MPR Corporation d/b/a Fabric Services
103 Hinsdale Farms Road
Bristol, IN 46507
RE: The tariff classification of polyester weft knit textile fabric coated with cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC), from China
Dear Mr. Liang:
In your letter dated May 9, 2019, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Samples were provided to this office and submitted to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Laboratory for analysis.
The sample is identified as “Night Shade Forever” and described as a technical fabric. It consists of a textile layer, completely covered on one side of the fabric with a plastic layer. You state that the fabric will be used as a truck curtain to completely block light and achieve the effect of draping. It will be imported in rolls in widths of 54 inches and lengths of 50 yards.
The sample consists of a weft knit fabric covered with a plastic material. CBP laboratory analysis indicates that the plastic layer is polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and is cellular in nature. The weight of the PVC coating is 442 g/m2 (77.3% by weight) and the weight of the polyester knit fabric is 129.8 g/m2 (22.7% by weight), for a total weight of 571.8 g/m2.
In your submission you suggest classification of this item under subheading 5903.10.2090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as a textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics. The classification of textile and plastic combinations is determined by the Notes found in Chapters 39 and 59, and in Sections VII and XI of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS). Specifically, Chapter 59 Note 2(a)(5), HTSUS, prohibits such classification as it pertains to this item, as the uniformly dyed weft knit backing fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes.
Classification is also guided by the Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), which have been ruled to be the official interpretation of the Harmonized Code at the international level. The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 39, in the section titled “Plastics and textile combinations,” define the term “merely for reinforcing purposes” as follows:
In this respect, unfigured, unbleached, bleached or uniformly dyed textile fabrics, felt or nonwovens, when applied to one face only of these plates, sheets or strip, are regarded as serving merely for reinforcing purposes. Figured, printed or more elaborately worked textiles (e.g., by raising) and special products, such as pile fabrics, tulle and lace and textile products of heading 58.11, are regarded as having a function beyond that of mere reinforcement.
Since the PVC coating is cellular in nature, and since the knit backing fabrics meet the definition found in the Explanatory Notes for “mere reinforcement,” the fabric cannot be classified in Section XI as a coated textile. Therefore, these products are excluded from classification in Chapter 59, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for a weft knit fabric covered with a layer of cellular PVC, will be 3921.12.1100, HTSUS, which provides for Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics: Cellular: Of polymers of vinyl chloride: Combined with textile materials: Products with textile components in which man-made fibers predominate by weight over any other single textile fiber: Over 70 percent by weight of plastics. The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 3921.12.1100, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.02, in addition to subheading 3921.12.1100, HTSUS, listed above.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china respectively.
The tariff is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Notice cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading.
This ruling is being issued under the assumption that the subject goods, in their condition as imported into the United States, conform to the facts and the description as set forth both in the ruling request and in this ruling. In the event that the facts or merchandise are modified in any way, you should bring this to the attention of Customs and you should resubmit for a new ruling in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2. You should also be aware that the material facts described in the foregoing ruling may be subject to periodic Customs laboratory analysis at the time of importation and to verification by Customs, and the fabric may be reclassified at that time.
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 Christina Allen at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division