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HQ 561656

July 6, 2001

MAR-05 RR:CR:SM 561656 KKV


Mr. Craig Alwin
P.O. Drawer Y
Georgetown, SC 29442

RE: Country of origin of sulfanilic acid processed into sodium sulfanilate in Italy; substantial transformation; chemical reaction resulting in different physical properties and applications

Dear Mr. Alwin:

This is in response to your letter dated March 9, 1998, addressed to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, concerning the country of origin of sulfanilic acid processed in Italy. Your letter was forwarded to our office for response. We regret the delay in processing.


You indicate that crude sulfanilic acid of Indian origin is exported to Italy, where it is further processed into sodium sulfanilate and subsequently exported to the United States. Specifically, the processing in Italy to which crude sulfanilic acid is subjected removes impurities (aniline and alkali insolubles). Once purified, the substance is neutralized to form the acid salt known as sodium sulfanilate, and rendered to its final free flowing crystalline form. The Customs Service Office of Laboratories and Scientific Services advises that a chemical reaction occurs during the formation of sodium sulfanilate from crude sulfanilic acid.

In light of Antidumping Order A-533-806, 58 FR 12025 (March 2, 1993), which imposes antidumping duties upon sulfanilic acid and sodium sulfanilate from India and Countervailing Duty Order C-533-807, 58 FR, 12026 (March 2, 1993), which imposes countervailing duties upon sulfanilic acid from India, you request a binding determination regarding the country of origin of the sodium sulfanilate upon importation into the United States.


Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless accepted, every article of foreign origin imported into the United States shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly, and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the United States the English name of the country of origin of the article. By enacting 19 U.S.C. 1304, Congress intended to ensure that the ultimate purchaser would be able to know by inspecting the marking on the imported goods the country of origin of which the goods were the product. The evident purpose is to mark the goods so that at the time of purchase the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will. United States v. Friedlander & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297, 302 C.A.D. 104 (1940).

Section 134.1(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.1(b)), defines “country of origin” as:

The country of manufacture, production, or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the United States. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin” within the meaning of this part; however for a good of a NAFTA country, the NAFTA Marking Rules will determine the country of origin.

Accordingly, the country of origin of an article is the country in which it was wholly grown, or, if processed in several countries, the country in which the last substantial transformation occurred. The well-established test for determining whether a substantial transformation has occurred is derived from language enunciated by the court in Anheuser-Busch Association v. United States, 207 U.S. 556, 562 (1908), which defined the term “manufacture” as follows:

Manufacture implies a change, but every change is not manufacture and yet every change in an article is the result of treatment, labor and manipulation. But something more is necessary, as set forth and illustrated in Hartranft v. Wiegmann, 121 U.S. 609. There must be transformation; a new and different article must emerge, having a distinctive name, character or use.

Simply stated, a substantial transformation occurs “when an article emerges from a process with a new name, character, or use different from that possessed by the article prior to processing.” See Texas Instruments, Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 152, 681 F. 2d 778 (1982)(cited with approval in Torrington Co. v. United States, 764, F.2d 1463, 1568 (1985). In determining whether a substantial transformation occurs in the manufacture of products from chemicals, Customs has consistently examined whether a chemical reaction occurs when two chemicals are mixed in the production of the final articles. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 555248, dated April 9, 1990, HRL 556064, dated March 29, 1990, and HRL 055652, dated May 18, 1979.

Prior to processing in Italy, the crude sulfanilic acid [CAS #121-57-3], also known as 4-aminobenzenesulfonic acid, classifiable under subheading 2921.42.2200 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), is a white, crystalline solid having a molecular weight of 173. It has a melting point of 288˚C, is decomposed at 300˚C and is practically insoluble in water. In contrast, the resulting sodium sulfanilate [CAS#515-74-2], also known as 4-aminobenzenesulfonic acid monosodium salt, classifiable under subheading 2921.42.9000, HTSUS, is a substance having a molecular weight of 195, a melting point over 300˚C and is highly soluble in water. Therefore, we find that the processing in Italy, during which the raw sulfanilic acid is reacted with sodium to create sodium sulfanilate, a new and different chemical with different physical properties and applications, is sufficient to effect a substantial transformation of the imported sulfanilic acid. Accordingly, the sodium sulfanilate is a product of Italy and must be marked accordingly.

With regard to the assessment of antidumping and countervailing duties , it is important to note that the country of origin determination made in this ruling is for Customs duty and marking purposes only – the applicability of antidumping and countervailing duties to imported merchandise is solely within the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce. We note that the Department of Commerce has previously issued a decision with regard to the subject merchandise, holding that it fell within the scope of Orders A-533-806 and C-533-807 (See 65 FR 41957 at 41958 (July 7, 2000)). Therefore, to ascertain what, if any, impact this ruling has upon this scope determination, we recommend that you contact that agency at the following address: U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230.


On the basis of the information provided, raw sulfanilic acid from India [CAS #121-57-3], also known as 4-aminobenzenesulfonic acid, is substantially transformed into a new and different article as a result of processing in Italy which creates sodium sulfanilate [CAS#515-74-2], also known as 4-aminobenzenesulfonic acid monosodium salt, a chemical with different physical properties and applications. Accordingly, the sodium sulfanilate is a product of Italy and must be marked accordingly.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant

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