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NY I82781

June 13, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 I82781


TARIFF NO.: 8421.39.4000

Ms. Chisa Ueda
Honda Trading America Corp.
1800 W. 213th Street
Suite 200
Torrance, CA 90501-2832

RE: The tariff classification of spent automobile catalytic converters from various countries.

Dear Ms. Ueda:

In your letter dated May 14, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Catalytic converters are devices used for pollutant removal. The converters contain catalysts capable of promoting chemical reactions that convert potentially polluting exhaust gases into harmless or less harmful products. The spent automobile catalytic converters in question are no longer effective in cutting vehicle pollution at acceptable levels. These discarded converters are removed from the automobiles at muffler service shops or by automobile dismantlers. They vary by make, model and manufacturer. For this reason, you state that it is not possible to determine each converter’s specific country of origin.

You indicate that the spent catalytic converters will be imported into the United States by truck from Mexico. After importation, the converters will be sent to a processor for de-canning and smelting. During the de-canning operation, each converter is broken open and the catalyst is removed from its stainless steel shell. The catalyst is then crushed, analyzed for precious metal content (platinum, palladium and rhodium) and smelted into a base metal form. Material is then shipped to a refiner for the final extraction of the precious metals from the base metal. The extracted precious metals will be used in the production of new automobile catalysts.

In your letter you suggest classifying the spent automobile catalytic converters in heading 7112, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Waste and scrap of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal; other waste and scrap containing precious metal or precious metal compounds, of a kind used principally for the recovery of precious metal. The converters in question would not be classified within heading 7112 in their condition as imported since this provision does not extend to items that with repair or renovation can be reused for their former purposes or converted for other uses.

The applicable subheading for the spent automobile catalytic converters will be 8421.39.4000, HTS, which provides for Centrifuges, including centrifugal dryers; filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus, for liquids or gases; parts thereof: Filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for gases: Other: Catalytic converters. The rate of duty will be Free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

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