Mr. David Cloer
International Industries Corporation
154 Saint Andrews Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29306

RE: The tariff classification of dry nonwoven wipes packaged in plastic containers from China

Dear Mr. Cloer:

In your letter dated August 25, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No samples were provided to this office.

The product, described as “spunlace nonwoven fabric” in an email discussion subsequent to your initial request, is a nonwoven wipe of man-made staple fibers. You state that the product is composed of 30 percent viscose staple fibers and 70 percent polyester staple fibers and weighs 50 g/m2. The dry, nonwoven wipes are packaged in cylindrical plastic containers and will then be imported into the United States. The containers are described as “HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Canisters with lids.” You state that the nonwoven wipes will be impregnated with various solutions after importation into the United States.

You suggest that the plastic container in which the nonwoven wipes are packaged is to be classified separately under subheading 3923.30.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), which provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of good, of plastics […] and similar articles. We disagree. It is our opinion that the plastic containers are mere packaging, consistent with such packaging used in similar goods put up for retail sale within the same industry. The container should be classified with the nonwoven fabric during the entry process using the same HTSUS subheading provided in this ruling.

Further, you suggest classification of the nonwoven fabric under subheading 5603.12.0090, HTSUS, which provides for nonwovens of man-made filaments. In subsequent correspondence you have indicated that the nonwoven fabric is wholly of staple fibers. Therefore, your suggested classification is not applicable.

The applicable subheading for the “spunlace nonwoven wipes” packaged in the “HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Canisters with lids” will be 5603.92.0090, HTSUS, which provides for “Nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated: Other: Weighing more than 25 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m2… Other.” The rate of duty will be Free.

Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 5603.92.0090, 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., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 5603.92.0090, HTSUS, listed above.

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.

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

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 verification by Customs.

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 Michael Capanna via email at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division