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HQ 953355

MAY 10 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 953355 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 657.25

District Director of Customs
40 South Gay St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE: PRD 1303-91-100348; Ductile Iron Beam Clamps; Malleable Cast-Iron Articles, Item 657.10; Malleable as First Cast, Steel, Schedule 6, Part 2, Subheading B, Headnote 2(g), TSUS; Articles of Iron or Steel

Dear District Director:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1303-91-100348, dated October 10, 1991, filed against your action in liquidating certain entries of cast iron beam clamps from Portugal. The entries were dated January 3, 17, and 23, and April 9, 1988, and were liquidated on August 2, 1991. This protest was timely filed on October 10, 1991.


The articles in question are described on invoices as castings of ferritic malleable iron, and are designed to function as reversible beam clamps. Submitted drawings indicate the beam clamp castings are of malleable iron with minimum yield strength of 40,000 pounds per square inch (psi) and minimum tensile strength of 52,000 psi with 9 percent elongation. The castings are held at a temperature of 1750 degrees F for 2 hours, then dropped to 1450 degrees F then cooled to 1200 degrees F at a rate of 10-12 degrees per hour, then air cooled.

Customs laboratory report 2-88-20269-001, dated May 26, 1988, describes a submitted sample as composed of nodular ductile iron containing by weight over 0.6 percent copper.

The merchandise was entered under the provision for cast- iron articles, malleable, not alloyed, under item 657.10, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), dutiable at the rate of 3.1 percent ad valorem. Based on your conclusion that the castings were malleable as first cast, and alloyed, you negated the entered classification and liquidated the entries under the - 2 -
provision for other articles of iron or steel, under item 657.25, TSUS, dutiable at the rate of 5.7 percent ad valorem.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

657.10 Cast-iron articles, not alloyed: malleable... 3.1 percent

657.25 Articles of iron or steel, not coated or plated with precious metal: Other: Other..... 5.7 percent


Whether the beam clamp castings are alloyed cast articles; whether they are considered "steel" for tariff purposes


An imported article that is described in two or more provisions of the schedules is classifiable in the provision which most specifically describes it; but in applying this rule of interpretation comparisons are to be made only between provisions of coordinate or equal status, or between coordinate inferior headings which are subordinate to the same superior heading. See General Rule of Interpretation 10(c)(ii), TSUS.

The term "Steel" is defined as an alloy of iron and carbon which is malleable as first cast. See Schedule 6, Part 2, Subpart B, Headnote 2(g), TSUS. Steel may contain other elements but iron must predominate, by weight, over each of the other elements. Steel that contains, by weight, over 0.60 percent copper, among other things is considered an alloy. The term "iron or steel" includes alloy iron or steel. See Schedule 6, Part 2, Subpart B, Headnote 2(h), TSUS.

In a letter dated September 29, 1991, protestant merely states that because the merchandise is a malleable cast-iron article, item 657.10, TSUS, more accurately describes it than does the provision in item 657.25.

Malleable castings are made in a two-step process. A melt of malleable grades of pig iron and cast-iron scrap is tapped and cast into molds. The addition of copper as an alloy strengthens the ferrite and enhances the castings' resistance to heat and corrosion. When cool, the castings are removed and cleaned, then placed in an annealing furnace in a second stage process that leaves a metal similar to soft steel but of much coarser grain and with less ductility. Annealing raises the castings' tensile and yield strengths, increases ductility, and improves machinability. - 3 -

Drawings accompanying this protest describe a heat treatment that is part of the casting process and is designed to make the castings more malleable. Because they are annealed during casting in a one-step process, the castings are considered malleable as first cast and must be regarded as steel for tariff purposes.


The beam clamp castings are cast-iron articles that are alloyed and are malleable as first cast. The beam clamp castings are considered articles of [iron or] steel classifiable in item 657.25, TSUS.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19, and forwarded to protestant, through his representative, as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director

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