The Court of International Trade has upheld U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s classification of women’s trousers made with a polyester/metal yarn as trousers of synthetic fibers under HTSUS 6104.63.20 (28.2 percent duty). The CIT thus rejected the importer’s argument that these items should be classified as trousers of other textile materials under HTSUS 6104.69.80 (5.6 percent duty).

The CIT states that the classification of the trousers hinges on the correct classification of the yarn used to make them. This yarn is made by combining metal nanopowders with liquid polyester and extruding the mixture through the small holes of a spinneret, forming monofilament yarns.

CBP had classified this yarn as a metalized yarn under HTSUS 5605 in a 2011 ruling, and the plaintiff held that this classification is correct. However, CBP revoked that ruling in 2013 and reclassified the yarn as a synthetic fiber covered by HTSUS Chapter 54.

The CIT turns for guidance to the Explanatory Notes to HTSUS heading 5605, which state that this heading includes yarns consisting of any textile material that are (1) combined with metal thread or strip (e.g., by twisting or gimping) or (2) covered with metal by any other process. However, the CIT finds that the yarn at issue does not contain metal thread or strip (only nanopowders) and cannot be said to be covered with any type of metal. In addition, the CIT states, the ENs make clear that heading 5605 does not cover every product combining textile materials and metal or every textile yarn that contains metal.

For more information on product classification, please contact Deb Stern at (305) 894-1007.

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