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HQ 958195

January 18, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958195 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 6815.99.40

Mr Charles Spoto
Fritz Companies, Inc.
P.O. Box 300125
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Silicon DioxideVacuum Insulation Panels; Chapter 28 note 1(a)

Dear Mr. Spoto:

This is in response to your letter of May 25,1995, to the Customs office in New York, NY, on behalf of Degussa Corporation, requesting the proper classification of Silicon Dioxide Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter, together with the samples and literature submitted for examination, was forwarded to this office for response.


The subject Siicon Dioxid Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) provide insulation in various kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, etc.. The VIPs are attached to the outer container of the appliance with the aid of hot melts or double-sided adhesive tapes, before the remaining space between inner and outer casing is filled with polyurethane foam.

They consist of compressed precipitated silica boards inside fleece bags which are packed into an envelope of high-quality barrier films under a vacuum. The barrier films encapsulate the compressed powder board from air and water vapor. According to the submitted literature, an extensive investigation was conducted to determine what was the most suitable insulating powder for the subject VIPs and FK 500 LS was chosen. FK 500 LS is a highly structured synthetically produced precipitated silica. Additionally, the subject VIPs maintain their shape and are not post-compressed during storage at atmospheric pressure. In addition to the appropriate insulating powder, highly gas-proofed barrier films are required because the films control the permeation of gases and water vapor into the panel; thus ensuring the panel's ability to function during its expected lifetime. Finally, the submitted literature states that only the proper silica and the appropriate barrier films together with the correct production process yield vacuum panels. ISSUE:

What is the classification of silicon dioxide vacuum insulation panels?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Chapter 28, HTSUS, provides for inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare-earth metals, of radioactive elements or of isotopes. Chapter 38, HTSUS, provides for miscellaneous chemical products. Chapter 68, HTSUS, provides for articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials.

The headings under consideration are as follows:

2811 Other inorganic acids and other inorganic oxygen compounds of nonmetals

3824 Prepared binders for foundry molds or cores; chemical products and preparations of the chemical or allied industries (including those consisting of mixtures of natural products), not elsewhere specified or included; residual products of the chemical or allied industries, not elsewhere specified or included

6815 Articles of stone or of other mineral substances (including carbon fibers, articles of carbon fibers and articles of peat), not elsewhere specified or included

You have suggested that the VIPs are classifiable under heading 2811, HTSUS. Note 1(a) to chapter 28 states:

Except where the context otherwise requires, the headings of this chapter apply only to:

(a) Separate chemical elements and separate chemically defined compounds, whether or not containing impurities

The VIPs have been advanced in form and are not merely the separate component material silicon dioxide, but articles containing silicon dioxide. Therefore, they are not described by chapter 28. Nor are the subject VIPs described by heading 3824. Customs understands that heading 3824 applies to mixtures of chemicals. The VIPs are advanced in form beyond a mere mixture of chemicals. They are articles.

Heading 6815, provides for articles of stone or other mineral substances. As the VIPs have as the principle component silicon dioxide, a mineral substance, they are classifiable under the heading 6815, specifically subheading 6815.99.40, HTSUS.


The VIPs are classifiable under subheading 6815.99.10 which has a column on duty rate of 2.7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

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