CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083541 CRS

Mr. Peter J. Fisher
Continental Materials, Inc.
137 South Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038

RE: Roofing Material

Dear Mr. Fisher:

This is in response to your letter of November 1, 1988, to our New York office, in which you requested a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) concerning roofing material imported from Venezuela. A sample was submitted with your request.


The article in question consists of a single ply nonwoven polyester substrate that has been coated and impregnated on both sides with asphalt. In addition, the top layer has been coated with stone chips. The polyester fabric is manufactured in the United States, then exported to Venezuela where it is made into roofing product, and subsequently imported into the U.S.


The issue presented is whether the roofing product in question is an article of asphalt of heading 6807, HTSUSA; coated or covered felt of heading 5602, HTSUSA; or a coated or covered nonwoven article of heading 5603, HTSUSA?


Merchandise is classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is to be 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.

Heading 6807, HTSUSA, covers articles of asphalt or similar material. Subheading 6807.90.0010 covers articles of a kind used for roofing or siding. Nevertheless, Chapter 68, Note 1(c) excludes coated or covered textile fabrics of Chapter 56 or 59 from consideration in Chapter 68. The article in question is a textile fabric covered and impregnated with asphalt and is therefore not covered by heading 6807.

Heading 5602, HTSUSA, covers felt, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state in regard to heading 5602, that it "includes roofing felt made by the normal felting process and subsequently impregnated with tar or similar substances." Here, while the substrate is covered and impregnated with asphalt, the substrate fabric is a nonwoven rather than felt.

Heading 5603, HTSUSA, covers nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated. The Explanatory Note to 5603 states that:

[t]he heading also covers certain "roofing felts" in which the textile fibres are agglomerated with tar or similar substances, and certain products known as "bitumen felts" obtained in the same way but incorporating a small quantity of cork fragments.

The textile substrate contained in the roofing product at issue is a nonwoven fabric covered and impregnated with tar. As such it meets the description of a roofing felt of heading 5603 and consequently, is classifiable therein.


The article in question is classifiable in subheading 5603.00.9020 under the provision for nonwovens...other, other, impregnated, coated or covered, and is dutiable at a rate 12.5 percent ad valorem. The textile category is 223.

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 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 requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division