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HQ 554901

January 26, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:V 554901 GRV


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.60

Susan L. Connor
Supervisor - Traffic Services
AMAX Center
Greenwich, Connecticut 06836-1700

RE: Applicability of partial duty exemption under HTSUS subhead- ing 9802.00.60 to ferromolybdenum to be imported from Europe.067757;067419;055336;

Dear Ms. Connor:

This is in response to your letter of October 27, 1987, requesting, inter alia, a ruling on the applicability of subhead- ing 9802.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), to ferromolybdenum to be imported from Europe. Other issues raised in your letter were addressed in Headquarters Ruling Letter 219899 (February 3, 1988).


You state that AMAX, Inc., intends to ship molybdenum ores and/or molybdic oxides of U.S. origin to its two conversion plants in Europe. There, the plants would convert the ores or oxides into ferromolybdenum, which would then be returned to the U.S. for further processing.


Whether the products to be exported constitute articles of metal, so as to be eligible for the partial duty exemption pro- vided for under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.60 (item 806.30, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS)) when returned to the U.S.


Effective January 1, 1989, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) will supersede and replace the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). TSUS Item 806.30 will be carried over into the HTSUS without change as subheading 9802.00.60. This tariff provision provides a partial duty exemp- tion for:
[a]ny article of metal...manufactured in the United States or subjected to a process of manufacture in the United States, if exported for further processing, and if the exported article as processed outside the United States, or the article which results from the processing outside the United States, is returned to the United States for further processing. (Emphasis supplied).

Thus, articles of metal satisfying these statutory requirements may be classified under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.60 with duty only on the value of such processing done outside the U.S., upon compliance with section 10.9, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.9).

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 067757 (June 25, 1982), dry alumina extrudate (an oxide) was exported and we held that in this chemical oxide form it would not be considered an article of metal within the meaning of TSUS item 806.30. In HRL 067419 (November 4, 1981), oxide materials containing molybdenum were similarly deemed to be chemical compounds of metal and not articles of metal, thereby rendering the materials ineligible for TSUS item 806.30. Lastly, in HRL 055336 (November 7, 1978), we held that a rare earth fluorocarbonate was not a metal article for purposes of TSUS item 806.30 and stated that "unless the product involved is chiefly in a metallic form, the ordinary ores, minerals, concentrates, residues, oxides, and dross or slag obtained from processing a metal, are more likely to be a combination of chemical elements such as oxides, sulfates, salts, and similarly combined forms." Accordingly, we stated that where the component material of chief value is a chemical compound containing combined metal, the product is not considered to be an article of metal within the meaning of TSUS item 806.30 (now denominated as HTSUS subheading 9802.00.60.

In the present case, we are of the opinion that neither the molybdenum-containing ores nor the molybdic oxides constitute an article of metal for tariff purposes. Molybdenum ores in primary form are earthy, mineral-type materials bearing none of the characteristics of the molybdenum or ferromolybdenum metal. Molybdic oxides are gray, powdery, non-metallic compounds derived from molybdenum ore or the oxidation of molybdenum metal. Although the oxide may be reduced to the metal, it is used most frequently in oxide form as a dry lubricant. Therefore, consistent with the above-referenced ruling letters, these products are not eligible for the partial duty exemption when returned to the U.S., as they do not qualify as articles of metal for purposes of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.60. HOLDING:

On the basis of the information provided, the molybdenum ores and molybdic oxides to be exported do not constitute articles of metal within the meaning of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.60 and, therefore, the ferromolybdenum to be imported will not be eligible for the partial duty exemption provided thereunder when returned to the U.S.


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