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HQ 967005

May 18, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967005 DBS


TARIFF NO.: 3204.14.5000

Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
2nd and Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: Protest # 1101-03-100453

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1101-03-100453 filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of Pro-Jet Cyan 1 R.O. Stage color preparation. The entries were liquidated on November 14, 2003, and the protest was timely filed on December 17, 2003. In accordance with section D(1)(e) of Customs Directive #099-3550-065, dated August 1, 1993, this protest has been designated the “lead” protest.


The merchandise at issue is Pro-Jet Cyan 1 R.O. Stage. It is a dye-based ink jet product for use in aqueous ink jet printing systems. You classified the good in accordance with Headquarters Ruling (HQ) 966063, dated June 4, 2003, under heading 3204, HTSUS, as a color preparation based on a dye. Protestant is aware of this and other rulings which classified substantially similar products in heading 3204, HTSUS. However, Protestant continues to maintain that the instant product should be classified in heading 3215, HTSUS, as printing ink.


Whether Pro-Jet Cyan 1 R.O. Stage is classified as a color preparation in heading 3204, HTSUS, or as printing ink in heading 3215, HTSUS.


In HQ 965615, dated September 30, 2002, Customs classified Pro-Jet Cyan 1 Press Paste, and in HQ 965614, of the same date, we classified Pro Jet Cyan 2 Stage as a preparation based on a direct dye in heading 3204, HTSUS. See also HQ 966277 (April 15, 2003). In these rulings we stated that “Cyan 2” is a “stage,” which means that it does not contain at importation certain additives required for the various ink jet applications and for the specific needs of different consumers, and thus it could not be classified as printing ink of heading 3215, HTSUS.

The LAW AND ANALYSIS sections of these rulings were further clarified by HQ 966063, dated June 4, 2003, in which we revoked ruling letters and treatment previously accorded by Customs to the tariff classification of a substantially similar ink jet product called Pro-Jet Fast Yellow 2 R.O. Notice of the final revocation was published on June 25, 2003 in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 37, Number 26. Again, we classified the product at issue in heading 3204, HTSUS, because it is an ingredient used in the manufacture of ink jet printing ink, and therefore is not itself printing ink.

As the instant merchandise is substantially similar to the merchandise classified in the aforementioned rulings, analysis applied in HQ 966063 applies here. Therefore, the LAW AND ANALYSIS section of HQ 966063 is hereby incorporated by reference. See also HQ 966462, dated January 23, 2004. Accordingly, Pro-Jet Cyan 1 R.O. Stage is classified as a color preparation of heading 3204, HTSUS.


Pro-Jet Cyan 1 R.O. Stage in classified in subheading 3204.14.5000, HTSUS, which provides for, “Synthetic organic coloring matter, whether or not chemically defined; preparations as specified in note 3 to this chapter based on synthetic organic coloring matter; synthetic organic products of a kind used as fluorescent brightening agents or as luminophores, whether or not chemically defined: synthetic organic coloring matter and preparations based thereon as specified in note 3 to this chapter: direct dyes and preparations based thereon: other.” The rate of duty according to the 2003 HTSUS is 7.8% ad valorem.

You are instructed to DENY the protest in full.

In accordance with the Protest/Petition Processing Handbook (CIS HB, January 2002, pp. 18 and 21), you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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