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HQ 957174

September 21, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 957174 RC


TARIFF NO.: 5302.10.0000; 5302.90.0000

Mr. Michael Dahm
Willson International Inc.
100 River Rock Drive
Buffalo, New York 14207

RE: Tariff Classification of Hemp Chips and Stalks

Dear Mr. Dahm:

This letter is in response to your letter of October 14, 1994, on behalf of your client, Hempline Inc., requesting a classification ruling for hemp chips and stalks to be imported from Canada. You asked us whether it is legal to import the hemp chips and stalks. You submitted samples.


Your client grows, under a Canadian license, True Raw Hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) in Canada and wishes to import into the United States dry material from the stalks of the plant. The dry hemp chips are split from stalks and cut into pieces measuring between one and five centimeters in length. The leaves and seeds have been removed. The materials are not retted hemp, scutched hemp, combed hemp, or tow and waste of hemp. The material will be shipped in the form of balers or small chips to the United State for further manufacture. The resulting end products will be particle board, plant containers and compressed fuels. You believe the hemp chips and stalks fall into subheading 5302.10.0000 HTSUSA.


Whether the hemp stalks and chips should be classified in heading 5302, HTSUSA, the provision for true hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), raw or processed but not spun; tow and waste of true hemp, or in heading 1403, HTSUSA, the provision for vegetable materials of a kind used primarily in brooms or in brushes, whether or not in hanks or bundles.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Heading 5302, HTSUSA, provides for, "True hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), raw or processed but not spun; tow and waste of true hemp (including yarn waste and garnetted stock)," free of duty.

The EN to heading 5302 states that heading 5302 does not cover the hard woody part of plants removed during scutching. The woody part of plants removed during scutching would fall into heading 4401. Scutching is a process of knocking out the woody parts by beating to free the fibers. The samples do not appear to have been scutched.

Additionally, the EN states that heading 5302 does not cover Tampico "hemp" classified in heading 1403 or 5304. These headings provide for vegetable materials of a kind used primarily in brooms or brushes, et al. and sisal and other textile fibres of the genus agave, et al.

In sum, we find the other provisions for vegetable materials do not apply to the two items at issue, nor do the provisions for wood and wood chips in headings 4401 through 4407 apply to either the raw true hemp stalks or chips.

We partially agree with you and find the raw hemp stalks fall into subheading 5302.10.0000, HTSUSA. However, we find the processed hemp small chips fall into subheading 5302.90.0000, HTSUSA. Both are free of duty. The HTSUSA provides for the importation of the true hemp stalks and chips at issue without mention of restrictions for Customs purposes.


The raw hemp stalks fall into subheading 5302.10.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for true hemp, raw or retted. The processed hemp small chips fall into subheading 5302.90.0000, HTSUSA, the provision "other." Both are free of duty under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule..

With respect to the legality or licensing requirements of importing these hemp products
into the United States., we suggest you contact Mr. John P. Mudri, Staff Coordinator, Chemical and Drug Unit, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, P.O. Box 28037, Washington, D.C. 20005.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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