Clarification regarding classification of PVC leather cloth or Rexene
No. 161 dated 13th December 1995
am directed to say that doubts have been expressed regarding correct
classification of PVC leather cloth also known as Rexene Cloth as to whether it
will fall under Heading No. 39.21 or 59.03 of the Central Excise Tariff.
Attention has been drawn to Section Note 1 (d) of Section XI of Central Excise
Tariff, Chapter Note 2 (a) (5) of Chapter 59 and Chapter note 2 (k) of Chapter
The process of manufacture of PVC leather cloth involves coating of a
paste of plastic material (PVC) on one side of the base fabric. In this case the
plastic is not combined with the textile but is coated on textile fabric to form
final product. Textile fabric does not act as reinforcing material. Such fabrics
are used fit upholstery and can take sharp bends without cracking.
As per Chapter Note 2 (a) of chapter 59 of the Central Excise Tariff,
Heading 59.03 applies to Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or
laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per sq mtr. and whatever the nature
of plastic materials other than the following:-
Products, which cannot, without fracturing be bent manually around a
cylinder of a diameter of 7 mm at a temperature between 15 degree C and 30
degree C (Usually Ch. 39):
Products in which the textile fabric is either completely embedded in
plastics or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such material
_____________________ (Chapter 39).
Plates, sheets or strips of Cellular Plastics, combined with textile
fabrics where textile material is present merely for reinforcing purpose
Since these fabrics can take sharp bends without cracking, they cannot be
included in clause (ii) above. The coating is done on one side only and fabric
is not completely embedded in plastic material and therefore, it is not covered
by clause (iii) above. In rexene Cloth, plastic material is coated on a fabric
base Fabric does not act as a reinforcing material and therefore Rexene Cloth is
not covered by clause (v). Therefore classification of PVC coated fabric, which
is trade parlance is known as leather cloth (and popularly known as rexene
cloth). under Heeding 59.03 is not is not hit by the exclusion under Chapter
Note 2 (a) of Chapter 59 of the Central Excise Tariff.
Section Note 1 (d) of Section XI excludes fabrics impregnated, coated or
laminated with plastics of Chapter 39 from the preview of Section XI. Similarly
Chapter Note 2 (k) under Chapter 39 of the CET excludes Textiles and Textile
Materials from purview of Chapter 39. both these notes read in conjunction do
not provide any basis for rejecting classification of Rexene Cloth either under
Chapter 39 or under Textile Articles.
HSN contains expanded meaning of items covered under Heading 39.21. It
covers plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of cellular plastics or those which
have been, reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined. Rexene Cloth
does not meet any of the criterions and does not appear to be covered by heading
In contrast, the detailed notes on Page 816 of the HSN Explanatory Notes
clearly amplify that leather cloth is covered by Heading 59.03. The relevant
many of the textile fabrics classified here, the plastic material usually
coloured, forms a surface layer which may be smooth or be embossed to simulate,
e.g. the grain of leather ("leather Cloth")".
fabrics of this heading are used for a variety of purposes including furnishing
materials, the manufacture of hand bags and travel goods, garments, slippers,
toys etc. in book binding, as adhesive tapes, in the manufacture of electrical
The Board has also taken note of the decision of the Tariff Conference of
Commissioners of Customs help at Madras in the year 1990. The Conference had
decided that normally the PVC leather cloth is not made of textiles and plastic
material in combination and the plastic material is impregnated or coated on the
fabric and they are not hit by Chapter Note 2 (5) to Chapter 59 and are
correctly classifiable under Heading 59.03 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.
The Board has also taken note of the decision of the Supreme Court in the
case of M/s. Fenoplast (P) Ltd., reported in 1994 (72) ELT 513 (S.C.) wherein
the Supreme Court has ordered the classification of coated cotton fabrics
(Popularly known as rexene cloth) under item 19-III of the erstwhile Central
Excise Tariff which corresponds to heading 59.03 of the new Central Excise
Tariff Act, 1985.
Therefore, keeping in view the Chapter notes HSN notes, the decision of
the Conference of Commissioners held at Madras and the judgment of the Supreme
Court it is clarified the PVC leather cloth also known as rexene cloth will be
appropriately classifiable under Heading No. 59.03 of the Central Excise Tariff
Trade and Field formations may be advised accordingly.
All pending disputes/ assessments may be finalised in view of the above