CLA-2-39:S:N:N3G:221 875045

Mr. Richard E. Jarvis
R.E. Jarvis & Associates, Inc.
5 Hannan Ridge Road
Haverhill, Massachusetts 01832

RE: The tariff classification of cellulose sponges with and without abrasive non-woven cloths from various countries.

Dear Mr. Jarvis:

In your letter dated May 26, 1992, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Three types of sponges will be imported. The first type is a rectangular sponge composed of regenerated cellulose. The second and third types are also rectangular and composed of regenerated cellulose. These types, however, have either a rough or non-scratch nonwoven cloth on one surface of the sponge. The non-scratch cloth contains talc. Talc is not considered an abrasive substance for tariff purposes. The rougher nonwoven cloth contains a mixture of silicon carbide, silica, aluminum oxide and quartz. This mixture is considered an abrasive substance. The applicable subheading for the sponges composed of regenerated cellulose that do not have a nonwoven cloth backing will be 3921.14.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, cellular, of regenerated cellulose. The rate of duty will be 8.1 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the sponges that are backed with a nonwoven cloth containing talc will be 5603.00.3000, HTS, which provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, other: laminated fabrics. The rate of duty will be 16 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the sponges that are backed with a nonwoven cloth containing the abrasive mixture is 6805.30.5000, HTS, the provision for natural or artificial abrasive powder or grain, on a base of textile material, of paper, of paperboard or of other materials, whether or not cut to shape or sewn or otherwise made up, other. Products classified under this subheading are free of duty.

These sponges will be imported from various countries, such as France, Switzerland, Norway, Taiwan and China. The rates of duty shown above apply to products from all these countries.

The sponge with a nonwoven backing containing talc falls within textile category designation 223. Based upon international textile trade agreements, products of Taiwan and China are subject to visa and quota requirements.

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.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director
New York Seaport