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NY D81615

September 23, 1998

CLA-2-40:RR:NC:N2:237 D81615


TARIFF NO: 4002.99.0000

Ms. Dawn Baris
Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc.
345 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10154

RE: The classification of styrene-acrylonitrile grafted EPDM rubber (CAS-32069-92-4) from Japan.

Dear Ms. Baris:

In your letter dated August 17, 1998 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The product designated ESPA is described as styrene-acrylonitrile grafted EPDM rubber consisting of 70 percent by weight of EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene-monomer), 28 percent styrene and 2 percent acrylonitrile.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes, and unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

Heading 4002, HTSUS, provides for other synthetic rubber and factice derived from oils, in primary forms or in plates, sheets or strip. Subheading 4002.70.0000, HTSUS, provides for ethylene-propylene-non-conjugated-diene rubber (EPDM). EPDM denotes an unsaturated terpolymer based on the three monomers: ethylene, propylene and a non-conjugated diene. However, the instant product, EPSA, is a plastic modified rubber, where EPDM is the main component, a terpolymer to which the polymers styrene and acrylonitrile have been grafted. Other synthetic rubbers in primary forms are provided for in subheading 4002.99.0000, HTSUS.

Note 4(a) is relevant to articles which may fall under Heading 4002. Note 4 (a) provides that the expression "synthetic rubber" applies to : Unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances which, at a temperature between 18 degrees centigrade and 29 degrees centigrade, will not break on being extended to three times their original length and will return, after being extended to twice their original length, within a period of 5 minutes, to a length not greater than 1-1/2 times their original length. For the purposes of this test, substances necessary for the cross-linking, such as vulcanizing activators or accelerators, may be added; the presence of substances as provided for by note 5(b)(ii) and (iii) is also permitted. However, the presence of any substances not necessary for the cross-linking, such as extenders, plasticizers and fillers, is not permitted.

Based on the elongation and recovery test results you furnished from Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc., EPSA vulcanized with sulfur appears to meet the requirements of Note 4(a).

Based on the foregoing, the applicable subheading for EPSA (styrene-acrylonitrile grafted EPDM) will be 4002.99.0000, HTSUS, which provides for other synthetic rubber and factice derived from oils, in primary forms or in plates, sheets or strip. The rate of duty is free.

This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You may contact the Agency at 402 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460, telephone number (202) 554-1404, or EPA Region II at (908) 321-6669.

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 F. Cantone at 212-466-5488.


Robert B. Swierupski

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