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NY J89046

November 13, 2003
CLA-2-40:RR:NC:SP:221 J89046


TARIFF NO.: 4016.99.6050; 8479.90.9495

Mr. M.J. Murphy
E & B International, Inc.
5353 E. Princess Anne Road, Suite A
Norfolk, VA 23502

RE: The tariff classification of rubber and plastic bladders from the United Kingdom.

Dear Mr. Murphy:

In your letter dated October 7, 2003, on behalf of Accumulators Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Descriptive literature was included with your letter. The bladders are for use with accumulators used in hydraulic systems. You state that the bladders may be manufactured using different formulations, including nitrile, “chlorbutyl,” Viton™ fluorocarbon and epichlorohydrin, all of which you describe as types of rubber.

You suggest classification in subheading 9032.81.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Accumulators and parts of accumulators are provided for in heading 8479 of the HTS in Section XVI. However, legal note 1(a) of Section XVI precludes articles made of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber from classification in any of the headings of the Section. Note 4 to Chapter 40 of the HTS describes synthetic rubber as applying to unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances which, at a temperature between 18 and 29 degrees Centigrade, will not break on being extended to three times their original length and will return, after being extended to twice their original length, within a period of 5 minutes, to a length not greater than 1-1/2 times their original length.

Nitrile rubber meets this definition and is considered to be a rubber material of Chapter 40 for tariff classification purposes. It is believed that “chlorbutyl” refers to chlorobutadiene, a chlorinated rubber that also meets the definition of synthetic rubber. The fluoroelastomer Viton™ does not meet the stretch and recovery tests described in note 4 to chapter 40, so bladders made of Viton™ are considered to be made of plastics for tariff classification purposes.

There is insufficient information to determine whether the material referred to as epichlorohydrin is considered to be rubber or plastics for tariff purposes since you have not submitted the complete formula. Please provide details describing the extent of any unsaturation in the formulation. In the absence of sufficiently detailed information on the structure of the material, this office will need dumbbell cross-linked test specimens in order to determine whether the products meet the stretch and recovery requirements of Note 4(a) of chapter 40. In the dumbbell specimens provided for this test, substances necessary for the cross-linking, such as vulcanizing activators or accelerators, may be added. The presence of substances as provided for by Chapter 40 note 5(b)(ii) and (iii) (e.g. small amounts of emulsifiers or heat-sensitive agents, cationic surface-active agents, antioxidants, coagulants, crumbling agents, freeze-resisting agents, peptisers, preservatives, stabilizers, viscosity-control agents, or similar special-purpose additives) is also permitted. However, the presence of any substances not necessary for the cross-linking, such as extenders, plasticizers and fillers, is not permitted.

The applicable subheading for the bladders, when composed of nitrile rubber, chlorinated rubber or any other material that meets the definition of synthetic rubber in note 4(a) of the HTS, will be 4016.99.6050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber: other: other. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the bladders, when composed of Viton™ fluorocarbon, or any other materials considered to be plastics for tariff classification purposes, will be 8479.90.9495, HTS, which provides for parts of machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other: other: other. 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 Joan Mazzola at 646-733-3023.


Robert B. Swierupski

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