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 > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0952078 - HQ 0952188 > HQ 0952166

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 952166

October 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952166 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 6914.90.00

Mr. James S. Paterson
Logistics Interlink
3705 Atrium Drive
Plano, Texas 75075

RE: Isolite; 866328 reconsidered; Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 69; ceramic; 6815.99.40

Dear Mr. Paterson:

This is in reference to a ruling issued to you by Customs in New York on October 7, 1991 (New York Ruling (NY) 866328), concerning the tariff classification of Isolite under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Isolite consists largely of silicon dioxide with smaller amounts of aluminum and iron oxides and is used in soil treatment operations to enhance water absorption by capillary action. NY 866328 held that Isolite was classified under subheading 6815.99.40, HTSUS, which provides for "Articles of stone or of other mineral substances (including articles of peat), not elsewhere specified or included...Other articles...Other... Other."

This classification was based on Laboratory Report No. 2- 91-23275-00 dated September 9, 1991, which examined a tan cylindrical pellet measuring approximately 0.036 inch diameter in various short lengths. Information submitted and examined by the laboratory indicated that the production process of Isolite involved mining diatomite, crushing it into small particles, mixing it into a slurry and firing the resulting slurry in a kiln. Based on the description of the "slurry", our laboratory believed that the product had not been shaped before firing and, therefore, was not a ceramic classified in Chapter 69, HTSUS, because it did not meet the requirements of a ceramic according to Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 69. In a telephone conversation with you, Customs personal in New York confirmed that the material was not shaped before firing.

However, we recently received new information indicating that the material is shaped before it is placed into the kiln and fired. In a letter dated June 16, 1992, you stated that "...the product is in an extruded form prior to the roasting process." ISSUE:

What is the proper tariff classification of the Isolite under the HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Upon receiving new information concerning the Isolite, we are of the opinion that the tariff classification in NY 866328 is incorrect. The Isolite is properly classified under subheading 6914.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for "Other ceramic articles...Other."

Classification under subheading 6914.90.00, HTSUS, requires an examination of the applicable chapter notes. Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 69 states that:

For the purposes of this chapter, a "ceramic article" is a shaped article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or substantially crystalline structure, the body of which is composed essentially of inorganic nonmetallic substances and is formed and subsequently hardened by such heat treatment that the body, if reheated to pyrometric cone 020, would not become more dense, harder, or less porous, but does not include any glass articles.

Based on new information submitted by you in a letter dated June 16, 1992, the material used to manufacture the Isolite is shaped by an extrusion process before it is placed into the kiln and fired. Therefore, we are of the opinion that the Isolite at issue meets the requirements of Additional U.S. Note 1 and, therefore, is a ceramic article which is properly classified in Chapter 69. The proper tariff classification of the Isolite is under subheading 6914.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for "Other ceramic articles...Other."


The Isolite is properly classified under subheading 6914.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for "Other ceramic articles... Other."

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of merchandise of this type and to eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking NY 866328. This letter is notice to you of the revocation of NY 866328 under section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)).

This decision will not be applied retroactively to NY 866328 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of merchandise under that ruling. However, for purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NY 866328 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: