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 > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089809 - HQ 0089933 > HQ 0089931

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089931

October 15, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089931 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 0511.99.2000

Mr. Richard G. Seley
Rudolph Miles & Sons, Inc.
Customhouse Brokers
4950 Gateway East
P.O. Box 144
El Paso, TX 79942

RE: Raw Hide Dog Chew; Paring and Waste of Similar Raw Hides or Skins under subheading 0511.99.2000, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Seley:

This is in response to your letter of June 17, 1991 submitted on behalf of your client, The Reward Company, Inc. of Chamberino, New Mexico, a division of Alpo Petfoods, Inc., of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Your inquiry requests the proper classification of a raw hide dog chew under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The dog chew is composed of cow corium, the layer of cow hide beneath the epidermis, which is cut, in South America, into approximately two inch by six inch rectangular strips. The inquirer identifies the inter-dermal layer of cow hide as parings, a waste product of the tanning process and maintains that only the epidermis of a cow hide is tanned to make leather. Thus, when preparing a hide to be tanned, the hair on the outer side and the skin beneath the epidermis is removed.

After this process occurs, the item is then shipped to Mexico where it is coated with a beef flavoring, dried and packaged. The inquirer provides no information regarding the processing or application of preservatives to these strips.


Whether the raw hide dog chew is classified as an article of leather in subheading 4205.00.8000, HTSUSA, a hide or skin of a bovine animal in subheading 4101.30.0090, HTSUSA, a paring or other waste of leather in subheading 4110.00.0000, HTSUSA, or as a paring or similar waste of a raw hide or skin in subheading 0511.99.2000, HTSUSA.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. Pursuant to GRI 6, the GRI's, Section Notes and Chapter Notes pertain to subheadings in the same fashion.

Subheading 4205.00.8000, HTSUSA, pertains in part, to "other articles of leather." A cow hide does not become leather unless it is tanned. The verb "tan" is defined as, "to convert (hide) into leather by treatment with an infusion of tannin-rich bark or other agent of similar effect." See Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary 1205 (1990). As provided above, the skin beneath the cow's epidermis is removed since the epidermis is the only part of the cow hide tanned to make leather. Thus, the item has not been tanned, and will not qualify as leather. Consequently, the dog chew is not classifiable in subheading 4205.00.8000, HTSUSA, and we must classify the dog chew elsewhere.

Subheading 4110.00.0000, HTSUSA, pertains, in part, to "parings and other waste of leather or of composition leather...", while subheading 4101.30.0090, HTSUSA, provides for "other hides or skins of bovine animals, otherwise preserved." However, Note 1(a) to Chapter 41, Raw Hides and Skins (Other than Furskins) and Leather, provides that, "[t]his chapter does not cover: [p]arings or similar waste, of raw hides or skins (heading 0511)." Subheading 0511.99.2000, HTSUSA, does, in fact, provide for, "parings and similar waste of raw hides or skins." Thus, our focus turns to whether the cow corium component of the dog chew is a paring of the tanning process, as asserted by the inquirer.

The reference materials consulted, J.H. Sharphouse, Leather Technician's Handbook (1971), J. Arnold, Hides and Skins (1925) and T. Thorstensen, Practical Leather Technology (1975), do not disprove the inquirer's claim that the cow corium is a paring. Since the cow corium is a paring and is not tanned, the item is classifiable in subheading 0511.99.2000, HTSUSA.


The raw hide dog chew is properly classified in subheading 0511.99.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for animal products not elsewhere specified or included; dead animals of chapter 1 or 3, unfit for human consumption: other: other: parings and similar waste of raw hides or skins; glue stock not elsewhere specified or included. The general column one rate of duty provides that the item is duty free.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: