CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086978 CRS
Mr. Anthony F. Britti
424 North Frederick Avenue
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
RE: Cigarette Filter Rods
Dear Mr. Britti:
This is in response to your letter dated March 9, 1990, to
our New York office, in which you requested a ruling under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
(HTSUSA) concerning the classification of cigarette filter rods.
Samples were submitted with your request.
The merchandise in question consists of cigarette filter
rods manufactured in and imported from the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics. The rods are made from acetate tow filter
(a wadding of man-made fibers) wrapped in paper and are
approximately 0.75 cm in diameter. While the length of the rods
is variable, you state that you are currently considering
importing the filter rods in 9.0 cm and 10.5 cm lengths. The 9.0
cm rods are 0.068 grams paper and 0.665 grams pulp. The 10.5 cm
rods are 0.084 grams paper and 0.706 grams pulp. Once imported,
the filter rods will be segmented and attached to cigarette rods
to form finished cigarettes.
Whether the acetate filter rods in question are classifiable
in heading 5601, or heading 6307, HTSUSA.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that
the classification of articles is determined according to the
terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes
and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require,
according to the remaining GRIs taken in order. In particular,
GRI 4 provides that goods which cannot be classified in
accordance with the above rules shall be classified under the
heading appropriate to the goods to which they are most akin.
Heading 5601, HTSUSA, covers, inter alia, wadding of
textile materials and articles thereof. The Explanatory Notes
(February 1990), which constitute the official interpretation of
the Harmonized System at the international level (four and six
digits), provide in pertinent part at EN 56.01(A) that heading
wadding in the piece or cut to length, and articles of
wadding other than those covered more specifically by other
headings of the Nomenclature...
The Notes refer specifically to certain articles of wadding which
are covered by heading 5601 and also provide that certain other
articles are excluded. No mention, however, is made of cigarette
Nevertheless, as the articles in question are made from
wadding of acetate tow, a man-made filament classifiable in
heading 5601, and since heading 5601 covers both wadding of
textile materials and articles thereof, it is Customs' opinion
that the filter rods --articles of textile wadding-- are
classifiable in heading 5601.
This issue was also addressed in a May 1987 decision of the
Brussels Tariff Nomenclature Committee and the Interim Harmonized
System Committee (NC/58/May 87; IHSC/8/May 87). The Committees'
1. The Nomenclature Committee and the Interim Harmonized
System Committee examined the classification in the
Harmonized System of rods for making cigarette filter tips,
described in present Classification Opinion 59.01/1 which
was retained in square brackets at their October 1986
2. The discussions revealed a clear preference within both
Committees for classification in heading 56.01 rather than
* * *
4. The Committees finally agreed, by a very large majority,
to classify these filter rods in HS heading 56.01 (sub-
heading 5601.22), by application of Interpretative Rule 4.
While Customs is also of the view that cigarette filter rods are
classifiable in heading 5601, we believe that this result can be
reached without resort to GRI 4. Pursuant to GRI 1, i.e.,
according to the terms of the headings, Customs considers that
the filter rods at issue are classifiable in heading 5601 as
articles of wadding.
The acetate filter rods in question are classifiable in
subheading 5601.22.0090, HTSUSA, under the provision for wadding,
other articles of wadding, of man-made fibers, other. Pursuant
to General Note 3(b), HTSUSA, articles classifiable in this
subheading which are the product of the Soviet Union are subject
to the rates of duty in column 2. The filter rods are therefore
dutiable at 74 percent ad valorem; the textile category is 669.
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.
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
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division