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HQ 952587

JANUARY 26, 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 952587 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 6804.21.00, 7116.20.50, HTSUS

District Director of Customs
200 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401-2611

RE: Crushed Diamond and Cobalt Segments, Saw Blade Cutting Parts, Crescent Shapes, Square Shapes; Amborite; Sawing Wire Beads; Natural or Artificial Abrasive Powder or Grain, Heading 6805; Abrasive Materials on a Backing; PRDs 1604-92-100001 and 1604-92-100002

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protests 1604-92-100001 and 1604-92-100002 dated, respectively, March 5, and June 11, 1992, filed by counsel on behalf of Diamant Boart America, against your action in liquidating multiple entries of certain saw blade segments, cutting tool heads and beads for cutting wire, from Belgium. Additional arguments made at a meeting in our office on December 2, 1992, were confirmed by counsel in a letter dated December 23, 1992.


There are three (3) types of articles in issue here: saw blade segments, the working parts of metal cutting tools, designated Amborite, and beads for sawing wire. All are of synthetic or man-made diamond fragments. Samples of the first and third types were submitted.

The blade segments are crescent shapes measuring 1 1/2 inches long and either 5/16 or 7/16 inch deep. They consist of synthetic diamond fragments agglomerated in cobalt and bonded to a metallic matrix on one edge. This matrix contains no diamonds. The Amborite is a one-piece synthetic diamond cut square and ground smooth. It is not agglomerated with a base metal or other substance but, like the blade segments, is bonded to a metallic matrix. The beads consist of synthetic diamond fragments agglomerated in a metallic matrix that is wrapped concentrically around an internally threaded metal tubular (3/8 inch long and 5/16 inch diameter) bearing section. The bearing section - 2 -
contains no diamonds.

In all three articles, the diamond and non-diamond sections are metallurgically bonded together through various metal sintering processes. The non-diamond sections serve as supports or backing. In the crescent shapes the backing provides a diamond free zone so that the shapes can be attached to a steel saw blade via laser welding or silver brazing. In the Amborite the backing is designed to be fused onto a single point tool holder and the tool used to drill, bore or cut metals. The backing allows the beads to be screwed onto a wire cable when assembled with spacers into sawing wire.

The articles were entered under the duty-free provision for other natural or artificial abrasive powder or grain on a base of other materials, in subheading 6805.30.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Counsel cites certain heading 68.05 Explanatory Notes in support of this classification.

On advice from the appropriate national import specialist, you classified the Amborite and the beads under the provision for other millstones, grindstones, grinding wheels and the like of agglomerated synthetic or natural diamond, in subheading 6804.21.00, HTSUS, and the saw blade segments under the provision for circular saw blades and [base metal] parts thereof, with working part of other materials, in subheading 8202.32.00, HTSUS. The rates of duty under these provisions are 4.9 and 3.1 percent, respectively.

In the alternative, counsel maintains that if the heading 6805 classification is rejected, the articles should be classified in subheading 8202.32.00, HTSUS, because they are used solely or principally as parts of saw blades.


Whether the saw blade segments, Amborite and beads, or any of them are articles of heading 6804, 6805, or heading 8202.


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 - 3 -

Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. 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.

Relevant ENs, at p. 901, indicate goods of heading 6805 include crushed natural or artificial abrasives in the form of powder or grain that are coated onto various non-metallic backings. Expressly excluded are grinding wheels composed of a rigid support of metal, among other supports, fitted with a compact agglomerated layer, rather than powder or grain, of abrasive, and similarly constituted hand tools. These goods are referred to heading 6804. We conclude that none of the articles under protest are provided for in heading 6805.

As to counsel's alternative claim, the parts encompassed by heading 8202 are of base metal. The articles under protest are composite articles, consisting of a metallic component and a synthetic diamond component. There is no authority in the general chapter 82 notes or in the heading 8202 notes that parts of this type are intended to be within the scope of heading 8202. On the contrary, relevant ENs, at p. 1105, indicate that toothless discs fitted with abrasive rims (e.g., for cutting marble, quartz or glass) or with a series of peripheral inserts of abrasive material are excluded from heading 8202. These goods are referred to heading 6804. We conclude that none of the articles under protest are encompassed by heading 8202.

Heading 6804 encompasses, among other things, "grindstones, grinding wheels and the like...for cutting stones...of agglomerated...artificial abrasives...with or without parts of other materials". Relevant ENs, at p. 899, include within heading 6804, Grinding wheels, heads, discs, points, etc., as used on machine-tools, electro-mechanical or pneumatic hand tools, for the cutting of stone (Emphasis original). The notes state further that such goods may be of any shape (e.g., flat, spherical, dished or ring-shaped). The heading includes the enumerated articles not only when they are predominantly of abrasive materials, but also when they consist of a small abrasive head on a center or core of rigid material such as metal, onto which compact layers of agglomerated abrasive have been permanently bonded (cutting discs of metal, etc., fitted with rims or with a series of peripheral inserts of abrasive material). This latter description parallels the language of the ENs at p. 1105.

We conclude that the crescent shapes and the beads for sawing wire are goods of heading 6804. They are classifiable in subheading 6804.21.00, HTSUS, as liquidated. - 4 -

The Amborite, however, is not of "agglomerated" artificial abrasives. It is a one-piece synthetic diamond, cut square and ground smooth, and bonded to a metallic backing. Articles of this type are not encompassed by heading 6804. Heading 7116 provides for articles of natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed). Relevant ENs, at pp. 963 and 964, indicate that with certain exceptions not relevant here, heading 7116 includes all articles consisting wholly or partly of synthetic precious or semi-precious stones. The Amborite is provided for in heading 7116. Actual classification is in subheading 7116.20.50, HTSUS, a provision for other articles of precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed). The rate of duty is 6.7 percent ad valorem.


Under the authority of GRI 1, articles represented by the crescent shapes and the sawing wire beads are provided for in heading 6804. They are classified in subheading 6804.21.00, HTSUS. Under the authority of GRI 1, articles represented by the Amborite are provided for in heading 7116. They are classified in subheading 7116.20.50, HTSUS.

The protest is denied as to the sawing wire beads. Because the rate of duty under subheading 6804.21.00 is more than the rate under which the crescent shapes were liquidated, the protest is denied as to this merchandise. Because the rate of duty under subheading 7116.20.50 is more than the rate under which the Amborite was liquidated, the protest is also denied as to this merchandise.

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19, and mailed to the protestant, through counsel, as part of the notice of action on the protests.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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