BDO USA, LLP
330 North Wabash, Suite 3200
Chicago, Illinois 60611
RE: The tariff classification of various speciality fabrics from China
Dear Ms. Zajac:
In your letter dated March 30, 2022 you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of your client, Keder Solutions LLC. Samples were submitted and sent for laboratory analysis.
The sample identified as "Group 1" fabric is described as a polyester woven fabric coated on both sides with polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
CBP Laboratory Report NY20220533 indicates that the sample is composed of a plain woven fabric coated with two layers of cellular plastic material on both sides. The inner plastic layer is composed of cellular PVC with the outermost layer consisting of cellular acrylic. The plastic layers comprise greater than 70 percent of the total fabric weight.
You propose classification of "Group 1" fabric in 3921.90.1100, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). We disagree. According to the CBP laboratory, the "Group 1" fabric is visibly coated on both sides with a cellular plastic. Therefore, it is more appropriately classified earlier in 3921 as a cellular plastic sheet.
The sample identified as a "Group 2" fabric, Panama 3200, is described as a polyester woven fabric coated on one side with a non-cellular PVC.
CBP Laboratory Report NY20220532 indicates that the backing fabric is a plain, woven fabric, with no brushing/raised fibers. The sample is white in color composed of bleached/unbleached yarns. The sample is coated, covered, impregnated or laminated with two layers of cellular PVC. The plastic layers comprise less than 70 percent by weight of the total fabric weight.
You suggest classification of the "Group 2" fabric, "Panama 3200" in 5903.10.2090, HTSUS. We disagree. Our office has observed that the fabric is visibly coated. Because the CBP laboratory has determined that the "Group 2" fabric, Panama 3200, is coated with a cellular plastic, we must determine if the fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes because of Note 2(a)(5) which states in pertinent part that Heading 5903, HTSUS, does not apply to "Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 39)."
The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 39 explain that with respect to the language of Note 2(a)(5) of the HTSUS, that in pertinent part "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."
The sample is constructed as set forth in Note 2(a)(5) as guided by the General ENs to Chapter 39. Therefore, classification in Heading 5903, HTSUS, is specifically excluded.
The sample identified as a "Group 3" fabric, "Silicon RCD," consists of a sheet of fabric with a black coating on both surfaces. The fabric will be used in high temperature applications, e.g., heating ductwork, etc.
CBP Laboratory Report NY20220531 indicates that the sample is a plain-woven fabric composed of glass fiber. It has been coated, covered, impregnated, or laminated on both sides with silicone. The black coating is cellular on both surfaces.
From the information provided, you stated, "Silicon RCD" consists of a closed woven fiberglass fabric of mechanically bonded fiberglass yarns. The silicone coating represents approximately 26 percent of the total weight of the product. This fabric will be imported in 61-inch widths. Based on the relative weights, value, and function of the various materials that comprise this item, it is the glass fiber that imparts this product with its essential character.
The applicable subheading for the "Group 1" cellular acrylic coated fabric will be 3921.19.0000, HTSUS, which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics: cellular: of other plastics. The general rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the "Group 2" cellular PVC coated fabric will be 3921.12.1500, 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: other. The general rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the "Group 3" woven glass fiber fabric will be 7019.64.9030, HTSUS, which provides for glass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics): Mechanically bonded fabrics: Closed woven fabrics, plain weave, of yarns, coated or laminated: Other: Colored: Other... Silica filament fabric of filaments with silica content greater than 93 percent. The general rate of duty will be 7 percent ad valorem.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheadings 3921.12.1500 and 3921.19.0000, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty under 9903.88.02, HTSUS. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, 9903.88.02, in addition to subheading 3921.12.1500 or 3921.19.0000, HTSUS, listed above.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheadings 7019.64.9030, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 7.5 percent ad valorem rate of duty under 9903.88.15, HTSUS. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, 9903.88.15, in addition to subheading 7019.64.9030, 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.
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.
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] for classification in 3921 or National Import Specialist Elena Pietron at [email protected] for classification in 7019.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division