CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 962160 jb

Mr. Arash A. Raminfar
Shason Inc.
4700 Long Beach Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90058

RE: Classification of knit pile fabric; modification of New York Ruling Letter (NY) C84827

Dear Mr. Raminfar:

On July 17, 1998, our New York office issued to you New York Ruling Letter (NY) C84827, classifying five styles of knit and woven fabrics under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). This letter is to inform you that although the classification determinations given for four of those styles, “Koshibo”, “Peach Skin”, “Dobby Georgette”, and “Mini Ottoman” are correct, the determination at the subheading level for “Polar Fleece” is in error, and as such is modified as per the analysis set forth below.


The merchandise at issue, “Polar Fleece”, is described as a printed knit pile fabric composed of 100 percent polyester, weighing 260 g/m², and imported in 155 centimeter widths. This fabric is characterized by having been weft knit by employing two yarns, one which forms an extended loop for brushing. Both sides of the fabric are brushed.

In NY C84827 this merchandise was classified in subheading 6001.92.0040, HTSUSA, in the provision for, “pile fabrics, including “long pile” fabrics and terry fabrics, knitted or crocheted: other: of man-made fibers: other: other.” This is a provision which encompasses pile fabric that is cut.


What is the proper classification for the subject merchandise? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI's will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

In determining the proper classification determination for this merchandise we must analyze the construction of the fabric, that is, the structure of the fabric at the time of the knitting process. Heading 6001, HTSUS, provides for pile fabrics, including “long pile” fabrics and terry fabrics, knitted or crocheted. The EN to heading 6001, HTSUS, state that the products of this heading are obtained by knitting. The methods of production mainly used to knit these products are as follows:

(1) a circular knitting machine produces a knitted fabric in which, by means of an additional yarn, protruding loops are formed; afterwards the loops are cut to form a pile and thus give a velvet-like surface;

(2) a special warp knitting machine knits two fabrics face to face with a common pile yarn; the two fabrics are then separated by cutting to produce two knitted fabrics with a cut pile;

(3) textile fibres from a carded sliver are inserted into the loops of a knitted ground fabric as it is formed (“long pile” fabrics);

(4) textile yarn to form loops (“imitation terry fabrics”) (see General Explanatory Note). Such fabrics have rows of chain stitches on the back of the fabric and they differ from the pile fabrics of heading 58.02, which are characterized by rows of stitches having the appearance of running stitches along the length of the back of the fabric.

Customs has stated in the past that in order for a fabric to be classified as “pile” it must feature both the requisite construction of a “pile fabric” and a “pile-like” appearance. With respect to its construction, the subject merchandise fits squarely within the parameters outlined in (4), that is, at the time of the knitting process what results is “textile yarns to form loops”. Additionally, it is these “loops”, formed as a result of the knitting process which gives the fabric its “pile-like” appearance. Thus, at the heading level, this merchandise is properly classified as a pile fabric in heading 6001, HTSUS.

Heading 6001, HTSUS, at the subheading level, provides for different types of “pile fabrics”, as for example, long pile, looped pile, and cut pile fabrics. As we have determined that this fabric qualifies as a “pile” due to its construction and appearance, that is, as a result of the textile yarn forming loops, it is not a “cut pile fabric”. As such, the determination in NY C84827 classifying this merchandise as cut pile, is incorrect. The correct classification for this merchandise is as a looped pile fabric.


NY C84827 is modified with respect to style “Polar Fleece” to reflect the proper classification of this merchandise as a looped pile fabric.

The subject merchandise is properly classified in subheading 6001.22.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “pile fabrics, including “long pile” fabrics and terry fabrics, knitted or crocheted: looped pile fabrics: of man-made fibers.” The applicable general column one rate of duty is 18.4 percent ad valorem and the quota category is 224.

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 negotiations and changes, we suggest that your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at the 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 the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division