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HQ 966801

July 20, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966801 AML


TARIFF NO.: 7210.90.1000

Mr. Al Medino
Technical Services Manager
Cronatron Welding Systems, Inc.
2430 Mall Drive, Suite 195
North Charleston, SC 29406

RE: NY I89446 affirmed; classification of clad steel plate

Dear Mr. Medino:

This is in reference to your letter, dated March 31, 2003, to the National Commodity Specialist Division (“NCSD”), New York, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) I89446, dated January 9, 2003, regarding the classification of clad steel plate, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). Your letter, together with a laboratory analysis and catalog pages describing and illustrating the plate, was forwarded to this office for reply.


The merchandise under consideration is clad steel plate. It was described in NY I89446 as follows:

The product to be imported is described as clad plate consisting of a hot-rolled mild steel backing plate to which a chromium carbide alloy is applied by a continuous weld cast technique. Chemical compositions for both the base plate/backing plate and the overlay were provided. The base plate is BHP Grade ASIH25-1954-HA 1006 nonalloy steel. The overlay material contains from 30.0% to 45.0% chromium, 3.8% to 5.5% carbon, a maximum of 3% of manganese and silicon and the balance iron. The plate measures 1200 mm in width and 12 mm in thickness. It is assumed the nonalloy steel base plate predominates by weight over the overlay.

NY I89446 held that:

The applicable subheading for the nonalloy steel clad plate will be 7210.90.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, clad, plated or coated, other, clad. The rate of duty will be 0.6 percent ad valorem.

In NY I89446, Customs and Border Protection also noted that the merchandise was subject to additional duties under subheading 9903.72.60, HTSUSA, in accordance with the Section 201 Relief for Certain Steel Products (steel safeguard measures), the subject of Presidential Proclamation 7529, issued on March 5, 2002. However, Presidential Proclamation 7741 terminated the assessment of these duties with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m., EST, December 5, 2003. See 68 Fed. Reg. 68483, 68485 (Dec. 8, 2003).

In your letter of March 31, 2003, you explain the manufacturing process of the merchandise and contend that classification under heading 7210 is inappropriate. You contend that following importation the merchandise is further fabricated to meet customer specifications before it is sold as a protective material. You request reclassification of the merchandise to a heading that is “more suitable to the actual description and end use of this product,” suggesting to the NCSD that heading 8474, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of machinery for which the merchandise will be further worked following importation is appropriate.


Whether the flat rolled, clad steel plate is classified under heading 7210, HTSUSA, which provides for flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, clad, plated or coated; or under heading 8474, HTSUSA, which provides for machinery forcrushing, grinding, mixingores or other mineral substancesand parts thereof?


Classification of imported merchandise is accomplished pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”). Classification under the HTSUSA is guided by the General Rules of Interpretation of the Harmonized System (“GRIs”). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that “for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes[.]” The applicable HTSUSA provisions under consideration are as follows:

7210 Flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, clad, plated or coated:
7210.90 Other:
7210.90.60 Electrolytically coated or plated with base metal. 8474 Machinery forcrushing, grinding, mixingores or other mineral substances; parts thereof:
8474.90.00 Parts.

An article is to be classified according to its condition as imported. See XTC Products, Inc. v. United States, 771 F.Supp. 401, 405 (1991). See also, United States v. Citroen, 223 U.S. 407 (1911). The merchandise at issue is clad steel plate. You concede that the plate must be further worked in order to meet customer specifications following importation. Post importation working is of no consequence; merchandise is classified as it is presented upon importation into the United States.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Chapter 72, Note 1(k), HTSUS, defines a "flat-rolled product" as a rolled product of solid rectangular cross section, in coils of successively superimposed layers. Note 1(k) further provides that:

(k) Flat-rolled products

Rolled products of solid rectangular (other than square) cross section, which do not conform to the definition at (ij) above in the form of:

- coils of successively superimposed layers, or

- straight lengths, which if of a thickness less than 4.75 mm are of a width measuring at least 10 times the thickness or if of a thickness of 4.75 mm or more are of a width which exceeds 150 mm and measures at least twice the thickness.

Flat-rolled products include those with patterns in relief derived directly from rolling (for example, grooves, ribs, checkers, tears, buttons, lozenges) and those which have been perforated, corrugated or polished, provided that they do not thereby assume the character of articles or products of other headings.

Flat-rolled products of a shape other than rectangular or square, of any size, are to be classified as products of a width of 600 mm or more, provided that they do not assume the character of articles or products of other headings.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c) provides:

In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires ... a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for "parts" or "parts and accessories" shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory[.]

By its terms, Additional U.S. Rule 1(c), HTSUS, applies in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires. However, in this case, given that flat rolled, clad steel plate is specifically provided for at the four-digit level, there is no special language or context which supercedes Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS.

The ENs to heading 7210 provide in pertinent part that:

This heading covers the same kind of products as described in heading 7208 or 7209, but, to fall in this heading they must be clad, plated or coated.

For the purpose of this heading, the expression “clad, plated or coated” applies to the products which were subjected to one of the treatments described in Part (C)(2), Items (d)(iv), (d)(v) and (e) of the General Explanatory Note to this Chapter.

Part (C)(2), Items (d)(iv), (d)(v) and (e) of the General Explanatory Note to Chapter 72 provide, in pertinent part, as follows:

(C) Subsequent manufacture and finishing

The finished products may be subjected to further finishing treatments or converted into other articles by a series of operations such as: (2) Surface treatments or other operations, including cladding, to improve the properties or appearance of the metal, protect it against rusting or corrosion, etc. Except as otherwise provided in the text of certain headings, such treatments do not affect the heading in which the goods are classified. They include: (d) Surface finishing treatment, including: (iv) coating with metal (metallisation), the main processes being: - electroplating (cathodic deposition of a coating metal on the product to be coated, by electrolysis of a suitable solution of metallic salts), e.g., with zinc, cadmium, tin, lead, chromium, chromium/chromate, copper, nickel, gold or silver[.] (e) Cladding, i.e., the association of layers of metals of different colors or natures by molecular interpenetration of the surfaces in contact . . .

The various processes include . . . simple hot-rolling of the cladding metal ensure efficient welding to the basic metal; any other method of deposition or superimposing of the cladding metal followed by any mechanical or thermal process to ensure welding (e.g., electro-cladding) in which the cladding metal (nickel, chromium, etc.) is applied to the to the basic metal by electroplating, molecular interpenetration of the surfaces in contact then being obtained by heat treatment at the appropriate temperature with subsequent cold-rolling.

We do not consider the flat rolled clad steel products to be parts of machinery as contemplated by the tariff. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HQ“) 961999, dated September 28, 1998, we noted, “in regard to the general organization of the HTSUS” that:

The Harmonized System has been organized according to levels of processing, so that so-called primary products are classified in early chapters and more complex products in later ones. (See Customs Laws & Administration section 50.4, p. 20,by Ruth F. Sturm (1995))

Thus, while the clad steel plate has undergone a process of manufacture, it is more aptly described as a primary product or material than as an identifiable part of any particular type of machinery. See HQ 950121, dated March 11, 1992, in which we distinguished between parts and material citing Avins Industrial Products Co. v. United States, 72 Cust. Ct. 43 (1974) aff'd, 515 F.2d 782 (CCPA 1975). See also Heraeus-Amersil, Inc. v. United States, 10 C.I.T. 258, 640 F. Supp. 1331 (CIT 1986); Ludvig Svensson, Inc. v. United States, 62 F. Supp. 2d 1171, 23 CIT 573 (1999); Coraggio Design, Inc. v. United States, 12 C.I.T. 143 (1988). We reach a similar conclusion here. The articles, in their condition as imported, are identifiable as primary product or material: clad steel plate which is classifiable eo nomine in accordance with Additional U.S. Rule 1(c) under heading 7210, HTSUSA.


NY I89446 is affirmed.

The steel clad plates are classified under subheading 7210.90.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, clad, plated or coated, other, clad. The 2004 column 1 general rate of duty is free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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