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 NY Rulings > NY 0863663 - NY 0864622 > NY 0864613

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

NY 864613

July 17, 1991

CLA-2-:71:S:N:N3G:344 864613


TARIFF NO.: 7103.10.4000

Mr. Max Rosequist
Yukon Jade Ltd.
10330 SE 147th Avenue
Portland, OR 97236

RE: The tariff classification of rough-sawn nephrite jade from Canada.

Dear Mr. Rosequist:

In your letter of May 30, 1991, you asked for a tariff classification ruling on rough-sawn jade from Canada.

You indicate that you own and operate two nephrite jade mines in Canada.
You have been mining for nine years and selling your rough jade to Taiwan and China. You are now interested in manufacturing some nephrite jade products in the United States.

Jade from your Canadian mines comes from two sources: (1)- loose talus slope boulders, which have been weathered and rolled down the hill from their original location and, (2)-jade in place, normally a ledge.

You state that most of the loose talus slope boulders of acceptable quality have already been mined and sold. There are still a few large boulders, in the 10 to 50 ton range, most of which must be divided for ease of handling and shipping.

All of the jade in place (in ledges) must be divided or reduced in size before it can be removed from the mountain.

Separating the jade from the non-jade rock requires jade miners to use alternate methods of mining. One method involves drilling completely through a boulder every four inches in a straight line and then wedging it apart, by driving a special wedge in each hole.

A second method involves the use a wire cable to cut the jade boulder. With this method a very rough surface is obtained-- not the straight flat cut that is obtained by using a circular saw.
Under the previous Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), "rough" precious and semiprecious stones that were rough- sawn or roughly shaped (for ease of handling and transporting) were free of duty under a TSUS provision for precious and semiprecious stones, natural...whether in their natural form or broken but not advanced in condition or value from their natural state, and not set.

With the advent of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) on January 1, 1989, rough precious stones (other than diamonds) and semiprecious stones that are unworked remain free of duty. "Unworked" is a reference to rough gemstones as taken from the earth.

Nephrite jade that is rough raw stone as directly taken from the mine and unworked is classifiable under the provision for precious stones (other than diamonds) and semiprecious stones...unworked or simply sawn or roughly shaped: unworked...in subheading 7103.10.2000, HTSUS, and are free of duty.

Nephrite jade that has been trimmed, or wedged apart into boulders of manageable size, or rough-sawn by a wire cable or by a circular saw, is jade "simply sawn or roughly shaped," that is, jade that has been "worked." The jade produced in the mining operations described by you is "worked" and cannot be treated as "raw unworked jade," as suggested by you.

The applicable subheading for the nephrite jade that has been trimmed, or wedged apart or rough sawn, will be 7103.10.4000 (HTSUS), which provides for precious stones (other than diamonds) and semiprecious stones...unworked or simply sawn or roughly shaped: other [other than unworked--simply sawn or roughly shaped]. The rate of duty will be 21% ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

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.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: