CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085038 CC

Mr. Anthony Petroff
Fritz Companies, Inc.
P.O. Drawer 'G'
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Classification of plastic coated strips of textile fabric and swimming pool covers

Dear Mr. Petroff:

This letter is in response to your inquiries in behalf of American Fabricators Ltd, requesting tariff classification of coated woven strip fabrics. Samples were submitted for examination.


Three basic forms of material are presented for consideration. One type is a plain woven fabric of polyethylene textile strips, which is coated or laminated on both sides with polyethylene plastic. The plastic film will be in one of several colors, including blue, orange, and black.

A second type of material consists of the same fabric strips coated with plastic described above, which are backed with polyurethane foam. In one of the styles one single ply of the coated textile strips is backed with foam; in the other style the foamed plastic is between two plies of the plastic coated textile strips.

A third type of material, designated as silva-tarp, is made of polyethylene strips woven into a fabric. It is coated on one side with a clear plastic and on the other side with metallized mylar. The metallized mylar consists of a clear plastic sheet which has been vacuum coated with aluminum particles.


What is the classification of the plastic coated strips of textile fabric?

Whether the finished swimming pool covers are classifiable as accessories to swimming pools?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Note 2 to Chapter 59, HTSUSA, which provides for impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated textile fabrics, applies to:

(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered, or laminated with plastics other than:

(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).

We find that the first type of material, the polyethylene fabric strips, is completely coated or covered on both sides with plastics, and the coating can be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, these strips are classifiable in Chapter 39. More specifically, they are provided for under subheading 3921.90, HTSUSA.

The second type of material, the plastic coated strips backed with plastic foam, comes in two styles as described above. The plastic foam is also classifiable in Heading 3921, but is cellular and therefore would fall under a different subheading, 3921.13, than the plastic coated textile strips. GRI 6 provides that classification under subheadings is in accordance with the terms of the subheadings and, mutatis mutandis, according to the GRI's, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. According to GRI 3(b), mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable. Essential character is determined by considering several factors, including the nature of the material or component, its weight, value, bulk, or quantity, or its role in relation to the use of the goods.

We cannot conclude that either the foam or the coated strips supplies the essential character to this good, based on the criteria used for determining essential character. Therefore, GRI 3(c) must be applied. GRI 3(c) provides that when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. Because the provision used to classify the coated strips comes after the one used to classify the foam in the HTSUSA, this item would be classified under the same provisions utilized for the coated strips.

The third type of material is designated as silva-tarp. As mentioned above, the metallized mylar is in actuality a plastic sheet. Consequently, it is our opinion that the silva-tarp is completely coated or covered in plastic and can be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, according to note 2(a)(3), Chapter 59, HTSUSA, the silva-tarp is classifiable in Chapter 39.

The issue which remains is how to classify the finished swimming pool covers. 9506.99.5500, HTSUSA, provides for swimming pools and wading pools and parts and accessories thereof. Note 3 to Chapter 95 states that parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. The definition of accessory, according to Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged (1986), is an object or device that is not essential in itself but that adds to the beauty, convenience, or effectiveness of something else. Clearly, the swimming pool covers meet the definition of an accessory to a swimming pool, since they contribute to the effectiveness in maintaining swimming pools. Also, based on the information you provided, we find that the covers would be used principally with swimming pools. Therefore, the finished swimming pool covers are classifiable as accessories to swimming pools.


The plastic coated textile strips, the strips with foam backing, and the silva-tarp are classified under subheading 3921.90, HTSUSA, as other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, other, combined with textile materials and weighing not more than 1.492 kg/m squared, products with textile components in which man-made fibers predominate by weight over any other single textile fiber. If they are over 70 percent by weight of plastics, they are classified in subheading 3921.90.1100, HTSUSA, dutiable at a rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem for Canadian goods. If they are under 70 percent by weight of plastics, they are classified in subheading 3921.90.1500, HTSUSA, textile category 229, and dutiable at a rate of 7.6 percent ad valorem for Canadian goods.

The finished swimming pool covers are classified under subheading 9506.99.5500, HTSUSA, swimming pools and wading pools and parts and accessories thereof, dutiable at 4.7 percent ad valorem for Canadian goods.

The merchandise may be submitted to a Customs laboratory for analysis, at the discretion of the classifying officer, and will be classified in accordance with the results of that analysis to determine whether the coated strips are over 70 percent by weight of plastics.

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

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division