United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2004 HQ Rulings > HQ 966561 - HQ 966657 > HQ 966570

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 966570

NOVEMBER 7, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966570 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8108.90.60

Paul Aberly
The Aberly Group
7934 North 54th Place
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

RE: NY A84786 Revoked; Forged Titanium Billets

Dear Mr. Aberly:

In NY A84786, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on July 12, 1996, certain titanium billets from Russia were held to be classifiable as unwrought titanium, in subheading 8108.10.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY A84786 was published on October 1, 2003, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 37, Number 40. One comment was received in response to that notice, opposing the proposed revocation. We will briefly discuss that comment, and our response, in the body of this ruling.


The merchandise in NY A84786 was described as being imported in billet form and thereafter to be melted down for use in the manufacture of recreational equipment. The chemical analysis of the product was stated to be 90 percent titanium, 6 percent aluminum and 4 percent vanadium, all by weight. The product was not further described.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Titanium and articles thereof, including waste and scrap:

8108.10.50 (now 20.00) Unwrought titanium

8108.90 Other:

8108.90.60 Other


Whether forged titanium billets are unwrought products for tariff purposes.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

According to Section XV, Additional U.S. Note 1, HTSUS, the term “unwrought” includes billets, among other similar manufactured primary forms of metal, but does not cover rolled or forged products, among others. Technical sources on titanium production we have consulted indicate that titanium ore is first chlorinated, then reacted with either magnesium or sodium to yield metallic titanium sponge. The sponge is crushed and pressed, then melted in a vacuum arc furnace. The melted sponge solidifies under the vacuum conditions of the furnace to form a solid titanium ingot which is then forged into either slabs or billets. Additionally, the term billet is defined as a semifinished section that is hot rolled from a metal ingot, (2) a solid semifinished round or square product that has been hot worked by forging, rolling, or extrusion. Metals Handbook, Desk Edition, 2nd (1998), published by the American Society for Metals. As it appears that the titanium billets at issue here are produced by hot rolling or forging, they are not unwrought products for tariff purposes, and cannot be classified as unwrought titanium, in subheading 8108.20.00, HTSUS. See NY I89977, dated January 24, 2003.

The comment received in response to the October 1, 2003, notice contained two arguments in support of the subheading 8108.10.50 (now 20.00), HTSUS, classification. First, billets are clearly enumerated among the examples of “manufactured primary forms,” as that expression appears in Section XV, Additional U.S. Note 1, HTSUS,
defining the term “unwrought,” such that the exclusionary language “forged, drawn, or extruded products, tubular products or cast or sintered forms” must be interpreted as a reference only to products that have been forged into the rough shape of a final product. The titanium billets are not such products. Second, the classification expressed in NY A84786 is consistent with existing Customs rulings on similar products produced by a vertical continuous casting process.

The fact that billets are listed in Additional U.S. Note 1 as one example of a manufactured primary form, does not establish them as unwrought products for tariff purposes. The phrase “manufactured primary form” in Note 1 must be examined in pari materia with the remaining text in that note so as to give full meaning to Note 1. The text of Note 1 expressly states the term “unwrought” does not cover forged products. This exclusion is unequivocal. Thus, titanium billets produced by forging cannot be considered “unwrought” for purposes of Additional U.S. Note 1, HTSUS. The two rulings cited in support of the subheading 8108.10.50 (now 20.00), HTSUS, classification, HQ 955629, dated April 21, 1994, and NY G82889, dated November 6, 2000, concerned so-called magnesium T-bars and aluminum billets, respectively, both produced by the continuous casting process. These rulings are distinguishable on the facts from the merchandise at issue here. The T-bars in HQ 955629 were subsequently processed by what was considered a simple trimming operation similar to one employed in removing gates, risers and fins. Additional U.S. Note 1, HTSUS, specifically states that simple trimming operations are not sufficient to disqualify a cast article from being considered unwrought, if it otherwise qualifies. Similarly, as NY G82889 is silent on whether the aluminum billets were further machined or processed otherwise than by simple trimming, scalping or descaling, the finding in that ruling is correct on its face.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the titanium billets produced by forging are provided for in heading 8108. They are classifiable as other titanium and articles thereof, in subheading 8108.90.60, HTSUS.


NY A84786, dated July 12, 1996, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Elkins for Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: