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HQ 963169

October 17, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963169 AM


TARIFF NO.: 2913.00.40

Ms. Joan von Doehren
Interchem Corporation
120 Route 17 North
P.O. Box 1579
Paramus, N.J. 07653-1579

RE: NY D81515 modified; 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde

Dear Ms. Von Doehren:

This is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (NY) D81515 issued to you on October 20, 1998, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), of 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde.

We have also reviewed the decision in New York Ruling Letter (NY) C83891, issued on February 13, 1998, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, concerning the classification of 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde. The classifications of 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde in these two rulings are in conflict and we have determined that the classification set forth in NY D81515 for that compound is in error. This ruling modifies NY D81515 with respect to the classification of 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde.

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. 103-82, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186), notice of the proposed modification of NY D81515 was published on September 13, 2000, in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 34, Number 37. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The substance 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde, has the chemical name C7H5NO3, and the CAS registry #99-61-6. It is imported as a yellowish powder and used in the synthesis of dyes, surface active agents, and, as in the instant case, in pharmaceutical intermediates. Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, 1999.


Whether 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde is classified in heading 2912, HTSUS, as a cyclic aldehyde without oxygen function, or in heading 2913, HTSUS, as a nitrated derivative of an aldehyde.


Merchandise imported into the U.S. 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 that 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.

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 order. GRI 3 requires that when goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, the most specific description is preferred, and if neither is more specific, that heading which occurs last in numerical order is used. 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 interpreting 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 HTSUSA. See, T.D. 8980, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).

The following headings are relevant to the classification of this product:

2912 Aldehydes, whether or not with other oxygen function; cyclic polymers of aldehydes; paraformaldehyde:

Acyclic aldehydes without other oxygen function:

Other [than Benzaldehyde]:

2912.29.60 Other [than Phenylacetaldehyde or 3,4Dimethylbenzaldehyde; and p-Tolualdehyde]

2913.00 Halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives of products of heading 2912:


2913.00.40 Other [than 4-Fluoro-3-phenoxybenzaldehyde] In NY D81515 this merchandise was classified in subheading 2912.29.60, HTSUS, because it is a cyclic aldehyde without oxygen function. However, 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde is also a nitrated derivative of an aldehyde. EN 29.12 lists Benzaldehyde as an aromatic aldehyde and explains that it is a "[H]ighly refractive, colourless liquid with a characteristic odour of bitter almonds; used in organic synthesis, in medicine, etc." with the chemical formula C6H5.CHO. EN 29.13 explains that Halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives of products of heading 2912:

[These] are derived from aldehydes by replacing one or more of the hydrogen atoms (other than a hydrogen in the aldehyde group) (-CHO) by one or more halogens, sulpho groups (-SO3H), nitro groups (-NO2) or nitroso groups (-NO) or by any combination thereof. The most important is chloral (trichloroacetaldehyde) (CCl3.CHO); anhydrous, mobile, colourless liquid with a penetrating odour; a hypnotic.

This heading excludes chloral hydrate (CCl3.CH(OH) 2) (2,2,2-trichloroethane-1,1-diol) which falls in heading 29.05.

This heading also excludes aldehyde-bisulphite compounds which are classified as sulphonated derivatives of alcohols (headings 29.05 to 29.11).

3-Nitrobenzaldehyde is described specifically in subheading 2913.00.40 as an aromatic aldehyde which has been derived by the addition of a nitro functional group. Benzaldehyde, C7H6O, becomes 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde, C7H5NO3, by the replacement of the hydrogen atom bonded to the #3 carbon on the benzene ring with a nitro (NO2) functional group. Furthermore, 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde is not specifically excluded from heading 2913, HTSUS.

By operation of GRI 3(a), the heading which provides the more specific description is preferred. Heading 2913, HTSUS, more specifically describes the substance as a nitrated derivative of an aldehyde. Therefore, 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde was correctly classified in NY C83891 under subheading 2913.00.40, HTSUS, as a nitrated derivative of an aldehyde.


3-Nitrobenzaldehyde is classified in subheading 2913.00.40, HTSUS, as a nitrated derivative of an aldehyde.


NY D81515 is modified with respect to the classification of 3-Nitrobenzaldehyde as described in this ruling letter.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. ยง1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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