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HQ 964585

December 15, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964585 AM


TARIFF NO.: 2918.13.50

Ms. Joan von Doehren
Interchem Corporation
P.O. Box 1579
Paramus, New Jersey 07653-1579

RE: (+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid, CAS #32634-68-7

Dear Ms. Von Doehren:

This is in reference to your letter dated August 28, 2000, to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, requesting a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), of (+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid. Your letter was referred to this office for reply.


The substance (+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid has the molecular formula C20H18O8 and the CAS #32634-68-7. It is imported in bulk as a white or off white to yellowish powder. It is used as a pharmaceutical intermediate.


What is the proper classification for (+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid under the HTSUS?


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 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).

Salts and esters of tartaric acid are eo nomine provided for in the HTSUS thus:

2918 Carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function and their anhydrides, halides, peroxides and peroxyacids; their halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives:

Carboxylic acids with alcohol function but without other oxygen function, their anhydrides, halides, peroxides, peroxyacids and their derivatives:

2918.13 Salts and esters of tartaric acid:

Other: [than Potassium antimony tartrate (Tartar emetic), Potassium bitartrate (Cream of tartar), and Potassium sodium tartrate (Rochelle salts)].

Chapter note 5(a) to Chapter 29 states as follows: "[T]he esters of acid-function organic compounds of subchapters I to VII with organic compounds of these subchapters are to be classified with that compound which is classified in the heading placed last in numerical order in these subchapters."

An ester is created when an acid reacts with an alcohol. Tartaric acid contains both an acid and alcohol functional group. An ester of tartaric acid may use either the acid or alcohol functional group to create the ester. To create (+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid, toluic acid reacts with the alcohol functional group of tartaric acid. Toluic acid is classifiable in heading 2916, HTSUS. Tartaric acid is classifiable in heading 2918, HTSUS. By application of Chapter note 5(a), the ester is classifiable in the later heading. See HQ 964378 dated December 14, 2000, for a similar ruling.


(+)-DI-P-Toluoyl-D-Tartaric Acid (CAS #32634-68-7) is classified in subheading 2918.13.50, HTSUS, as an ester of tartaric acid.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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