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HQ 957364

APRIL 27, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 957364 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7219.90.00

Mr. John A. Slagle
BARTHCO International, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: DD 800469 Revoked; Stainless Steel Sheets in Rectangular Shapes Dipped in Acid to Produce Colors; Further Working; Flat-Rolled Products of Stainless Steel Not Further Worked Than Cold-Rolled or Cold-Reduced; "Further Worked", Chapter 72, Additional U.S. Note 2

Dear Mr. Slagle:

In a ruling to you, dated August 23, 1994, DD 800469, on behalf of Okura & Co. (America), the District Director of Customs, Ogdensburg, NY, ruled that American Iron or Steel Institute (AISI) Type 304 cold rolled stainless steel sheets, cut to varying rectangular shaped sizes and thicknesses, then dipped in a hot acid liquid to produce a variety of colors, was classifiable in subheadings of heading 7219 as flat-rolled products of stainless steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, not further worked than cold-rolled (cold-reduced), depending on thickness.

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 revocation of DD 800469 was published on March 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 12.


The merchandise is cold rolled AISI Type 304 stainless steel sheet of Japanese origin cut to either 4 ft. x 8 ft. or 4 ft. x 10 ft. sizes and from 0.8 mm to 3.0 mm in thickness. The steel has a bright cold-rolled finish retained by final annealing in a controlled atmosphere furnace. The sheet is then shipped to Singapore where it is immersed in a hot liquid solution of chromic acid and sulfuric acid at temperatures between 80 and 85 degrees C to induce the formation of an oxide film. The length of time in submersion determines the thickness of the oxide film - 2 -
on which the color is based. Five basic colors - black, blue, gold, red, and green - are available from this process along with intermediate shades. These colored panels are used primarily in the construction of doors, interior and exterior panels, elevators, vending machines, and in kitchen surfaces and household appliances.

The classifications enumerated in DD 800469 cover flat- rolled products that are not further worked than cold-rolled or cold-reduced. You maintain that immersing the steel sheet in the acid solution is a further working for tariff purposes.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7219 Flat-rolled products of stainless steel, of a width of 600 mm or more:

Not further worked than cold-rolled

7219.32.00 Of a thickness of 3 mm or more but less than 4.75 mm...9.1 percent

7219.33.00 Of a thickness exceeding 1 mm but less than 3 mm...9.1 percent

7219.34.00 Of a thickness of 0.5 mm or more but not exceeding 1 mm...9.1 percent

7219.90.00 Other...5.3 percent


Whether immersing stainless steel sheet in an acid, solution, as described, is a further working for tariff purposes.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized system. - 3 -

While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

For the purposes of Chapter 72, unless the context provides otherwise, the term "further worked" refers to products subjected to surface treatments such as polishing and burnishing, artificial oxidation, and chemical surface treatments such as phosphatizing, oxalating and borating, among others. Chapter 72, Additional U.S. Note 2, HTSUS. The Chapter 72 General Explanatory Notes, at pp. 981 and 982, describe a series of surface treatments to improve the properties or appearance of the metal. Among these are phosphatizing which is the process of immersing a product in a solution of metallic acid phosphates; oxalating, borating, etc., which use methods similar to those for phosphatizing, with the appropriate salts or acids. The ENs describe an additional process, chromating, which consists of immersing the product in a solution whose main contents are chromic acid or chromates.

The immersing of the cold-rolled stainless steel sheet in acid liquid, as described, is a process of the type described in the cited notes, and is considered a "further working" for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the cold-rolled AISI Type 304 stainless steel sheets, processed as described, are provided for in heading 7219. They are classifiable in subheading 7219.90.00, HTSUS.

DD 800469, dated August 23, 1994, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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