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HQ 958356

OCTOBER 26, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 958356 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7607.20.50

Ms. Judith Davidson
TJ International
1007 Old Forge Court
Chapin, SC 29036

RE: Adhesive Coated Aluminum Foil; Thin Gauge Aluminum Foil Coated With Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive and Release Treated Paper; Aluminum Foil Tape for Sealing Seams in Ducts

Dear Ms. Davidson:

Your recent letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, inquiring as to the tariff classification of aluminum foil tape from Australia, has been forwarded to this office for reply. A sample was submitted.


Merchandise represented by the sample is thin aluminum foil from 0.0015 to 0.005 inch in thickness, and 2 1/2 inches wide. The foil is coated on the back side with a pressure-sensitive adhesive and protected with a release treated paper, then wound on a 3 inch inside diameter paper core. You plan to import individual cut rolls typically measuring 6 inches or less in width and 100 yards or more in length, as well as larger uncut factory rolls 24 inches or more in width and 100 yards or more in length. Foil of this type is typically used in the heating, ventilating and air conditioning industries to seal seams in ducts.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7607 Aluminum foil (whether or not printed, or backed with paper, paperboard, plastics or similar backing material) of a thickness
(excluding any backing) not exceeding 0.2 mm:

7607.20 Backed:

7607.20.10 Covered or decorated with a character, design, fancy effect or pattern
...3.7 percent

7607.20.50 Other...Free


Whether adhesive coating on the aluminum foil removes it from heading 7607.


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 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, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The General Explanatory Note to Chapter 76 states, at p. 1063, that products or articles of aluminum are frequently subjected to various treatments to improve the properties or appearance of the metal, to protect it from corrosion, etc. These treatments are generally those referred to at the end of the General Explanatory Note to Chapter 72, and do not affect the classification of the goods. Coating with various non-metallic substances is an authorized surface finishing treatment listed on p. 981 of the General Explanatory Note to Chapter 72. Numerous processes considered to be coatings are listed but the wording of the Note suggests they are not deemed to be exhaustive, so long as they can reasonably be said to improve the properties or appearance of the metal. In our opinion, the coating of aluminum foil with an adhesive material to make it pressure sensitive and thereby adapt it for its intended uses certainly improves the properties of the metal.


Under the authority of GRI 1, aluminum foil on rolls, adhesive coated and backed with paper, is provided for in heading 7607. It is classifiable in subheading 7607.20.50, HTSUS. This classification applies only to foil not exceeding 0.2 mm in thickness. This measurement includes the thickness of the adhesive coating, but not the thickness of the paper backing.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division

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