United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 951774 - HQ 952505 > HQ 952049

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 952049

December 9, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952049K


Tariff No.: 3913.90.20

Robert J. Fields
Assistant Secretary
FMC Corporation
1735 Market Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

RE: Request Under 19 U.S.C. 1516, For Information Concerning the Classification of Agarose

Dear Sir:

In your letter dated June 19, 1992, you stated that as a manufacturer of agarose, your company is a domestic interested party under 19 U.S.C. 1516 for purposes of obtaining information as to the classification of the merchandise. You indicated the probable ports of entry as Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York and the probable entry of the merchandise as agar- agar, under subheading 1302.31,00, Harmonize Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), column one rate of duty at 3 percent ad valorem or the special provision, free of duty. A sample and literature were submitted. Our informational response follows and a copy of this response will be sent to the probable ports of entry.


The inquirer states that agarose is a natural polysaccharide extracted from agar, which is a gelatinous extract of certain marine red algae. Agarose is manufactured by removing certain molecules from agar, leaving the uncharged solid as a dried powder. The stated primary use of agarose is as a medium for separating proteins and nucleic acids and it is also used as a medium for chromatography and for growth mammalian and hybridoma cell cultures.


How does the Customs Service classify agarose under HTSUS?


Agar-Agar is provided for by name under 1302.31.00, HTSUS. However, in the facts cited above, agar is used as raw material to manufacture agarose, a new article of commerce. A New York Ruling (NY 872137) dated March 25, 1992, under the authority of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations, also concerned the classification of agarose. The ruling stated that

Agarose (CAS number 9012-36-6) is a complex polysaccharide, which is derived from agar. Agar can be separated into a neutral gelling fraction (agarose) and a sulfated non-gelling fraction (agaropectin). Agarose is used in electrophoresis for separating DNA fragments. ...[and] used as a reagent in laboratory testing... .

The ruling, which classified agarose under subheading 3913.90.2050, HTSUS, represents the position of the Customs Service and is responsive to your request for information under 19 U.S.C. 1516.


Agarose, in powdered form, is classifiable in subheading 3913.90.2050, HTSUS, which provides for natural polymers...and modified natural polymers..., not elsewhere specified or included, in primary forms: other: polysaccharides and their derivatives: other, dutiable under the column one rate of duty at 5.8 percent ad valorem.


Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: