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HQ 956864

May 2, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 956864 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3923.50.0000

Mr. Lorne A. Oakley
408-420 Gloucester Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 7T7

RE: New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 846178, dated October 30, 1989, Regarding Silicone Rubber Stoppers from Canada

Dear Mr. Oakley:

In NYRL 846178 you were advised that silicone rubber stoppers were classifiable in 4016.99.1500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We noted that that ruling was based on the premise that the silicone rubber of which the stoppers were composed was vulcanized.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C> 1625 (c)(1), 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), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 846178 was published on March 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 12.


The articles under consideration are silicone rubber stoppers used as brewing system accessories.


What is the classification of rubber stoppers composed of silicone rubber?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order. - 2 -

NYRL 846178 held that the subject articles were classifiable under subheading 4016.99.1500, HTSUSA, the provision for other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber...caps, lids, seals, stoppers and other closures. In considering the propriety of that classification we considered the definition for the term "synthetic rubber" contained in legal note 4(a) to Chapter 40, HTSUSA. That definition provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances...

We have noted that silicone cannot be cross-linked with sulfur and, therefore, the stoppers are not considered to be made of synthetic rubber in accordance with that definition. They are not classifiable under the provisions for rubber and articles thereof in Chapter 40, HTSUSA. Accordingly, they remain classifiable under the provisions for plastics in Chapter 39, HTSUSA.


Stoppers for use as brewing system accessories made from silicone rubber are classifiable in subheading 3923.50.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for stoppers, lids, caps and other closures of plastics. Merchandise so classifiable is subject to a general rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Such articles which are produced entirely in the territory of Canada are eligible for preferential treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) pursuant to General Note 12(b)(i), HTSUSA. Such merchandise is eligible for a special rate of duty of 1.5 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 846178 is hereby modified as to stoppers made of silicone rubber. In accordance with section 625 this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decision 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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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