United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 955527 - HQ 955749 > HQ 955749

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 955749

September 13, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955749 LTO


TARIFF NO.: Not Applicable

Mr. Chad Hawley
Comprador Inoxidable Inc.
P.O. Box 192923
San Francisco, California 94119-2923

RE: Stainless steel cold-finished bars; stainless steel billets/wire rods to bars (substantial transformation); Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association v. U.S.; Superior Wire v. U.S.; HQ 952462; 19 CFR 134.1

Dear Mr. Hawley:

This is in response to your letter of January 14, 1994, requesting the country of origin for stainless steel cold- finished bars under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Stainless steel billets and stainless steel hot-rolled wire rods in coils produced in India are sent to Argentina. In Argentina, the billets are reheated, hot-rolled, straightened, and then further ground, turned or polished to produce straight lengths in diameters of one to four inches of cold-finished bars. The wire rods are cold drawn, polished or ground, straightened and cut to produce straight lengths of cold-finished bars. The cold-finished bars are then sent to the U.S.

You state that neither raw material, billet or wire rod, is suitable for use as an end product. They are strictly intermediate products in the process of making steel from scrap and alloys to final, finished products suitable for consumption as components in manufacturing of other consumer or industrial products.


Whether the stainless steel cold-finished bars have undergone a substantial transformation as a result of the processing performed in Argentina, so that they can be considered articles of Argentina.


In order for the billets or wire rods produced in India to be considered substantially transformed by the described processing as to be regarded as a product of Argentina for tariff purposes, the evidence must show that the processing results in a product other than or materially different from the merchandise entering Argentina. That is, a new and different article of commerce must emerge from the processing, one having a new name, character or use. Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association v. United States, 207 U.S. 556 (1908).

A steel billet is a semifinished product intended for further hot-rolling (or forging). In Argentina, the billets are reheated, hot-rolled, straightened, and then further ground, turned or polished to produce straight lengths in diameters of one to four inches of cold-finished bars.

When the billet is hot-rolled, a significant molecular change occurs--the molecular structure changes from the cast dendritic structure into a uniform, "equiaxed" wrought structure. Moreover, a significant physical change occurs--the shape and physical dimensions of the steel product are greatly altered.

It is our opinion that the conversion of the stainless steel billet into the bar results in a substantial transformation of the billet. The billet and bar have distinct names, different physical and molecular characteristics and different uses. Thus, the bars will be considered products of Argentina for tariff purposes. See HQ 952462, dated October 26, 1992.

As for the wire rod, we have requested information concerning the percentage reduction in cross-sectional area (from wire rod to bar), the change in value and whether the wire rods were annealed. To date, you have not provided us with this information, and therefore, we cannot render a decision regarding this merchandise.


With regard to the steel billet, the described processing operations in Argentina result in a substantial transformation
or a product having a new name, character and use. Thus, the cold-finished bars are products of Argentina.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling