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HQ 084014

July 7,1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084014 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 3206.49.1000, HTSUS

George R. Tuttle, Esq.
Three Embarcadero Center
Suite 1160
San Francisco, California 94111

RE: Classification of certain pigment concentrations

Dear Mr. Tuttle:

Your letter of March 7, 1989, concerns the classification of various pigments in plastic materials under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) produced in Canada.


The merchandise is described as pelletized plastic pigments. The colorants with their resin and pigment concentrations are described as follows:

(1) Blue-White Plastic Colorant #1107 contains 47.40 percent titanium dioxide, 42.00 percent polystyrene resin, 0.38 percent ultramarine blue.

(2) Carbon Black PE #2008 is contains 40 percent carbon black dispersed in 60 percent polyethylene resin.

(3) Grey Plastic Colorant #G2015 contains titanium dioxide- 29.10 percent, polyethylene resin-44.85 percent, ultra- marine blue-2.67 percent, chromium oxide green-2.41 percent and carbon black-09.44 percent.

(4) Beige Plastic Colorant #751824 contains titanium dioxide-26.04 percent, PVC resin-59.58 percent, carbon black-1.75 percent, chrome yellow-1.38 percent, iron oxide yellow-0.75 percent, iron oxide red-0.75 percent.


Where you have pigments dispersed in plastics, whether subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS, for concentrated dispersions of pigments in plastics materials, is more specific that any of the other pigment preparation provisions.


Classification in the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI's 1 and 2 concern classification of merchandise in accordance with the terms of the Headings and any relevant Section and Chapter Notes. GRI 3(a) provides, in general, that when merchandise is classifiable under two or more headings, it will be classifiable under the most specific heading. GRI 6 provides that this rule is equally applicable to subheadings, but that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

Subheading 3206.49, HTSUS, provides for coloring matter and other preparations other than those described earlier in heading 3206. Subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS, is a provision which was taken from the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), where it appeared in the benzenoid plastics section. However, the plastics material is viewed as a carrier and the provision for coloring matter in plastics is considered a "use" provision.

Chapter note 3 to Chapter 32 states that heading 3206 applies to preparations based on coloring matter. Subheading 3206.10.0000, HTSUS, covers preparations based on titanium dioxide. The Explanatory Notes to heading 3206, in regard to the titanium dioxide pigments, state that pigments covered are based on titanium dioxide, such as titanium whites consisting of mixtures of titanium dioxide with calcium or barium sulfate or other materials, or of a surface-treated titanium dioxide. In other words the emphasis is placed on materials which produce a "white" coating. In the Blue-White colorant, "white" is the color intended with a blue tint added. Thus, Blue-White #G1107 may be considered a pigment preparation "based on" titanium, so that subheading 3206.10.0000, HTSUS, is the more specific of the comparable provisions.

Following GRI 3(a), where goods are classifable in two or more headings, they will be classifiable under the provision which most specifically describes them. Thus, Carbon Black PE #2008 would be classifiable in subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS, since the provision for concentrated dispersion of pigments in plastics materials describes the preparation more specifically than subheading 3206.49.5000, HTSUS, preparations based on carbon black.

In the case of Grey Plastic Colorant #G2015, to establish the grey color desired, titanium dioxide is mixed with ultramarine blue, chromium oxide green and carbon black. All of the included coloring compounds are needed to create the desired shade of grey; thus, the preparation cannot be considered to be "based on" any one of the compounds. Therefore, subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS, applies to this colorant.

Beige Plastic Colorant #751824 is a mixture of titanium dioxide, carbon black, chrome yellow, and iron oxide red. It also would be classifiable in subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS.


Articles "originating is the territory of Canada", as that term is defined in General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUS, may be entitled to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement (CFTA).

Blue-White Plastic Colorant #G1107 is classified under the provision for pigments and preparations based on titianium dioxide in subheading 3206.10.0000, HTSUS. The rate of duty is 6 percent ad valorem, or 4.8 percent under the CFTA.

Carbon Black PE #2008, Grey Plastic Colorant #G2015, and Beige Plastic Colorant are all classifiable in subheading 3206.49.1000, HTSUS. The rate of duty is 5.9 percent ad valorem or 4.7 percent under the CFTA.


John Durant, Director

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