CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084610 CRS

Kazumune Kano, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
200 East Randolph Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

RE: Textile Material for Machine Polishing Pads

Dear Mr. Kano:

This is in reply to your letter dated February 15, 1989, to our New York office, on behalf of your client Shima American Corporation (Shima), in which you requested a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) concerning rolls of polishing pad material manufactured in and imported from Japan. Samples were submitted with your request.


The merchandise in question consists of material imported in rolls approximately one meter wide by thirty meters long. The material is sold in this condition to Shima's customers who then cut the material into circular shapes of various sizes for use as machine polishing pads. In this manner Shima is able to supply its customers with appropriately sized pads. Once cut, the pads are mounted on honing machines by means of an adhesive backing applied after importation, and used to polish silicon wafers and computer disks. The pads are used with an abrasive element such as silicon carbide or synthetic diamonds suspended in a slurry which is applied between the pad and the surface to be polished. The revolving action of the polishing pad in conjunction with the slurry perform the polishing function.

You have requested confidential treatment in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2(b)(7) concerning the flow charts submitted with your

ruling request and also with regard to the component breakdown of the polishing pad material. We agree to extend confidential treatment to the flow charts but not to the component breakdown.

A total of five samples were submitted. Of these, four consist of nonwoven man-made textile material impregnated or coated with plastics while the fifth is made solely of plastics. All of the plastics appear to have been processed identically. They consist of a thin layer of polyurethane that has been cured and surface-sanded. Sample 1173W has a sanded polyurethane upper layer and a nonwoven backing and consists of 30 percent polyurethane, 31 percent synthetic rubber, 28 percent polyester fiber and 11 percent nylon. Sample 2003 has a plastic material applied to the underside that stiffens the sheet and makes it less workable and is made form 60 percent polyurethane, 5 percent synthetic rubber and 35 percent polyester fiber. The Domy-2 sample consists solely of a 100 percent polyurethane plastic sheet and has no textile backing. Samples 200U and 200M consist of nonwoven polyester fabrics which have been impregnated with a plastics material: 200M is 46 percent polyurethane and 54 percent polyester fiber; 200U is 50 percent polyurethane, 50 percent polyester fiber. You state that the material is specially designed for use as polishing pads and that it has no use other than as material for polishing pads.


Whether material for machine polishing pads is classifiable as machine parts and accessories of heading 8466, HTSUSA, or as textile articles for technical uses of heading 5911, HTSUSA.


Heading 8466, HTSUSA, provides for parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with the machines of headings 8456 to 8465. You maintain that the pads are parts specifically designed to be used with honing machines (heading 8460) and that they should therefore be classified in heading 8466. However, it is Customs' view that as the merchandise in question is imported in material lengths, it cannot be classified as parts. In addition, Note 1(e), Section XVI, excludes certain textile products with technical applications from Chapters 84 and 85.

Heading 5911, HTSUSA, covers textile products and articles for technical uses. Pursuant to Note 7(a), Chapter 59, these include textile products in the piece including:

(i) Textile fabrics, felt and felt-lined woven fabrics, coated, covered or laminated with rubber, leather or other material, of a kind used for card clothing, and similar fabrics of a kind used for technical purposes.

According to the Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (four and six digits), the other materials referred to in Note 7(a)(i), Chapter 59, include plastics. Furthermore, the Explanatory Note to heading 5911 provides that:

The textile products and articles of this heading present particular characteristics which identify them as being for use in various types of machinery, apparatus, equipment or instruments or as tools or parts of tools.

The heading includes, in particular, those textile articles which are excluded from other headings and directed to heading 59.11 by any specific provision of the Nomenclature (for example Note 1(e) to Section XVI).

Fairchild's Dictionary of Fabrics (1970) at 435, defines the term "piece" as "a standard length of fabric varying from 24 yards to 100 yards according to [the] type of fabric." The pad material is imported in rolls one meter wide by thirty meters long and therefore meets the definition of fabric in the piece. Four of the five articles in question, samples 1173W, 2003, 200U and 200M, are textile fabrics in the piece coated or covered with plastics and consequently are classifiable in heading 5911.

The remaining sample, the Domy-2 material, is made solely of cellular plastics. Heading 3921, HTSUSA, covers other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of plastics. Pursuant to Note 10, Chapter 39, HTSUSA, and the Explanatory Note to heading 3921, the plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of heading 3921 cover cellular products, uncut or cut into rectangles. The Domy-2 material is cellular and imported in rolls and is therefore classifiable in heading 3921.


The 1173W, 2003, 200U and 200M materials are classifiable in subheading 5911.10.2000, HTSUSA, under the provision for textile products and articles..., textile fabrics...for other technical uses, other and are dutiable at 7.5 percent ad valorem.

The Domy-2 material is classifiable in subheading 3921.13.5000, HTSUSA, under the provision for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, cellular, of polyurethane, other, and is dutiable at 4.2 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local

Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


Marvin Amernick, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division