OT:RR:CTF:FTM H305102 TJS

Mr. Allan Guggenheim
Continental Textile Corp.
230 Fifth Ave., Suite 1009
New York, NY 10001-7778

RE: Ruling Request; Tariff Classification of Outdoor Upholstery Fabric

Dear Mr. Guggenheim,

This is in response to your letter, dated July 30, 2019, filed on behalf of Continental Textile Corp., requesting a binding ruling regarding the tariff classification of certain outdoor upholstery fabric under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"). Our ruling is set forth below.

FACTS:

You describe the fabric at issue, Style #1860, as "100% Solution Dyed Acrylic outdoor upholstery fabrics." In addition to your ruling request, you provided two swatches of Style #1860 and a fabric specification sheet. The swatches were sent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Laboratory and Scientific Services ("CBP Laboratory"). In its Laboratory Report No. NY20191539, dated January 24, 2020, the CBP Laboratory determined that Style #1860 is a dyed, plain weave fabric constructed of 2-ply warp yarns and 2-ply filling yarns. The fiber content is 100% acrylic staple fibers and the fabric weighs 262.9 grams per square meter. It contains 56 single yarns per centimeter in the warp and 26 single yarns per centimeter in the filling, with an average yarn number of 31. According to the information provided in your request, this fabric will be imported in widths of 150 centimeters and will be used for home furnishings such as draperies, upholstery, and cushions.

ISSUE:

What is the tariff classification of fabric Style #1860?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRI"). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied in order.

The 2020 HTSUS headings under consideration are:

5512: Woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple fibers:

5515: Other woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers:

* * * * *

Statistical Note 1 to Chapter 55 provides:

1. For the purposes of the woven fabrics of chapter 55:

a) The term "poplin or broadcloth" means plain weave fabrics, not of square construction, whether or not napped, but does not include the following types:

i) Fabrics weighing not more than 170 grams per square meter, containing 33 or less warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter; and

ii) Fabrics weighing more than 170 grams per square meter, of average yarn number 26 or lower number.

[...]

(ij) The term "square construction" means fabrics of the following types:

i) Containing less than 79 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of which the difference between the total count of warp ends per centimeter and the total count of filling picks per centimeter is less than 11; or

ii) Containing 79 or more warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of which the total count of warp ends per centimeter and the total count of filling picks per centimeter are each less than 57 percent of the total count per square centimeter of such warp ends and filling picks.

* * * * *

In addition, the Explanatory Notes ("EN") to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989)

EN 55.12 provides in relevant part:

This heading covers woven fabrics (as defined in Part (I)(C) of the General Explanatory Note to Section XI), containing 85% or more by weight of synthetic staple fibres. Such fabrics include a very large variety of dress materials, curtain or other furnishing fabrics, and materials for table cloths, blankets, towels, etc.

EN 55.15 provides in relevant part:

This heading covers woven fabrics (as defined in Part (I)(C) of the General Explanatory Note to Section XI) made of yarns of synthetic staple fibres. However it should be noted that it covers only mixed woven fabrics as defined in Note 2 to Section XI, other than those of the preceding headings of this Chapter or specified or included in the second part of this Section (Chapter 58 or 59, usually).

* * * * *

You suggest classification under subheading 5515.21.00, HTSUS, which provides for "Other woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers: Of acrylic or modacrylic staple fibers: Mixed mainly or solely with man-made filaments." Per the EN, heading 5515, HTSUS, covers mixed woven fabrics. The information you provided for Style #1860 states that the fiber is 100% acrylic. Additionally, the CBP Laboratory confirmed that the fabric is composed wholly of acrylic staple fibers. Because Style #1860 is not a mixed woven fabric, it is not classified in heading 5515, HTSUS.

Headquarters Ruling Letter ("HQ") H089795, dated April 19, 2010, concerned the classification of woven upholstery fabric known as "Tea Time." In that ruling, the importer claimed that the fabric was properly classified in heading 5515, HTSUS, because the material had a fiber content of 64% staple polyester and 36% filament polyester. However, the CBP Laboratory reported that the fabric was composed wholly of 1-ply polyester staple yarns. Finding that a statement from the importer's Quality Department was insufficient to successfully overcome the presumption of correctness given to a CBP Laboratory report, CBP confirmed classification of the Tea Time fabric in heading 5512, HTSUS.

Here, we rely on the CBP Laboratory report for Style #1860. Because Style #1860 is composed of 100% acrylic staple fibers, it is classified in heading 5512, HTSUS. The applicable subheading for Style #1860 is 5512.29.0015, HTSUS, which provides for "Woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple fibers: Containing 85 percent of more by weight of acrylic or modacrylic staple fibers: Other: Other: Poplin or broadcloth."

HOLDING:

The instant fabric, Style #1860, is classified under subheading 5512.29.0015, HTSUS, as "Woven fabrics of synthetic staple fibers, containing 85 percent or more by weight of synthetic staple fibers: Containing 85 percent of more by weight of acrylic or modacrylic staple fibers: Other: Other: Poplin or broadcloth." The general rate of duty will be 12% ad valorem.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the CBP officer handling the transaction.

Sincerely,

Yuliya A. Gulis, Chief
Food, Textiles and Marking Branch