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Air Filter Used in Paint Spray Booths Not a Textile Product, Court Says

Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Court of International Trade ruled in Airflow Technology Inc. v. U.S. Oct. 31 that filter media used in paint spray booths are properly classified as nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, under HTSUS 5603.94.90. The CIT rejected U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s argument that the media are classifiable as other coated textile fabrics under HSUS 5911.10.20 or as other textile products for technical uses under HTSUS 5911.90.00.

The CIT explained that the filter media are not considered textile fabrics for purposes of Note 7(a)(i) to HTSUS Chapter 59 because they are not woven, knitted or crocheted. Neither are they similar to the fabrics identified in this note, which are designed to be strong, sturdy and supportive components of moving machines while the subject merchandise is a porous, high-loft and stationary medium for air filtration.

The CIT also stated that the filter media are not textile articles for purposes of Note 7(b). Whereas textile articles “upon importation possess the fixed identity and specific dimensions required for use with a particular machine or for some other specific technical application,” the subject goods are imported as rolls that had “no pre-cuts, cutting marks, or any other indication whatsoever as to the length and width to which the imported [media] was to be cut.”

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