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HQ 962572

January 14, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962572 MGM


TARIFF NO.: 8108.10.5090

Mr. James F. Morgan
F.W. Myers & Co., Inc.
2600 Cabover Drive, Suite A
Hanover, MD 21076

RE: Titanium Tablets and Briklets; Revocation of NY C82798

Dear Mr. Morgan:

This office has recently become aware of conflicting ruling letters issued by Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of titanium tablets and briklets. New York Ruling Letter (NY) A89686, dated January 13, 1997, to SKW Metals and Alloys, Inc., classified such merchandise in subheading 8108.10.5090, HTSUS, as unwrought titanium. However NY C82798, issued to you on January 5, 1998, on behalf of SKW Metals and Alloys, Inc., classified identical merchandise in subheading 8108.90.3060, HTSUS, as other articles of titanium.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186), notice of the proposed revocation was published on December 8, 1998, in Volume 33, Number 49 of the CUSTOMS BULLETIN. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The merchandise consists of titanium tablets and briklets. The titanium tablets are formed by pressing together grains of 98% or greater titanium, 1-2% aluminum and a small amount of flux (a substance which promotes the fusing of metals) into tablets or briquettes approximately 3.5 in. (90 mm) in diameter and 1.1 in. (29 mm) in height. The tablets weigh one pound each. The titanium briklets are formed in a similar manner, however they have one-fourth the mass of the tablets. Both the tablets and briklets are used for adding a known quantity of titanium to an iron or steel melt.

Customs Laboratory Reports (2-97-20405-001, dated Dec. 30, 1996; 2-97-20404-001, dated Dec. 30, 1996), prepared in conjunction with NY A89686, describe the tablets and briklets as “a metal tablet approximately 3½ inches in diameter is composed essentially of unwrought titanium grains compacted together,” and “a small metal briquette approximately 1 5/8 inches in diameter, is composed essentially of unwrought titanium grains compacted together,” respectively.


Are the titanium tablets and briklets “unwrought” titanium?


Merchandise imported into the United States is classified under the HTSUS. Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which requires otherwise, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUS and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.

GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in their appropriate order. GRI 6 requires that the classification of goods in the subheadings of headings shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings, any related subheading notes and mutatis mutandis, to the GRIs. In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).

Both NY A89686 and NY C82798 classified the titanium tablets and briklets in heading 8108, HTSUS. This heading provides as follows (ten-digit statistical breakouts omitted):

8108 Titanium and articles thereof, including waste and scrap:

8108.10 Unwrought titanium; waste and scrap; powders: 8108.10.10 Waste and scrap
8108.10.50 Other:

8108.90 Other:
8108.90.30 Articles of titanium
8108.90.60 Other

NY A89686 classified the titanium tablets and briklets under the provision for unwrought titanium, while NY C82798 classified the merchandise as “other” than unwrought titanium. The term “unwrought” is defined in the tariff as “metal, whether or not refined, in the form of ingots, blocks, lumps, billets, cakes, slabs, pigs, cathodes, anodes, briquettes, cubes, sticks, grains, sponge, pellets, flattened pellets, rounds, rondelles, shot and similar manufactured primary forms....” See Additional U.S. Note 1, Section XV, HTSUS. This Note has been interpreted by the Court of International Trade to refer to “forms that have undergone some processing but must undergo further processing before they appear in an eventual final product.” Anval Nyby Powder AB, v. U.S., 20 CIT 608, 616, 927 F.Supp 463 (1996). In Anval Nyby, the court held that cobalt alloy powder was “unwrought” as it undergoes further processing before it appears in a final product. Anval Nyby 20 CIT at 616-7. Similarly, the titanium tablets and briklets are not end products in themselves but rather are intended to be added to a solution of metals and then fabricated into an end product.

One might argue that the instant case differs from Anval Nyby as that case involved simple metal alloy powder while the instant merchandise is pressed grains of metal and that this additional step, pressing into tablet or briklet form, makes the instant merchandise more than “unwrought.” However, both the terms “cakes” and “briquettes” are listed as examplars of “unwrought” primary forms. “Briquettes...are made of compressed powders,” Anval Nyby 20 CIT at 615, while “cake” is defined as “a block of compacted or congealed matter,” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. Thus, in the same manner that “cakes” and “briquettes” are included within the list of “unwrought” forms, the titanium tablets and briklets are classified as “unwrought” metal despite having been pressed into solid form.


Titanium tablets and briklets are classified in subheading 8108.10.5090, HTSUS.

NY C82798 is revoked. NY A89686 is affirmed. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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