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HQ 965477

July 17, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965477 AM


TARIFF NO.: 2924.29.71

Mr. Jonathan Hupert
Biddle Sawyer Corporation
2 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10121

RE: Benzenesulfonic Acid

This is in response to your letters dated July 30, 2001, and January 9, 2002, to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, concerning the classification of benzenesulfonic acid under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter has been forwarded to this office for reply. We regret the delay.


Benzenesulfonic acid has the chemical name 4-[(1,3-dioxybutyl)amino]-5-methoxy-2-methyl monosodium salt and the CAS number 133167-77-8. CAS number 133167-77-8 is not listed in the Chemical Appendix to the tariff schedule. Customs laboratory report NY20020057, dated February 1, 2002, states, in pertinent part, "[T]he product an aromatic compound contains ether, ketone and carboxamide functional groups. The compound is a salt."


Is benzenesulfonic acid listed in the Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix to the HTSUS?


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 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).

General Note 14, HTSUS, states: Intermediate chemicals for dyes. Whenever a rate of duty of "Free" followed by the symbol "L" in parentheses appears in the special subcolumn for a heading or subheading, any product classifiable in such provision which is the product of a country eligible for tariff treatment under column 1 shall be entered free of duty, provided that such product is listed in the intermediate chemicals for dyes appendix to the tariff schedule.

The term "products described in additional U.S. note 3(a) to section VI" refers to "any product not listed in the Chemical Appendix to the Tariff Schedule and--[F]or which the importer furnishes the Chemical Abstracts Service (C.A.S.) registry number and certifies that such registry number is not listed in the Chemical Appendix to the Tariff Schedule; . . ."

You do not dispute the classification of the instant merchandise in subheading 2924.29.71, HTSUS, the provision for Carboxyamide-function compounds: amide-function compounds of carbonic acid: Cyclic amides (including carbamates) and their derivatives; salts thereof: Aromatic: Other: Other: Products described in additional U.S. note 3 to section VI." The only issue is whether the "L" listed in the Special subcolumn of that subheading may be applied to the instant merchandise.

Before publication of Presidential Proclamation 7515, dated December 18, 2001, (66 FR 66549), which modified the HTSUS for many purposes, the Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix listed the compound 5-methoxy-2-methyl benzenesulfonic acid, monosodium salt for CAS 13316-77-8. Presidential proclamation 7515 and annexes thereto modifies the Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix, effective January 1, 1995, thus: "[F]or Cas No. 133167-77-8, changed chemical name to read "Benzenesulfonic acid, 4-[(1,3-dioxybutyl)amino]-5-methoxy-2-methyl monosodium salt."


Benzenesulfonic acid, classified in subheading 2924.29.71, HTSUS, is listed in the Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix to the HTSUS and is entitled to duty free entry under General Note 14.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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