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 956140 - HQ 956318 > HQ 956157

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956157

November 17, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956157 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 3901.90.1000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
423 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-2341

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2002-93-101615, dated October 13, 1993, concerning elastomeric ethylene propylene copolymer beads

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed October 13, 1993 against your decision in the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of merchandise liquidated on July 16, 1993 and entered on April 1, 1993.


The protestant entered all goods in subheading 3901.90.1000, (HTSUSA), a provision for polymers of ethylene, in primary forms; other; elastomeric, to be entered free of duty.

Customs reclassified the merchandise under subheading 3901.10.0020, HTSUSA, a provision for primary forms of low density polyethylene, except linear low density polyethylene; the rate of duty was advanced to the column one general rate of 12.5 percent ad valorem.

A report of Customs laboratory analysis describes and identifies the merchandise as translucent pellets of ethylene-propylene copolymer, a representative pellet consisting of 73 percent by weight of the ethylene comonomer and satisfying the stretch and return test set forth in Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 39, HTSUSA.


Whether elastomeric ethylene propylene copolymer beads are classified as the polyethylene polymer of ethylene or as an other polymer of ethylene.


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.

Legal Note 4, Chapter 39, HTSUSA, provides in part that copolymers and polymer blends are to be classified in the heading covering polymers of that comonomer which predominates by weight over every other single comonomer, the expression "copolymers" meaning a polymer in which no single monomer contributes 95 percent or more by weight to the total polymer content.

Polyethylene is but one polymer of ethylene and is classifiable under subheading 3901.10, HTSUSA. Other polymers of ethylene are classifiable under subheadings of heading 3901 other than subheading 3901.10. In this case, we find that the subject merchandise is a copolymer of propylene and ethylene, not propylene and polyethylene, that is classifiable as a polymer of ethylene pursuant to Legal Note 4, Chapter 39.


Elastomeric ethylene propylene copolymer beads are classifiable under subheading 3901.90.1000, HTSUSA, a provision for "Polymers of ethylene, in primary forms: Other; Elastomeric."

Merchandise classifiable under the foregoing provision in 1993 was entitled to be entered free of duty.

Since reclassification of the merchandise as indicated above will result in a lower rate of duty than claimed, you are instructed to allow the protest in full.

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.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1992, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: