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HQ 957441

December 21, 1995

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 957441 EAB


TARIFF NO.: 2615.90.6060

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
2nd & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-2999

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1101-4-100611, dated October 19, 1994, liquidated July 22, 1994; tantalum concentrate or tantalum glass not ash or residues containing metals or metal compounds

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed October 19, 1994, against your decision in the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of merchandise entered March 3, 1994, liquidated July 22, 1994.


The merchandise was entered to be free of duty under subheading 2615.90.6060, HTSUSA, a provision for "tantalum ores and concentrates."

Customs liquidated the merchandise under subheading 2620.90.9000, HTSUSA, a residual provision for other ash and residues containing metals or metal compounds, bearing duty at the column one general rate of 5 percent ad valorem.

Protestant seeks reclassification either to subheading 2615.90.30, HTSUSA, a provision for synthetic tantalum-niobium (columbium) concentrates or to subheading 2615.90.6060, HTSUSA, as aforesaid. Merchandise entered in 1994 under either of these provisions was dutiable at the column one general rate of "Free."

Customs Laboratory Report of analysis of the merchandise, referred to as "tantalum glass," describes a "sample in the form of irregularly shaped amorphous glass like particles . . . consistent with tantalum ore that has been fused and then ground."

Counterpoised to the aforesaid Customs Laboratory Report, protestant advises Customs that the merchandise is primarily that which remains after successive concentrations of pegmatite, thence cassiterite and, thereafter, tin slag.


Whether "tantalum glass" is classifiable as ash and residue of metals or metal compounds, or as ore concentrate.


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 GRIs taken in order.

Were we concerned with the country of origin in this case, we would note well that standard texts on metallurgy indicate that tin slag is the source for one half of the tantalum produced in the U.S. We could presume from this that the other half of the tantalum produced in the U.S. is sourced from tantalum ore/s, but, in classifying this merchandise, the source, presumed or known, of the merchandise is irrelevant. Merchandise is classifiable in its condition as imported.

Based upon the Customs Laboratory Report of analysis of a sample of the merchandise at issue, we find that, in its condition as imported, "tantalum glass" was a concentrate of tantalum ore/s.


You are instructed to allow the protest.

"Tantalum glass" was properly classified under subheading 2615.90.6060, HTSUSA, a provision for tantalum ores and concentrates.

Merchandise entered in 1994 under the foregoing subheading was dutiable at the column 1 General rate of "Free."

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as a 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 this decision must be accomplished prior to the mailing of this decision by your office. Sixty days from the date of this 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 Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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