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HQ 959521

DECEMBER 3, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959521 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7325.99.10

Mr. Deven Sharma
DMD Importers, Inc.
P.O. Box 321
Marlboro, NJ 07746

RE: NY A84658 Revoked; Cast Iron Grates for Drains; Castings of Iron or Steel; Articles of Nonmalleable Cast Iron, Subheading 7325.10.00; Other Cast Iron Articles; Ductile Iron; I.A. 75/82, HQ 070176

Dear Mr. Sharma:

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY A84658, dated June 10, 1996, was published on October 23, 1996, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 30, Number 43.


Grates the subject of NY A84658 are 6-inch, 8-inch, 12-inch and 18-inch cast articles of alloyed ductile iron. They are either circular or rectangular in configuration and designed to fit over a PVC body in a drainage system of the type used on golf courses, in athletic complexes, industrial and commercial buildings, and for turf maintenance.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7325 Other cast articles of iron or steel:

7325.10.00 Of nonmalleable cast iron...Free


7325.99 Other:

7325.99.10 Of cast iron...1.9 percent ad valorem


Whether castings of ductile iron are considered nonmalleable for tariff purposes.


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.

Where terms are not defined in the text of the HTSUS, or guidance as to their scope found in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes, they are to be construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings which are presumed to be the same. Standard dictionary definitions for the terms "ductile" and "malleable" are nearly identical, suggesting that the terms may be synonymous. In such cases, it is appropriate to consider the interpretation commonly placed upon the terms by the industry involved. In the iron and steel industry, cast iron is not malleable as first cast. It becomes malleable by annealing or other heat treatment, a process that alters the graphite matrix of the product. Ductile iron is another in the family of cast irons and is malleable as cast because of the addition of cerium or magnesium to the melt. For this reason, ductile cast iron is not normally annealed or heat treated. Examination of a product's microstructure will identify as "ductile" cast iron in which the graphite particles appear nodular or spheroid-shaped, while in "malleable" cast iron the graphite particles are in a smaller, dot-like configuration.

Cast iron characterized as "malleable" is not considered ductile unless it has been annealed or otherwise heat treated. On the other hand, cast iron characterized as "ductile" is, by definition, considered malleable. Substantially similar issues were addressed under a previous tariff nomenclature in Internal Advice 75/82 (HQ 070176, dated January 18, 1983).

No sample or laboratory report was submitted in connection with the ruling request that became NY A84658. However, your characterization of the cast iron as "ductile" should have led Customs to conclude that it was malleable for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, iron grates of ductile cast iron are provided for in heading 7325. They are classifiable in subheading 7325.99.10, HTSUS.

NY A84658, dated June 10, 1996, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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