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HQ 088929

August 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 088929 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 2926.90.4000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
300 Second Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59401

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3307-91- 100010, dated March 6, 1991, concerning 2,3-Dichloro- 5,6-dicyanobenzoquinone (DDQ)

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed March 4, 1991, against your decision in the classification of the merchandise in entry number 3221xxxxxxx, liquidated February 8, 1991.


The protestant entered the goods under subheading 2926.90.4000, HTSUSA, a residual provision for other aromatic nitrile-function compounds, dutiable at the general rate of 20% ad valorem. Now following liquidation, but within the 90-day prescriptive period, protestant alleges that DDQ is not an "aromatic" compound as defined in the Additional U.S. Notes to chapter 29, HTSUSA, but is a "modified aromatic" properly classifiable under subheading 2926.90.5050, to be entered free of duty. You recommend that the protest be denied.


What is the proper classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of 2,3- Dichloro-5,6-dicyanobenzoquinone (DDQ)?


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. The tariff classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUSA and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes. See Sections 1204(a) and (c) of the Omnibus Trade and Competitive Act of 1988 (19 U.S.C. 1204(a) & (c)).

GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule (i.e., (1) merchandise is to be classified under the 4-digit heading that most specifically describes the merchandise; (2) only 4-digit headings are comparable; and (3) merchandise must first satisfy the provisions of a 4-digit heading before consideration is given to classification under a subheading within this 4-digit heading) and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

GRI 6 provides that the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, according to GRI 1-5.

In part from Additional U.S. Note 2:

(a) The term "aromatic" as applied to any chemical compound refers to such compound containing one or more fused or unfused benzene rings;

(b) The term "modified aromatic" describes a molecular structure having at least one six-membered heterocyclic ring which contains at least four carbon atoms and having an arrangement of molecular bonds as in the benzene ring or in the quinone ring, but does not include any such molecular structure in which one or more pyrimidine rings are the only modified aromatic rings present; * * *

The compound 2,3-Dichloro-5,6-dicyanobenzoquinone is a multipli-substituted benzene ring, more particularly, it is p- benzoquinone to which two chlorines and two nitriles have been attached. It is not a modified aromatic because there has been no substitution of any carbon to create a heterocyclic "as in" the benzene or quinone ring; DDQ is a benzene/quinone ring.

We find that 2,3-Dichloro-5,6-dicyanobenzoquinone, CAS 84- 58-2 (DDQ) is properly classifiable under subheading 2926.90.4000 of the schedule. The protest should be denied.


The compound 2,3-Dichloro-5,6-dicyanobenzoquinone, CAS 84- 58-2 (DDQ) is properly classifiable under subheading 2926.90.4000 of the HTSUSA, which provides for nitrile-function compounds; other; aromatic; other; other; other. Merchandise classified under this subheading for the year 1991 is subject to a general rate of duty of 20.0% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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