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HQ 089765

July 15, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089765 HP


TARIFF NO.: 5305.19.0000

Mr. Noel Leonidas
Global Trading Company
7324 Reseda Blvd., Suite 162
Reseda, CA 91335

RE: Coco Peat, the husk particles and fiber dust that is formed from coconut (coir) fiber production, is tow, noils and waste of these fibers.

Dear Mr. Leonidas:

This is in reply to your letters of April 19, 1991, and May 23, 1991, concerning the tariff classification of Coco - Peat, produced in Sri Lanka, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your client St. Anthony's coir products (Pvt.) LTD, Sri Lanka.


The merchandise at issue consists of three samples of coir (coconut) fibers, "Coco Peat," labeled as (1) normal 40% - 50% moisture; (2) special sun dried 30% - 35% moisture; and (3) special dried 20% - 30% moisture. Coco Peat has a unique sponge like structure, like pith, which will retain larger quantities of water, nutrients and oxygen (AFP - Air Fill Porosity); thereby improving aeration. It also has the advantage of being weed free, with an ideal PH of 5. Coco Peat is largely used for horticulture, vineyards, citrus & pineapple plantations. Coco Peat can be used to save water in large tree crops and vegetable cultivations by burying Coco Peat in trenches in between the rows and beds, and can also be used as mulch.

Physical Analysis
Pith 80 to 90%
Short staple coconut fibre 20 to 10%
Chemical Analysis
Cellulose 30%
Hemi Cellulose 12%
Lysine 47%
Ash 11%
Proximate Analysis
Fixed Carbon 26%
Volatiles 62%
Ash 12%
Ultimate Analysis

Carbon 46%
Hydrogen 07%
Oxygen 46%
Nitrogen 02%


Whether the Coco Peat is considered peat under the HTSUSA?


Heading 2703, HTSUSA, provides for peat, whether or not agglomerated. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. The EN to this heading states that the "heading covers all kinds of peat, including ... crushed peat, ... used ... for soil improvement or for other purposes." The EN also defines peat as being "formed of partly carbonized vegetable material."

WEBSTER'S II NEW RIVERSIDE UNIVERSITY DICTIONARY (1984), at 229, defines "carbonize" as "1. To reduce or convert to carbon, as by partial burning. 2. To coat or combine with carbon." In your May 23, 1991, letter to the Customs New York Seaport, you described the production processes as follows:

By crushing the soaked coconut husks by means of machinery for coir fibre the husk particles and the fibre dust that falls out are collected and trade marked as Coco Peat.

[After retrieval:]

Collected fibre>> >>passed through sifter dust and small >> passed through>>for removal of short particles >> a huller to >>staple fibre and un- >> breakup bonds >>wanted particles

After this process Coco Peat is graded as,

1. Normal Coco Peat (fibre dust & small particles) 40% to 50% moisture without drying - fumigated for pest control with
Methyl Bromide.

2. Special Coco Peat (fibre dust & small
particles) 20% to 25% moisture dried by a special dryer and steralised [sic.] - fumigated for pest control with Methyl

3. Sun dried Coco Peat (fibre dust and small particles) 25% to 30% [moisture].

As carbonization is not included in the above processes, classification as peat is inappropriate.

Heading 1404, HTSUSA, provides for vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included. Therefore, if no other heading in the HTSUSA provides for the Coco Peat, the Coco Peat is classifiable herein.

Heading 5305, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, coconut fibers (coir), raw or processed but not spun. The EN to this heading states:

This heading covers vegetable textile fibres obtained from the leaves or fruit of certain monocotyledonous plants.

Generally, they are classified here whether raw, prepared for spinning..., or in the form of tow or fibrous waste....

The vegetable textile fibres classified here include:

Coconut. Coconut fibres (coir) are obtained from the external covering of the nut and are coarse, brittle and brown in colour. They are classified here whether in the mass or in bundles.

You have stated that the long coir fibres retrieved from the coconut husks, but not used for Coco Peat, are used for the manufacture of ropes, matting, fillers, etc. As the husk particles and the fibre dust that falls out are fibrous waste, the Coco Peat is classifiable in heading 5305, HTSUSA.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 5305.19.0000, HTSUSA, as coconut ... and other vegetable fibers, not elsewhere specified or included, raw or processed but not spun; tow, noils and waste of these fibers (including yarn waste and garnetted stock), or coconut (coir), other. The applicable rate of duty is Free.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


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