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HQ 960782

May 13, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960782 PH


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.85; 7325.99.10

Port Director of Customs
1 East Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401

RE: Protest 1703-97-100028; zinc coated cast iron insulator cap; other cast iron articles; other articles of iron or steel; Note 7, Section XV, HTSUS; T.D. 32506; HQs 959315; 960440

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on protest 1703-97-100028, against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of certain zinc coated insulator caps and bases made in China.


The merchandise is invoiced as "insulator cap and base (castings)". The articles have been zinc coated (hot dipped galvanized). According to Customs Laboratory Report 4-97-30174-001 dated January 17, 1997, a sample consists of "a shiny bell shaped metal item ... of galvanized ductile iron containing 0.044% magnesium and 2.76 carbon, both by weight."

The merchandise was entered in five entries on September 16 and 27, 1996, November 1, (two entries), and November 26, 1996, with classification under subheading 7325.99.10, HTSUS. The entries were liquidated on January 10, 1997, with classification under subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.

The importer's broker filed this protest with Customs on February 3, 1997, against the classification of the merchandise. The protestant states that the process of galvanizing is a coating that is approximately 10% of the cost; that the galvanizing in no way changes the material, chemical, and mechanical content of the part; and that the part remains a casting.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7325.99.10: Other cast articles of iron or steel: ... Other: Of cast iron.

The 1996 general column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 1.9% ad valorem.

7326.90.85: Other articles of iron or steel: ... Other: ... Other: ... Other: ... Other.

The 1996 general column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 4.6% ad valorem.


Whether zinc coated insulator caps and base castings are classifiable as other cast iron articles in subheading 7325.99.10, HTSUS, or other articles of iron or steel in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.


Initially, we note that the protest was timely filed (i.e., within 90 days after but not before the notice of liquidation; see 19 U.S.C. 1514(c)(3)(A)) and the matter protested is protestable (see 19 U.S.C. 1514(a)(2) and (5)).

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The basic issue in this case is whether zinc coating a cast iron article, after the casting process is completed, advances the article so that it can no longer be considered a cast article of heading 7325, HTSUS. We have previously ruled on this issue (HQ 959315 dated October 1, 1996) and have affirmed that ruling in response to a request for reconsideration (HQ 960440 dated June 26, 1997). Customs position on this issue is as follows:

Heading 7325 covers all cast articles not elsewhere specified or included in the Nomenclature. Generally, cast articles result from molten blast furnace iron being bottom poured into a mold. After sufficient time for solidification and cooling, the castings are removed from the mold by a shakeout machine. The casting process is considered complete when surface imperfections are removed by blast cleaning, chipping, burning or combinations of these processes. In our opinion, applying a coating of zinc after the casting process is complete sufficiently advances these articles to the point where they can no longer be considered cast articles of heading 7325. This is consistent with Customs position under previous tariff nomenclatures, where galvanized or zinc coated cast iron nails were held to be classifiable as manufactures of metal rather than as castings of malleable iron. The rationale was that galvanizing was not a mere process incidental to the general foundry work; rather, it was an independent and additional process which advances the articles beyond the condition of castings. See T.D. 32506, 22 Treas. Dec. 806, dated May 6, 1912.

Section XV, Note 7, HTSUS, states, in relevant part, that articles of base metal containing two or more base metals are to be treated as articles of the base metal predominating by weight over each of the other metals, and that iron and steel, or different kinds of iron or steel, are regarded as one and the same metal. Though not substantiated in the record, it is reasonable to presume that the iron or steel predominates by weight over the zinc. Therefore, these castings are regarded for tariff purposes as articles of iron or steel.

The above remains Customs position on this issue. The zinc coated insulator cap and base castings are classified as other articles of iron or steel in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.


The zinc coated insulator caps and base castings are classified as other articles of iron or steel in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.

The protest is DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed, with the Customs Form 19, by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director,
Commercial Rulings Division

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