THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
REQUEST FOR TARIFF RELIEF BY
LANDES CANADA INC.
BONDED FIBRE FABRICS
OCTOBER 4, 1995
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Request No.: TR-95-003
Tribunal Members: Raynald Guay, Presiding Member
Lise Bergeron, Member
Lyle M. Russell, Member
Research Director: Réal Roy
Research Manager: Daryl Poirier
Counsel for the Tribunal: David M. Attwater
Distribution Officer: Claudette Friesen
Address all communications to:
Canadian International Trade Tribunal
Standard Life Centre
333 Laurier Avenue West
On July 14, 1994, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (the
Tribunal) received terms of reference from the Minister of Finance
(the Minister) pursuant to section 19 of the Canadian
International Trade Tribunal Act.  The Minister directed the Tribunal to
investigate requests from domestic producers for tariff relief on
imported textile inputs for use in their manufacturing operations
and to make recommendations in respect of those requests to the
Pursuant to the Minister’s reference, on May 3, 1995, the
Tribunal received a request from Landes Canada Inc. (Landes) of
Granby, Quebec, for the immediate and permanent removal of the
customs duty on importations, from all countries, of bonded fibre
fabrics, impregnated or saturated with binders, primarily of
polyester latex composite, with a sueded look (ground or buffed)
surface, uniform and suitable to accept solvent based inks without
distortion, for use in the production of labels to be affixed on
the outside of garments (the subject fabrics).
On July 12, 1995, the Tribunal, being satisfied that the request
was properly documented, issued a notice of commencement of
investigation, which was widely distributed and published in Part I
of the July 22, 1995, edition of the Canada Gazette.
As part of the investigation, the Tribunal’s research staff sent
questionnaires to 22 potential domestic producers of fabrics
identical to or substitutable for the subject fabrics, to the only
other known domestic manufacturer of labels to be affixed on the
outside of garments and to 7 potential importers of the subject
fabrics. Information on the tariff classification of the subject
fabrics was requested from the Department of National Revenue
(Revenue Canada), and samples were provided for laboratory
analysis. The Department of Industry was asked to provide a list of
the known domestic producers of nonwoven fabrics and to provide any
other comments that might be of assistance to the Tribunal. The
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was also
requested to provide information and advice.
A staff investigation report was not necessary in this case, nor
was a public hearing held.
The subject fabrics are described by Landes as having the
(1) 45 percent by weight of polyamide, polyester and
polypropylene staple fibres and 55 percent by weight of
acrylonitrile butadiene (ACN) latex, weighing 602 g/m2;
(2) 34 percent by weight of polyamide, polyester and
polypropylene staple fibres and 66 percent by weight of ACN latex
and natural latex, weighing 403 g/m2; and
(3) 50 percent by weight of polyamide and polyester staple
fibres and 50 percent by weight of ACN latex, weighing 230
In the production process, a fibre web consisting of staple
fibres is produced through a carding machine, then needle-punched
with a needle loom to the desired weight and thickness. The
needle-punched web is impregnated with a rubber latex, then split
and buffed on one surface or both surfaces.
The subject fabrics are used by Landes to produce labels to be
affixed on the outside of garments. The subject fabrics must be
suitable to accept solvent based inks without distortion, and the
labels must be able to withstand many different washing processes,
i.e. enzymes, acids, bleaches, stone, indigo, dies, etc. After
processing, the labels must retain a presentable, marketable brand
identification suitable for the retail market.
Landes indicated that the subject fabrics are classified for
customs purposes under classification No. 5603.00.99.99 of Schedule
I to the Customs Tariff. 
Revenue Canada informed the Tribunal that the subject fabrics
are classified under classification Nos. 5603.00.99.91 and
5603.00.99.93. Revenue Canada was of the opinion that the subject
fabrics do not have a “sueded look,” as neither side of the
nonwovens has the characteristic velvet-like nap finish of suede
leather. It also advised that the subject fabrics are dutiable at
20.3 percent ad valorem under the MFN tariff; at 7.4 percent ad
valorem under the U.S. tariff; and at 19.8 percent ad valorem under
the Mexico tariff.
None of the domestic producers of nonwoven fabrics or of coated
fabrics opposed Landes’ request for tariff relief. Consoltex Inc.,
however, stated that its position was contingent upon confirmation
by Revenue Canada of the description of the subject fabrics, as
submitted by Landes.
Landes’ only domestic competitor and major importers of fabrics
similar to the subject fabrics either supported or were indifferent
to the request for tariff relief.
Revenue Canada indicated that there would be no additional
costs, over and above those already incurred by it, to administer
the tariff relief should it be granted.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
advised that Canada does not maintain quota restraints on bonded
fibre fabrics classified under classification No.
The Department of Industry provided a report on the nonwovens
industry in Canada.
On the basis of the responses from domestic producers, neither
the subject fabrics nor substitutable fabrics are manufactured in
Canada. As well, Revenue Canada confirmed that the subject fabrics
are nonwoven fabrics impregnated with a rubber binder. Domestic
producers, therefore, did not oppose the request for tariff relief
and neither did the other parties identified as having a potential
interest in this investigation.
In the circumstances, the Tribunal concludes that, other than
the tariff revenues foregone by the government, there will be no
direct commercial costs of granting the tariff relief. At the same
time, the benefit to Landes would amount to between $100,000 and
$200,000 per annum in savings on customs duties. In summary, the
Tribunal concludes that the net economic benefits of granting the
tariff relief in this case will be positive.
With regard to Landes’ request for retroactive tariff relief,
the Tribunal does not believe that there are any extraordinary
competitive circumstances warranting such a recommendation.
In light of the foregoing, the Tribunal hereby recommends to the
Minister that the customs duty on importations of nonwoven fabrics
impregnated with a rubber binder and imported under tariff item No.
5603.00.99, for use in the production of labels, badges and similar
articles to be affixed on the outside of garments, be permanently
Lyle M. Russell
Lyle M. Russell
1. R.S.C. 1985, c. 47
2. Vol. 129, No. 29 at
3. R.S.C. 1985, c. 41
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Initial publication: August 28, 1996