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HQ 967286

DECEMBER 14, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967286 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7225.99.0090

Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: Protest 3004-04-100038; Tin-Free Steel in Coils; 201 Steel Safeguard Duty Exclusion

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 3004-04-100038, filed by counsel on behalf of Corus Staal BV against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of certain tin-free steel in coils.

The goods were entered under subheading 7225.99.00, HTSUS, as other flat-rolled products of other alloy steel, of a width of 600 or more. The entry was liquidated as entered, but with additional 201 Steel Safeguard duties assessed under subheading 9903.73.22, HTSUS.


The merchandise is low carbon, polymer-coated, tin-free steel in coils measuring 35.5 inches in width. This is a thin, cold-rolled steel called black plate which is electrically plated with metallic chromium plus a chromium-oxide film. It qualifies as an alloy steel by virtue of its boron content.


Whether tin-free steel, the subject of this protest, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after March 20, 2003, is excluded from the Steel Safeguard measures outlined in Presidential Proclamation 7529.


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.

Presidential Proclamation 7529, dated March 5, 2002, imposed additional duties on certain steel products as provided for in subheadings 9903.72.309903.74.24, HTSUS, by modifying subchapter III to chapter 99 to provide for such increased duties. Proclamation 7529 also authorized the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to consider requests for exclusion of a particular product and upon publication in the Federal Register of his finding that a product should be so excluded to modify the provisions created by the Annex to Proclamation 7529. Pursuant to this authority, the USTR caused to be published in the March 31, 2003, edition of the Federal Register, Vol. 68, No 61, a notice of his finding that product designated by the exclusion A-684, among numerous others, is excluded from the safeguard measures established in Presidential Proclamation 7529, thus modifying the HTSUS provisions created by the Annex to Proclamation 7529, as set forth in the Annex to the March 31 notice.

The referenced exclusion is contained in a new subdivision inserted at the end of U.S. Note 11(c) to chapter III of chapter 99 of the HTS which reads as follows:
polymer coated electrolytic chromium/chromium oxide coated cold reduced low carbon steel, designated as A-684; the foregoing manufactured according to Euro norm standard EN10202:2001; thickness 0.1 mm or more but not over 0.6 mm and width not over 1,000 mm; having the following chemical composition (percent by weight): carbon 0.015 or more but not over 0.12, manganese 0.15 or more but not over 0.6, phosphorus not over 0.02, silicon not over 0.025 and sulfur not over 0.02; proof/lower yield strength not less than 180 MPa and not more than 700 MPa (measured according to Euronorm EN10002 part 1.2001), elongation not less than 0.5% and not more than 40%; polymer coating on one side of the steel strip consisting amorphous layer of polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) that has been directly extruded or laminated in two and/or three layers and having a thickness not less than 15 micrometers and not more than 200 micrometers;
coating second side may be the same as the first side or be composed of a similarly extruded layer of polypropylene (PP) polymer that has a thickness not less than 15 micrometers and not more than 200 micrometers;

The parties agree that subheading 7225.99.00, HTSUS, represents the correct classification. The issue is whether there is satisfactory compliance with the exclusion in U.S. Note 11(c)(cclxxxviii). The inspection certificates, Special Summary Steel invoices, commercial invoices and other entry documents showed the dimensions and chemical composition of the product at the time the entries were liquidated, but other requisite information as to yield strength and coating thickness, for example, was undocumented. On protest, counsel has provided documentation matching invoices to coil serial numbers showing the requisite Proof/MPa yield strength and percent elongation within the parameters stated in the referenced exclusion. Moreover, counsel has clarified the manner in which invoices and packing lists show commercial abbreviations that confirm both an external layer and internal coating of PET within the requisite micrometer thickness stated in the exclusion. The submitted documentation has been reviewed by the local import specialists as to its accuracy.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the low carbon, polymer-coated, tin-free steel in coils is provided for in heading 7225. It is classifiable in subheading 7225.99.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). However, the steel meets the terms of the exclusion in U.S. Note 11(c)(cclxxxviii).

The protest should be ALLOWED. 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 CBP 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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