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NY C86245

May 6, 1998

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:SP:221 C86245


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880

Mr. Moudood A. Aslam
Cristopia Energy Systems
165 Via Catarina
San Dimas, CA 91773

RE: The tariff classification of thermal energy storage nodules from France.

Dear Mr. Aslam:

In your letter dated April 6, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The samples submitted with your letter are identified as latent heat storage nodules/balls for use in a latent heat thermal energy storage tank. The energy storage system acts as a back-up or auxiliary to a building air conditioning or process refrigeration system. The hollow, spherical nodules are blow molded from high density polyethylene. They are filled with a eutectic salt solution phase change material (PCM) and then sealed using an ultrasonic welding process. The balls are available in three sizes: 33 mm, 96 mm, and 98 mm. The balls are loaded into the tank with a heat transfer fluid. The fluid is circulated around the balls at a temperature below the freezing temperature of the PCM, causing crystallization of the PCM. The liquid to solid transition allows energy to be stored. When energy demand increases, the heat transfer fluid is circulated at temperatures higher than the PCM fusion temperature, thus allowing a controlled energy release.

The nodules are composite goods manufactured from materials classifiable in different chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules. Therefore, classification must be in accord with General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. An essential character may be determined by the bulk, quantity, weight, value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. GRI 3(c) provides that goods that cannot be classified under GRI 3(a) or 3(b) shall be classified under the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. No single component in the nodule imparts the essential character, so classification will be according to GRI 3(c).

The applicable subheading for the latent heat storage nodules will be 3926.90.9880, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Joan Mazzola at 212-466-5580.


Robert B. Swierupski

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