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HQ 084947

October 3, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084947 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 3707.90.30

Mr. T. Suminaga
DIC Trading (USA), Inc.
222 Bridge Plaza South,
Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024

RE: Toners and Developers

Dear Mr. Suminaga:

Your letter of May 30, 1989, concerns the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of so-called "toners."


The merchandise, Electrophotographic Toners JT-114 and H-153, is used in electrographic printing. The products are said to be chemical preparations which makes a visible image on a paper indirectly by the action of light on a photoconductive surface. The products are said to be packed in bulk or cartridge.

The components of JT-114 are said to be:


Styrene acrylic copolymer 65.6
Ferrite powder 30.0
Polypropylene wax 2.0
Polyethylene wax 1.0
Metal complex dye 1.0
Silica 0.4


Stryene acrylic copolymer 83.0
Polypropylene wax 4.0
Polyethylene wax 2.0
Dye 2.0
Carbon black 9.0


Whether the "toners" are properly classifiable in subheading 3707.90.60, HTSUS, which provides for unmixed products for photographic uses, put up in measured portions or put up for retail sale in a form ready for use; or in subheading 3707.90.30, HTSUS, which provides for other chemical preparations for photographic uses.


The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level. The notes to heading 3707 provide that this heading covers products of a kind used directly in the production of photographic images. Such products include developers to render latent photographic images visible, including developers used for electrostatic document reproduction, and toners to modify the color of the image. The Notes further state that the products cited in these Notes fall within the heading only when they are:

(A) Single substances which are:

(i) Put up in measured portions, that is, uniformly divided up into quantities in which they will be used, e.g., tablets, small envelopes put up containing the measured amount of powder for one developing bath; or

(ii) In packaging for retail sale and put up with any indication that they are ready for use in photography, whether by label, literature or otherwise (e.g., instructions for use, etc.).

Single substances, put up other than as above, are classified according to their nature (e.g., as chemical products in Chapter 28 or 29,...).

(B) Preparations obtained by mixing or compounding together two or more substances for photographic use. Such preparations remain within the heading whether put up in bulk or small quantities, and whether or not presented for retail sale.

It is understood that the process utilizes the toner- developer to make a copy of the latent (electrostatic) image which has been imparted to the photoreceptor. The result is a copy (usually black, though it may be in color) transferred to a copy media, usually plain paper. The developer includes the toner in its constituents. As the developer's toner is consumed it is replaced from a supply of toner separately maintained in the machine.

The toners and developers are mixtures or preparations composed of various chemical compounds which contribute to the functions of the developing and toning for photographic use in copy machines. They are mixtures as they contain more than one compound, in contrast to a "product" which is a single substance (an element or compound as found in chapter 28 or 29) as defined above. The "toners" in this case are mixtures of compounds, and as such, are classifiable in subheading 3707.90.30, HTSUS.


The subject "toners" are classifiable in subheading 3707.90.30, HTSUS, as other chemical preparations for photographic uses, and dutiable at the rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Direcator

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