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HQ 960532

March 24, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960532 HMC


TARIFF NO.: 3824.90.39

Ms. Nancy Meliere Cymbalsky
Gallard-Schlesinger Industries, Inc.
584 Mineola Ave.
Carle Place, NY 11514-1731

RE: Carnal 822; Subheading 2835.31.00; Chapter 28, Note 1(a); General Explanatory Note to Chapter 28; Sodium Tripolyphosphate; Mixtures of Two or More Inorganic Compounds.

Dear Ms. Cymbalsky:

This is in response to your letter to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated April 14, 1997, on behalf of Gallard-Schlesinger Industries, Inc., regarding the tariff classification of Carnal 822 under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was forwarded to this office for a reply. We regret the delay.


The product, Carnal 822, is made of sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate. Carnal 822 is very similar to Carnal 659S, another phosphate product from Gallard-Schlesinger Industries, Inc., subject of various New York and Customs Headquarters rulings. Specifically, you claim that the merchandise is a combination of 75% sodium tripolyphosphate, 15% tetrasodium pyrophosphate and 10% sodium acid pyrophosphate. Literature provided states that Carnal 822 represents a new generation of phosphates, specially developed for use in ice cold brines and marinades and where high levels of salt and phosphates are present.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

2835 Phosphinates (hypophosphites), phosphonates (phosphites), phosphates and polyphosphates: Polyphosphates:
2835.31.00 Sodium Triphosphate(Sodium tripolyphosphate)...1.4%

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:
3824.90 Mixtures of two or more inorganic compounds:
3824.90.39 Other:...Free


Whether the chemical compound Carnal 822 is classifiable as a mixture of two or more inorganic compounds under subheading 3824.90.39, HTSUS, or as a single compound of sodium tripolyphosphate under subheading 2835.31.00, HTSUS.


Merchandise is classifiable under the 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.

Chapter 28, Note 1(a), HTSUS, states that

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 Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN's) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized system. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the EN's 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 EN's should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

General EN (A) to Chapter 28, HTSUS, at page 238, states that separate chemical elements and separate chemically defined compounds containing impurities, or dissolved in water, remain classified in Chapter 28.

The EN further states that

[t]he term "impurities" applies exclusively to substances whose presence in the single chemical compound results solely and directly from the manufacturing process (including purification). The substances may result from any of the factors involved in the process and are principally the following: (a) unconverted starting materials; (b) impurities present in the starting materials; (c) reagents used in the manufacturing process (including purification); (d) by-products.

The EN continues to say

[i]t should be noted, that such substances are not in all cases regarded as "impurities" permitted under Note 1(a). When such substances are deliberately left in the product with a view to rendering it particularly suitable for specific use rather than for general use, they are not regarded as permissible impurities.

The issue involved in this matter was considered in HQ 957454, HQ 955757, HQ 958403 and HQ 959887, all dated March 19, 1998, which classified Carnal 659S, a compound of 80% sodium tripolyphosphate, as a mixture. Citing a technical dictionary and a laboratory report from the Customs Headquarters' Office of Laboratory and Scientific Services, these rulings concluded that Carnal 659S, could contain up to 15% of impurities. Similarly, in this instance, we believe that Carnal 822, may contain up to 15% of impurities. Since the merchandise contains 25% of substances other than sodium tripolyphosphate, we believe that these substances are not impurities but additives deliberately left in the product.

In addition, as with Carnal 659S, you have provided a specification sheet that describes Carnal 822 as a combination of sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate and sodium acid pyrophosphate, developed specifically for use in marinades and pickling brines that contain high levels of salt and phosphate. The literature shows that Carnal 822 is produced under controlled conditions to ensure that the product's constant composition is suitable for a specific use rather than for general applications.

Based on the information provided, we find that Carnal 822 is a mixture of two or more inorganic compounds, classifiable under subheading 3824.90.39. We however believe that this finding in no way precludes Customs from conducting tests of the merchandise to determine its composition.


Carnal 822 is provided for in heading 3824, HTSUS. It is classifiable under subheading 3824.90.39, HTSUS, as other mixtures of two or more inorganic compounds: Other. The rate of duty is free.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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