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HQ 955644

March 6, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955644 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 2921.49.5000

Mr. Edward K. Waldinger
Traffic Manager
B.I. Chemicals, Inc.
Henley Division
50 Chestnut Ridge Road
Montvale, NJ 07645

RE: Request for tariff classification of mixed xylidines (CAS

Dear Mr. Waldinger:

This letter is in response to your request for a ruling regarding the classification of mixed xylidines (CAS 1300-73-8).


Mixed xylidines (CAS 1300-73-8), is the name given to a mixture of isomeric xylidines (dimethylaniline isomers) which also contains ethylaniline. This commercial product results from the nitration of "xylene" followed by a reduction reaction. The product is also known as "mixed dimethylanilines" and "ar,ar- dimethyl Benzenamine" and is used in the rubber processing industry as an intermediate for dyestuffs and antioxidants.

The products that are manufactured from the mixed xylidines for the dye and rubber processing industries also include products of ethylaniline (mixed xylidines containing 85 percent xylidine isomers and up to 15 percent ethylaniline). However, it appears that neither industry isolates and purifies the reaction product to eliminate the ethylaniline derivatives, and these derivatives play a role in the final products. As such, mixed xylidines can be considered a crude grade since the individual isomers of xylidines are commercially available.


What is the correct tariff classification for mixed xylidines (CAS 1300-73-8)?


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 (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, 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.

This product contains 85 percent xylidine isomers and up to 15 percent of ethylaniline. In determining the correct classification of this product, it is first necessary to ascertain if the presence of ethylaniline presents an acceptable "impurity" within the meaning of headnote 1(b), Chapter 29, HTSUSA. The language in headnote 1(b) of chapter 29, states as follows:

1. Except where the context otherwise requires, the headings of this chapter apply only to:
(a) Separate chemically defined organic compounds, whether or not containing impurities;
(b) Mixtures of two or more isomers of the same organic compound
(whether or not containing impurities), except mixtures of acyclic hydrocarbon isomers (other than stereoisomers), whether or not saturated (chapter 27) ;

The EN's state that generally, Chapter 29 is restricted to separate chemically defined compounds, i.e. "A separate chemically defined compound is a compound of known structure, which does not contain other substances deliberately added during or after its manufacture (including purification)." See EN's, Section VI, General Note (A) (Chapter Note 1), pgs. 326-327. The EN's note that the separate chemically defined compounds of Chapter 29 may contain "impurities." The definition for "impurities" is provided in the EN's (pgs. 326-327) as, among other things, a substance whose presence in the single chemical compound results solely and directly from the manufacturing process (including purification).

Chapter 29 does not provide for a minimum purity for individual xylidines or for xylidines isomeric mixtures. In addition, the importer states that the ethylaniline generated during the production process is not purposely added to the product and that the ethylaniline does not serve a specific purpose. Thus, we are of the opinion that ethylaniline is an "impurity" within the meaning of headnote 1(b) of chapter 29, HTSUSA. This is based on the fact that ethylaniline is not added to the xylidines mixture, it is produced simultaneously with the xylidines isomers. Furthermore, the final product is a mixture of xylidines having the same function group. Finally, ethylaniline has been left in the resultant mixture for the purpose of making a product with a character suitable for general applications rather than for a specific use. Of course, this rationale would not apply to those mixed xylidines which have been manufactured according to buyers specifications making them suitable for a specific application; such a product would not be classifiable in chapter 29, HTSUSA.


The product identified as, mixed xylidines (CAS 1300-73-8), is properly classifiable within subheading 2921.49.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for: "Amine-function compounds: Aromatic monoamines and their derivatives; salts thereof: Other: Other: Other: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 2.2 cents/kg. plus 17.6 percent ad valorem. However, merchandise produced using buyers specifications is suitable for a specific application and, therefore, would not be classified in chapter 29, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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