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Rayon (Viscose, Cuprammonium, or Lyocell)

Definition

The United States Federal Trade Commission, Rules and Regulations under the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act (16 CFR Part 303) defines rayon as:

§ 303.7 Generic names and definitions for manufactured fibers.

(d) Rayon. A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, as well as manufactured fibers composed of regenerated cellulose in which substituents have replaced not more than 15 percent of the hydrogens of the hydroxyl groups. Where the fiber is composed of cellulose precipitated from an organic solution in which no substitution of the hydroxyl groups takes place and no chemical intermediates are formed, the term lyocell may be used as a generic description of the fiber.

Viscose rayon. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, in its publication Threading Your Way Through the Labeling Requirements Under the Textile and Wool Acts gives the following guidance regarding the names rayon and viscose:

Fibers, whether natural or man-made, must be identified by their generic names. The Commission recognizes certain names that must be used to identify man-made fibers...In addition, the Commission recognizes the names listed in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 2976: 1999(E), “Textiles — Man-made fibres — Generic names.” While many of the names listed in the ISO standard do not appear in the Commission’s rules, they may be used on labels to satisfy the fiber identification requirement...

A few common fibers recognized by the Commission have different names in the ISO standard. For example, the ISO standard uses the name viscose for the predominant form of rayon, and elastane for spandex. You may use either name.

Cuprammonium rayon. Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles (7th Edition, 1996) defines cuprammonium rayon as:

Rayon yarn or staple made by the cuprammonium process. It is a regenerate cellulose. In this process...cellulose...is dissolved in an ammoniacal copper solution. This cellulose in solution becomes the spinning solution that is extruded downward into a coagulating bath. During the stage of coagulation, the filaments are elongated in a process called stretch spinning. Then they are treated with an acid solution to remove the copper residue and then washed and dried...No longer manufactured in the United States due to the cost of cleaning waste water to meet clean water standards.

Tariff classification

Fiber and Tow

Tow of rayon is classified under Harmonized System ("HS") heading 5502. The classification in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") is 5502.00.0090 (rate of duty 7.5%).

Staple fiber (not carded, combed or otherwise processed for spinning) of rayon is classified under HS heading 5504 in subheading 5504.10. The HTSUS classification is 5504.10.0000 (rate of duty 4.3%).

Waste of rayon fiber is classified under HS heading 5505 in subheading 5505.20. The HTSUS classification is 5505.20.0000 (rate of duty free).

Staple fiber (carded, combed or otherwise processed for spinning) of rayon, is classified under HS heading 5507 in subheading 5507.00. The HTSUS classification is 5507.00.0000 (rate of duty 5%).

Yarn

Filament yarn of rayon is classified under HS heading 5403 in subheadings 5403.10, 5403.31, 5403.32 and 5403.41. The classification in the HTSUS are:

  • 5403.10.30 high tenacity yarn of viscose rayon, single yarn (rate of duty 10%).
  • 5403.10.60 high tenacity yarn of viscose rayon, multipe (folded) or cabled (rate of duty 9.1%).
  • 5403.31.00 other single yarn of viscose rayon, untwisted or with a twist not exceeding 120 turns/m (rate of duty 10%).
  • 5403.32.00 other single yarn of viscose rayon, untwisted or with a twist exceeding 120 turns/m (rate of duty 10%).
  • 5403.41.00 other yarn, multiple (folded) or cabled, of viscose rayon (rate of duty 9.1%).

Staple yarn of rayon is classified under HS heading 5510 in subheadings 5510.11, 5510.12, 5510.20, 5510.30, and 5510.90. The HTSUS classifications are:

  • 5510.11.0000 Singles yarn of 85% or more artificial staple fiber (rate of duty 9%)
  • 5510.12.0000 Multiple yarn of 85% or more artificial staple fiber (rate of duty 10.6%)
  • 5510.20.0000 Other yarn mixed with wool or fine animal hair (rate of duty 10.2%)
  • 5510.30.0000 Other yarn mixed with cotton (rate of duty 7.5%)
  • 5510.90.2000 Other yarn mixed with synthetic staple fibers, singles (rate of duty 9%)
  • 5510.90.4000 Other yarn mixed with synthetic staple fibers, multiple (rate of duty 10.6%)
  • 5510.90.6000 Other (rate of duty 13.2%)

Fabric

Woven fabric of filament rayon yarn is classified under HS heading 5408 is subheadings 5408.10 through 5408.34. Woven fabric of filament rayon yarn may be classified in any of the 8-digit tariff classifications under heading 5408 of the HTSUS and the rates of duty range from zero to 25%.

Woven fabric of staple rayon yarn is classified under HS heading 5516 under any of the subheadings to that heading. Woven fabric of staple rayon yarn may be classified in any of the 8-digit tariff classifications under heading 5516 of the HTSUS and the rates of duty range from zero to 25%.

Status of Rayon under Free Trade Agreements and Preference Programs

North American Free Trade Agreement ("NAFTA").

The NAFTA Rule of Origin ("ROO") for yarn, nonwoven fabric, knit fabric, and specialty fabric is fiber forward. However, there is no production of rayon fiber (other than lyocell) in the NAFTA region. Therefore those products of rayon cannot be made in a NAFTA-compliant way. For that reason the National Textile Association, in October 2007, filed a petition to have the NAFTA ROOs modified to eliminate, for all textiles and textile products, any requirement for originating rayon. In July 2009 the U.S. government reported Agreement in principle with Mexico and Canada. We are yet awaiting implementation of the modification.

In general woven fabric of filament artificial fiber yarn is under a fiber forward ROO, but in May 2004 the Government of Mexico filed a petition to allow non-NAFTA filament yarns of viscose rayon classified under HTSUS heading 5403 for use in the manufacture of woven fabrics of artificial filament yarns, classified under heading 5408. This modification was implemented with Canada, effective 7/1/2005 and with Mexico, effective July 1, 2006. The NAFTA rule of origin for woven fabric of staple fiber is yarn forward.

The NAFTA ROOs of origin for the fabric component that determines the tariff classification of an article of apparel is generally yarn forward. Note that for certain apparel the visible lining fabric, other than fabric of cuprammonium rayon ("Bemberg"), also must originate (on a fabric forward basis).

United States-Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement ("DR-CAFTA").

The DR-CAFTA Rules of Origin are similar to those of NAFTA with a fiber forward rule for woven fabric of artificial filaments, nonwovens, knit fabrics, and specialty fabrics. However this has not created the problems in DR-CAFTA that such a rule created in NAFTA because from the beginning the CAFTA-DR short supply list has included:


    #17 Viscose rayon yarns classified in subheading 5403.31 or 5403.32.
    #23. Cuprammonium rayon filament yarn classified in subheading 5403.39.
    #26. Tow of viscose rayon classified in heading 55.02.
    #36. Rayon filament sewing thread, classified in subheading 5401.20.

For woven fabrics of man-made fiber staple yarn the DR-CAFTA ROO is yarn-forward.

DT-CAFTA has a similar visible lining rule as that in NAFTA, including the exemption for cuprammonium rayon lining fabric.

Rayon and products of rayon have been the subject of several short supply filings under the free trade agreements and preference programs of the U.S. For the status of rayon under each of these trading arrangements, contact the NTA office.


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This page last updated 5/22/2014.