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HQ 952242

October 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952242 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 7804.20.00

Carl R. Soller, Esq.
Soller, Shayne & Horn
46 Trinity Place
New York, NY 10006

RE: Lead Micro Shot; Micro Granules; Powders; Flakes; Unwrought; HQ 088517, Affirmed; 7801.99.90

Dear Mr. Soller:

This is in response to your request dated July 15, 1992, on behalf of Non-Ferrous Traders, Inc., for the reconsideration of HQ 088517 (April 17, 1992). In HQ 088517, we held that certain lead products were classified as lead powders in Heading 7804 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise is described as 99.97% lead "micro shot". It is produced from molten lead in spherical forms which range in diameter from 0.1 to 0.5 mm. The lead products will be injected pneumatically into molten steel to form a uniform alloy.


Is the merchandise classified as unwrought lead, in Heading 7801, HTSUS, or as lead powders, in Heading 7804, HTSUS?


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

Heading 7801 describes unwrought lead. Heading 7804 in part describes lead powders.

Section XV Additional U.S. Note 2 provides that for the purposes of Section XV (which encompasses Chapter 78), "...the term "unwrought" refers to metal, whether or not refined, in the form of ingots...grains, sponge, pellets, flattened pellets, rounds, rondelles, shot and similar manufactured primary forms...".

Section XV Note 6(b) provides that for the purposes of Section XV, the term "Powders" means "[p]roducts of which 90 percent or more by weight passes through a sieve having a mesh aperture of 1 mm."

The lead products under consideration have diameters which range from 0.1 to 0.5 mm. The products are clearly defined as "Powders" by Section XV Note 6(b).

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes to Heading 7804, p. 1074, provide that "[t]he heading also covers lead powders as defined in Note 6(b) to Section XV and lead flakes."

The Explanatory Notes to Heading 7801, p. 1073, also refer to lead powders, and provide that Heading 7801 "...excludes lead powders or flakes (heading 78.04)" (emphasis in original).

For HTSUS classification purposes, the merchandise under consideration is defined as lead powders and is specifically described by Heading 7804. HQ 088517 properly classified the merchandise as "lead powders...: ...Powders and flakes", in subheading 7804.20.00, HTSUS, and is affirmed. Similar merchandise was also classified in Heading 7804 in HQ 950031 (November 13, 1991).

The ruling requestor presents a number of arguments as to why the merchandise should be classified in Heading 7801.

First, it is argued that the merchandise is a primary, "unwrought" form of metal, manufactured directly from molten lead. Thus, it is argued, the merchandise cannot fall in Heading 7804 because Heading 7804 only covers "wrought" metal. We find this argument to be unpersuasive. Section XV Additional U.S. Note 2 does include "...shot and similar manufactured primary forms..." in the definition of "unwrought". However, Additional U.S. Note 2 does not identify "powder" as an "unwrought" product. The question as to whether the merchandise is classified as "shot and similar manufactured primary forms", is resolved by Section XV Note 6(b), which clearly defines the product as "powders", a product specifically described by Heading 7804. The Explanatory Notes to Headings 7801 and 7804 also indicate that products defined as lead powders by Section XV Note 6(b) were intended to be classified in Heading 7804.

It is also argued that the merchandise cannot be classified as lead powder in Heading 7804, because the merchandise is unwrought lead shot, specifically identified in Section XV U.S. Additional Note 2, and is excluded from Heading 7804 according to the Explanatory Notes to Heading 7804. Assuming, arguendo, that the product is known in the trade as shot, Section XV Note 6(b) still instructs that the merchandise is considered "Powders" for HTSUS classification purposes. "It is not enough that an article be called a tariff term in the trade vernacular. There must also be a showing made that the article embodies the salient characteristics of the tariff term claimed." Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, CIT , Slip Op. 90-22 1(March 13, 1990), p. 15.

It is further argued that certain provisions in chapters other than Chapter 78 suggest that the merchandise be classified in Heading 7801. However, the merchandise in its condition as entered is a lead product. Provisions, including Explanatory Notes, for chapters which describe non-lead metals would not seem to contravene the clear legal notes which are instructive on the classification of Chapter 78 lead powders.

Finally, even if the merchandise was described by both Headings 7801 and 7804, it would still be classified in Heading 7804 which provides the much more specific description of "lead powders".


HQ 088517 (April 17, 1992) properly classified the merchandise as "lead powders...: ...Powders and flakes", in subheading 7804.20.00, HTSUS, and is affirmed.


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