CLA-2-68:RR:NC:FC:237 D85927

TARIFF NO: 6815.10.0000

Don Aldridge
Lion Apparel Inc.
6450 Poe Avenue, Suite 300
Dayton, Ohio 45414

RE: The classification of a composite carbon fabric from France.

Dear Mr. Aldridge: In your letter dated December 15, 1998 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product designated 2006MKP or 2004MKP is described as a composite fabric consisting of a woven blend of 70 percent carbon fibers and 30 percent aramid fibers, which is bonded to a backing of 4mm or 6mm thick silicone foam. A six inch square sample of 6mm fabric (2006MKP) was provided. The estimated percent by weight breakdown is given as: 25% woven material and 75% silicone foam. The fabric will be used to make fire fighting clothing worn in high abrasion areas.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 provides: classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes, and unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI’s taken in order.

GRI 3(b) is relevant to the classification of the instant product and provides: Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note (VIII) to GRI 3(b) provides: the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. In the product, each component is an integral part of the whole, but one component, the carbon fiber, plays a significantly greater role and comprises 75% of the woven blend. The carbon fibers provide the required properties of fire blocker, heat shielding, abrasion resistance, and tensile strength. The aramid fibers provide strength and surface appearance. The silicone foam provides a backing which remains flexible at high temperatures. Therefore, we believe the carbon fiber imparts the essential character of the product.

The applicable subheading for the product designated 2006MKP or 2004MKP will be 6815.10.0000, HTSUS, which provides for nonelectrical articles of graphite or other carbon. This provision includes carbon fibers and articles of carbon fibers. The rate of duty is free.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist F. Cantone at 212-466-5488.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division