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HQ 950699

March 11, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950699 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3920.99.2000

Mr. Edward F. Farrell
Overseas Service Corporation
29 Evelyn Avenue
Franklin Park, New Jersey 08823

RE: Silicone Rubber Tapes from Australia; Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 842072, dated June 27, 1989

Dear Mr. Farrell:

In NYRL 842072, dated June 27, 1989, our New York Seaport Area Office advised you that certain silicone rubber tapes from Australia were classifiable under subheading 4008.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have recently reviewed that ruling at the request of our New York Seaport Area Office and have concluded that the prior classification was incorrect. Our decision follows:


The articles under consideration are made of self-adhering silicone rubber tape which adheres to itself when wrapped under pressure. It fuses to form a homogeneous mass within 24 hours at room temperature or within 4 hours at 350. The tape is available in varying width's between 12mm to 100mm and is imported in rolls.


Is silicone rubber tape a synthetic rubber tape classifiable under heading 4008.21.0000, HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order.

GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

The products under consideration were originally classified under subheading 4008.21.0000, HTSUSA, as a synthetic rubber. In considering the appropriateness of that classification, we analyzed NYRL 842072 and the documentation submitted with the original ruling request to consider whether the products meet the requirements of Note 4(a) of Chapter 40, HTSUSA, which explains that the term "synthetic rubber" applies to:

"(a) Unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non- thermoplastic substances which, at a temperature between 18C and 29C, will not break on being extended to three times their original length and will return, after being extended to twice their original length, within a period a period of 5 minutes, to a length not greater than 1-1/2 times their original length...."

We note that silicone rubber is not normally unsaturated and there is no indication that the silicone rubber under consideration is unsaturated. We also note that the subject silicone rubber is not sulfur vulcanized, i.e., it is not cross- linked with sulfur, as required by the note. The subject silicone rubber does not meet the requirements of that note and is, therefore, not classifiable in Chapter 40, HTSUSA.

Accordingly, these silicone rubber products which were the subject of NYRL 842072, should be classified under the provision for plastics and articles thereof in Chapter 39, HTSUSA.


Silicone rubber is classifiable in subheading 3920.99.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, noncellular and not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials...of other plastics...film, strip and sheets, all the foregoing which are flexible...other. It is subject to a general rate of duty of 4.2 per cent ad valorem.

NYRL 842072 is accordingly modified.

We realize that you may have undertaken contractual obligations in reliance on NYRL 842072 and that such obligations may be continuing. Under the provisions of section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)), you may obtain a delay of up to 90 days in the implementation of this ruling if you can establish, by documentary evidence, that you reasonably relied on NYRL 842072 to your detriment. If you wish to request such a delay, your request and appropriate documentation such as contracts, purchase orders, shipping documents, etc. should be received in this office within 30 days from the issuance of this ruling.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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