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NY E80872

October 1, 1999

CLA-2-39:RR:NC:2:237 E80872


TARIFF NO.: 3901.90.1000; 3901.90.5500

Mr. Mathew Kessler
Elf Atochem North America, Inc.
2000 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3222

RE: The tariff classification of Lotader R4720 (CAS-41171-14-6), Lotader P3-3300 (CAS-41171-14-6), Lotader R5500 (CAS-41171-14-6) and Lotader R3210 (CAS-64652-60-4) copolymers from France.

Dear Mr. Kessler:

In your letter dated March 31, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The products designated Lotader R4720 (CAS-41171-14-6), Lotader P3-3300 (CAS-41171-14-6), Lotader R5500 (CAS-41171-14-6) and Lotader R3210 (CAS-64652-60-4) are described as random copolymers based on ethylene, with high comonomer (acrylate) content, having elastomeric properties. Based on research and development information, the percent by weight for each comonomer is given as the following range for R4720, P3-3300 and R5500 resins: ethylene (64.6-94.7%), ethyl acrylate (5-32%) and maleic anhydride (0.3-3.4%). The range for the R3210 resin is: ethylene (77.6-95%), butyl acrylate (4-19%), maleic anhydride (1.0-3.4%) and Propylene (<1.35%). The Lotader resins are used in extrusion coating and lamination applications.

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 3900, HTSUS, provides for polymers of ethylene, In primary forms. Subheading 3901.90.1000, HTSUS, provides for other elastomeric copolymers of ethylene.

Chapter 39 Additional U.S. Note 1 is relevant to articles which may fall under subheading 3901.90.1000. Note 1 Provides that the term “elastomeric” means a plastics material which after cross-linking can be stretched at 20C to at least three times its original length and that, after having been stretched to twice its original length and the stress removed, returns within 5 minutes to less than 150 percent of its original length.

Based on the technical data provided and Customs Lab Reports 2-1999-30333/34/35/ and 36, each of the four samples, consisting of white pellets, are polymers of ethylene (ethylene copolymer type), in primary form. Based on information given by phone on May 6, 1999 to the Chief Polymer Chemist at New York, the comonomer ranges submitted with MSDS sheets are too wide and are intended for research and development. Some will meet the elastomeric testing and some will not at the extreme ranges. The commercial products for import will fall in the middle. Proper elastomeric testing requires twelve cross-linked dumbbell shaped specimens, accompanied by the compounding recipe and the percent by weight of all ingredients.

The applicable subheading for other copolymers of ethylene, which meet the elastomeric requirements of Additional U.S. Note 1, will be 3901.90.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other elastomeric copolymers of ethylene. The rate of duty is free.

The applicable subheading for other copolymers of ethylene which do not meet the elastomeric requirements of Additional U.S. Note 1, will be 3901.90.5500, HTSUS, which provides for other ethylene copolymers. The rate of duty is 9.5 percent ad valorem.

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 them 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 Frank Cantone at 212-637-7018.


Robert B. Swierupski

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