CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087266 CRS
Ms. Donna Troiano
Teijin Shoji (America), Inc.
1412 Broadway, 21st Floor
New York, NY 10018
RE: Cotton plain woven fabrics used as carcass materials in the
manufacture of machine belting and lightly coated with
styrene-butadiene rubber are rubberized pursuant to Note
4(a), Chapter 59
Dear Ms. Troiano:
This is reply to your letters of August 21, 1989, and March
30, 1988, concerning the classification of rubber dipped fabrics
under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
Annotated (HTSUSA). Fabric samples were submitted with your
ruling request, as well as a flow chart and description of the
The merchandise in question consists of four plain woven
cotton rubberized fabrics (style nos. D2W, D3W, D5W and D6W).
The fabrics are made in and imported from Singapore and are used
as carcass materials in the manufacture of machine belting for
automotive and industrial equipment.
Style D2W weighs 6.4 ounces per square yard; style D3W, 7.8
ounces per square yard; style D5W, 10.9 ounces per square yard;
and style D6W, 16.4 ounces per square yard. All four fabrics are
The fabrics have been dipped in a rubber solution containing
resorcin, formalin, styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and water.
The purpose of the rubber treatment is to facilitate the adhesion
of the fabrics, which ultimately form the top and bottom layers
of finished belting, to other materials used in the manufacture
of belting such as cord fabric and rubber sheeting. The dipping
solution is 5.68 percent rubber. As a percentage of total fabric
weight, style D2W is 3.36 percent SBR, style D3W is 2.58 percent,
style D5W is 2.33 percent and style D6W, 2.43 percent.
A Customs laboratory report on the fabrics states that the
coatings contain both a synthetic rubber (SBR type) and a
Whether the fabrics in question are rubberized such that
they are classifiable in heading 5906.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 5906, HTSUSA, provides for rubberized textile
fabrics, other than those of heading 5902 (tire cord fabric).
Note 4, Chapter 59, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part:
For the purposes of heading 5906, the expression "rubberized
textile fabrics" means:
(a) Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or
laminated with rubber:
(i) Weighing not more than 1,500 g/m; or
(ii) Weighing more than 1,500 g/m and containing more
than 50 percent by weight of textile material;
All four sample fabrics weigh less than 1,500 g/m, the heaviest
weighing 16.4 oz/yd, or approximately 556 g/m.
The Notes to Chapter 59 establish no other requirements for
classification in heading 5906, i.e., there is no minimum rubber
content, nor is there a requirement that coatings be visible to
the naked eye as there is, for example, with plastic coated
fabrics of heading 5903.
The fabrics at issue are lightly coated. The dipping
solution is 5.67 percent rubber; the coatings as a percentage of
total fabric weight range from 2.33 percent to 3.36 percent.
However, the presence of SBR was confirmed by laboratory
analysis, although the amount of dipping compound extracted was
found to be only one percent of the individual fabric weights.
Nevertheless, we understand that the extraction process is not
always an accurate barometer of the degree of coating.
Note 11, Section XI, HTSUSA, provides that for the purposes
of Section XI, "the expression 'impregnated' includes 'dipped.'"
Coated, Filled, Bonded and Laminated Fabrics, USITC Pub. 841,
Control No. 3-4-16 (October 1982) at 5, describes some of the
methods used to coat fabrics. With regard to the dipping process
the report states as follows:
Impregnation and dip coating - This method is generally used
for the application of certain finishes when it is necessary
to fully [sic] saturate the loose fabric. The base fabric
passes directly through a bath of the coating material
accumulating more coating material then needed. The excess
material is then removed, usually by passing through another
set of rollers. Some saturation coaters will have the newly
dip coated fabric run through the same procedure for an
According to the flow chart submitted as Attachment B to your
letter of March 30, 1988, the fabrics in question are subjected
to a dipping process similar to that described above. It is
therefore Customs' view that the fabrics at issue are rubberized
fabrics of heading 5906 pursuant to Note 4(a), Chapter 59.
However, since it can be difficult to detect the presence of
coatings, future inquiries concerning rubberized fabrics should
discuss the merchandise in depth. All pertinent information,
including the type of coating (e.g., SBR), the amount of rubber
present and the commercial purpose of the coating or impregnation
should be submitted with ruling requests or attached to entry
documentation in order to substantiate claims for classification
in heading 5906.
The fabrics in question are classifiable in subheading
5906.99.1000, HTSUSA, under the provision for rubberized
fabrics..., other, other, of cotton, and are dutiable at the rate
of 5.3 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
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division