, Chapter 59 Note 6 limits the application of that heading to belting which is at least 3 millimeters in thickness. Therefore, since none of the subject merchandise meets that requirement, Heading 5910 is not applicable.

Heading 5911 provides for textile products and articles for technical uses. However, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, which is the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level (the 4 and 6 digit headings), states (at page 822) that textile fabrics in the piece or cut to length, which "have the character" of products of Heading 5910 are not classifiable in Heading 5911. In addition, the Explanatory Notes for Heading 5910, at page 821, state:

In accordance with Chapter Note 6, belting of a thickness of less than 3 mm is excluded; this remains classified in Chapters 50 to 55, as narrow woven fabrics (heading 58.06), as braids (heading 58.08), etc.

This is persuasive that merchandise which is excluded from Heading 5910 because it does not meet the 3 millimeter requirement is not intended to be classifiable in Heading 5911.

In regard to the classification of the merchandise under Heading 5903, which provides for textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plastics, Note 2 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, states that 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 plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye * * * for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color;

* * *

(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);

* * *

In accordance with Chapter 59 Note 2, the group 2 samples are classifiable under Heading 5903. The samples in group 1 are classifiable according to whether their width, at the time of importation, is 30 centimeters or less, or exceeds 30 cm. This is because Chapter 58 Note 5(a), HTSUSA, defines "narrow woven fabrics" as, among other things, woven fabrics not exceeding 30 cm, with fast edges. Accordingly, if the group 1 belting is imported in widths not exceeding 30 cm, it is classifiable under Heading 5806, as narrow woven fabrics.

In Chapter 39, HTSUSA, where the group 3 samples are classifiable, Heading 3926 provides for other articles of plastics, and within that heading, Subheadings 3926.90.55 to 3926.90.60, HTSUSA, provide for belting and belts, for machinery. However, the Explanatory Notes, at page 575, state that Heading 3926 includes "Transmission, conveyor or elevator belts, endless, or cut to length and joined end to end, or fitted with fasteners." Therefore, while textile reinforced belts of plastics for machinery may be classifiable under Heading 3926, belting of textile reinforced plastics (in material form) would not be classifiable under that heading unless it could not be classified in any of the preceding headings of Chapter 39.

In this instance, Heading 3921, HTSUSA, provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil, and strip, and Subheadings 3921.90.11 through 3921.90.29 cover such forms of plastic combined with textile materials.


Belting represented by the samples in group 1, which exceed 30 cm in width, are classifiable in either Subheading 5407.60.2005, HTSUSA, if not over 170 grams per square meter, with a textile category designation of 619, or in Subheading 5407.60.2015, HTSUSA, if over 170 grams per square meter, with a textile category designation of 620. In either classification, as a product of Japan, the duty rate is 17 percent ad valorem.

Belting represented by the samples in group 1 which do not exceed 30 cm in width meet the definition for narrow fabrics and are classifiable as such in Subheading 5806.32.2000, HTSUSA, with duty, as a product of Japan, at the rate of 7 percent ad valorem. Textile category designation 229 is applicable. Belting represented by the samples comprising group 2 are classifiable under Heading 5903, HTSUSA. The exact classification of each style is dependent on the type of plastics coating or covering and the relative weights of the constituent materials. Without the complete construction specifications for each of the styles, we are unable to determine their particular tariff status.

Belting represented by the samples in group 3 are classifiable under the provisions for noncellular plastic plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, combined with textile materials, in Subheading 3921.90 HTSUSA. The exact provision applicable to each style depends on the weight per square meter and the relative weights of the constituent materials. Without this information, we are unable to determine tariff status of each of the belting styles in this group.

In the future, the Customs Service will not entertain requests for rulings involving more than five articles or styles of articles.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the textile restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division