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HQ 953034

April 27, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 953034 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 2525.20.00

Area Director
U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
New York, New York 10048

RE: Application for further review of Protest No. 1001-92-104900, dated August 3, 1992; mica M-JV; potassium aluminosilicate mica; muscovite; Note 1, chapter 25; calcination; calcined

Dear Area Director:

This is a decision on a protest filed August 3, 1992, against your decision in the classification of merchandise entered on February 27, 1992 and liquidated on June 12, 1992.


The protestant entered the merchandise, described as potassium aluminosilicate mica powder, under subheading 2525.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), a provision for mica, including splittings, and mica waste; duty was claimed at the column one general rate of 2.4 percent ad valorem.

Customs reclassified the merchandise under subheading 6814.90.00, HTSUSA, a provision for worked mica, etc.; duty was assessed at the column one general rate of 5.1 percent ad valorem.

The merchandise is identified as potassium aluminosilicate mica powder. Potassium aluminosilicate mica is also known as muscovite, a natural hydrous potassium aluminum silicate.

In this matter, counsel for the protestant advises in a memorandum dated July 31, 1992 and attached to the Customs Form 19 that the powder is used as a filler in cosmetics products, and is obtained from mica flakes in excess of five millimeters in diameter that were heat treated to remove any accumulated moisture and impurities; thereafter, they were wet ground and sorted by size.

In a telephone conversation on April 27, 1993, counsel, upon information from the protestant, advised that the heat treatment is used to break down the mica, thereby facilitating the washing out of impurities.


What is the classification under the HTSUSA of potassium aluminosilicate mica, or muscovite, that has been heated and powderized?


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 are part of the HTSUSA and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.

GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

Note 1, Chapter 25, HTSUSA, provides in part that the headings of the chapter apply to products only in the crude state or which have been powdered but not roasted, calcined or subjected to processing beyond that mentioned in a given heading.

Heading 2525 describes "mica, including splittings; mica waste" and no other products. Clearly, the heading mentions no particular processing. In other words, heading 2525 does not specify conditions or processes which are permissible in addition to those allowed by Note 1, Chapter 25. cf. heading 2528: natural borates and concentrates thereof (calcined or not).

Calcination is the heating of a solid to a temperature below its melting point to bring about a state of thermal decomposition or a phase transition other than melting. Condensed Chemical Dictionary (Ninth Ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. Thus, while calcination is a heat process, heating is not calcination.

We are of the opinion that mica that has been heated to facilitate the removal of impurities prior to grinding into powder remains classifiable under heading 2525, HTSUSA.


The protest should be allowed.

Potassium aluminosilicate mica, or muscovite, that has been heated and powderized is classifiable under subheading 2525.20.00, HTSUSA, a provision for mica; including splittings; mica waste; mica powder.

Merchandise entered in 1992 under the foregoing provision was dutiable at the column one general rate of 2.4 percent ad valorem.

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director

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