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HQ 951972

August 17, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951972 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 3902.10.00

Mr. Jan A. Van Hummel
P.O. Box 822546
Dallas, Texas 75382-2546

RE: Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of atactic polypropylene; APP; polypropylene; single thermoplastic; waste; 3915

Dear Mr. Van Hummel:

This is in reply to your written request dated April 28, 1992, for a binding ruling on the classification under the HTSUSA of atactic polypropylene (APP).


You have described and submitted five samples of APP. You distinguish among so-called "remelt" APP, APP-STC, APP-KOC, APP- STH and APP-HG. Four of the samples originate in Japan, the fifth in Korea. "Remelt" APP is described as coming from separated landfill. Two samples are labelled "copolymer", and identified as consisting of less than 5 percent of ethylene, whereas the remaining two samples consisting of 100 percent atactic polypropylene are labelled "homopolymer APP." Four of the samples are blocks or lumps of irregular shape and one is in the form of pellets.

It appears from your submission that, historically, APP was not intentionally made, because it lacked any industrial or commercial application. You state that APP is a by-product "(about 1% of total production of a plant)" generated during the production of polypropylene resin and, until the late 1970s, all APP was discarded to landfills. Since that time period, APP has been used in combination with other materials added to bitumen in the manufacture of roofing membranes.


What is the classification of atactic polypropylene? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. Tariff classification 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 as well as section and chapter notes are part of the HTSUSA and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.

Heading 3902, HTSUSA, describes in part polymers of polypropylene, in primary forms. Subheading 3902.10.00 describes "polypropylene."

Heading 3915 is descriptive of waste, parings and scrap of plastics, and subheading 3915.90 identifies such articles of other plastics, i.e., other than ethylene, styrene and vinyl chloride.

Legal Note 6(b), Chapter 39, defines "primary forms" to include blocks of irregular shape, lumps, powders, flakes and similar bulk forms. Note 7 provides that heading 3915 does not apply to waste, parings and scrap of a single thermoplastic material, transformed into primary forms; such goods are articles of plastics classifiable under one of headings 3901-3914.

Polypropylene is a thermoplastic. Compounds in which any one monomer contributes 95 percent or more by weight to the total polymer content are not "copolymers", see Legal Note 4, Chapter 39. We find all of the samples are of the single thermoplastic polypropylene and are in primary form. We find that the merchandise is not classifiable under heading 3915.

Polymers of polypropylene are known to exist in three forms: isotactic, syndiotactic and atactic. Heading 3902 makes no distinction among the three; since it is without limitation, we are of the opinion that heading 3902 is descriptive of all forms of polypropylene.


Atactic polypropylene in primary form is classifiable under subheading 3902.10.00, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the column one general rate of 12.5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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