United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0082527 - HQ 0082703 > HQ 0082621

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 082621

May 11,1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082621 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 475.25

Area Director of Customs
New York Seaport Area
6 World Trade Center
Room 432
New York, N.Y. 10048

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1001-8-001354, on the classification of a petroleum product of Brazil.

Dear Sir:

This protest involves the classification of a petroleum product imported for motor fuel from Brazil under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS).


The product was entered in September 1985, under the provision for mixtures of hydrocarbons derived from petroleum in item 475.65, TSUS. Customs liquidated the entry as motor fuel in item 475.25, TSUS.

The product meets the specifications for motor fuel of the ASTM D-439 guidelines, except that the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) is challenged. Customs found it to be 7.6. while the importer insists that it is 6.6.


Classification of a certain entry of petroleum under the TSUS.


Reid Vapor Pressure is described as the measure of the surface pressure required to keep a liquid from vaporizing. It is claimed that regardless of whether the RVP is 6.6 or 7.6, the imported product could not be considered a motor fuel as
entered, as the average RVP for motor fuel for 1985 was 10.5. The product is said to be commercially known as a "cat naphtha", which is defined as catalytically reformed naphtha, produced by a refining procedure which breaks down large, complex hydrocarbon molecules into smaller, more useful ones. This refining method is said to produce a larger quantity of gasoline base stock of substantially higher octane than is produced by thermal cracking.

Because of its low RVP level, it is contended that the import is a blendstock used in the production of a finished motor fuel. In support of its position, the importer submitted a statement from a petroleum engineer, who stated that while not in violation of ASTM specifications, the RVP of the imported material is well below marketable gasoline quality. Data from a survey of gasoline sold in the U.S. in 1985 as conducted by the National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research (NIPER) was also submitted. It was claimed that this data showed that for the summer period 1985 "finished gasoline is always very close to the seasonal maximum, which in the case of summer specification is 10.0 to 11.5 psia." A sample tested by an independent laboratory was said to disclose a RVP of 6.6.

A Customs Laboratory report found a RVP of 7.6. In a statement to Customs in December 1985, the importer listed the properties of the import, including a RVP of 7.6. A review of the NIPER report for the Summer of 1985 shows the minimum RVP for gasoline sold commercially in several districts to be in the 7 range-

RVP Ranges for Automotive Gasolines for the Summer 1985 (NIPER Report)

Mid-Atlantic Region 7.9
Southeast 7.5
So. Mount. 7.7
No. Cal. 7.8
So. Calif. 7.8
Appalachian 6.1

Thus the minimum RVP for commercial gasoline in several districts was at least seven, and, in fact, the lowest commercial product had a RVP of 6.1.


The Protest is denied

The protestant should be furnished a copy of this decision along with the Form 19 Notice of Action.


Jerry Laderberg

Previous Ruling Next Ruling