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December 16, 1994

HQ 955127

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955127 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 2938.90.0000

Ms. Alice M. White
S.S.T. Corporation
P.O. Box 1649
Clifton, NJ 07015-1649

RE: Reconsideration and modification of New York Ruling Letter 850510 concerning the tariff classification of Thymidine (CAS 50- 89-5) from Korea, Japan, or Italy.

Dear Ms. White:

This letter is to advise you that Customs has modified New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 850510, dated March 30, 1990, regarding the classification of Thymidine from Korea, Japan, or Italy. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 850510 was published October 5, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 39/40.


In NYRL 850510, issued March 30, 1990, by the Area Director, New York Seaport, a product, Thymidine (CAS 50-89-5), was classified in subheading 2934.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for Heterocyclic compounds, with a rate of duty of 7.9 percent ad valorem. We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be in error, only with respect to the classification of Thymidine. The correct classification follows.

On August 3, 1993, Customs issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950133, which classified Thymidine as a derivative of a glycoside in subheading 2938.90.0000, HTSUSA. Subheading 2938.90.0000, HTSUSA, is dutiable at 3.7 percent ad valorem at the column one general rate.


Whether the product, Thymidine (CAS 50-89-5), is classifiable in heading 2934, HTSUSA, as a heterocyclic compound or heading 2938, HTSUSA, as a glycoside.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's), which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

In HRL 950133, it was determined that to be classified as a derivative of a glycoside in heading 2938, HTSUSA, the Thymidine must be either naturally occurring or synthesized in a manner so that its chemical structure is identical to the structure of a naturally occurring glycoside. In addition, it was noted that regarding the structure of Thymidine, the original base and sugar are not joined by a glycosidic linkage through an oxygen atom as are all glycosides. However, it is further stated in HRL 950133, that Thymidine is considered a nucleoside, or more specifically, an "n-glycoside" or a glycoside having a nitrogen atom glycosidial bond. Since EN (9) to heading 2938 lists "sinigrin," an "s-glycoside" having a sulfur atom glycosidial bond, as a glycoside classifiable in heading 2938, it is concluded that the intent of the heading is to include an "n- glycoside" like Thymidine.

Based on the foregoing, it is the opinion of Customs Headquarters that NYRL 850510 erroneously classified the product in subheading 2934.90.5000, HTSUSA, believing it to be a heterocyclic compound.


The product, Thymidine, is classifiable in subheading 2938.90.0000, HTSUSA, as "Glycosides, natural or reproduced by synthesis, and their salts, ethers, esters and other derivatives: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 3.7 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 850510, dated March 30, 1990, is hereby modified. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10 (c)(1)).


John Durant, Director

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