CLA-2 CO:R:C:F: 952851 ALS
District Director of Customs
701 San Jacinto
P. O. Box 52790
Houston, TX 77052
RE: Request for Further Review of Protest 5301-2-100272, dated
July 2, 1992, Concerning the Classification of Nitromethane
Dear Ms. McCauley:
This ruling is on a protest that was filed against your
decisions of May 1 and 20, 1992, in the liquidation of multiple
entries covering the referenced item. It appears that the
importer's claim is that it detrimentally relied on the assessment
of duty at 3.7 percent ad valorem and that implementation of New
York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 869027 of December 18, 1991, should be
delayed pursuant to section 177.9(e), Customs Regulations. Since
detrimental reliance is not a matter subject to protest, we will
deal with the protest in this document and will respond directly
to the importer as to the issue of detrimental reliance.
The product under consideration is the chemical nitromethane
(95 percent minimum purity). New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 869027,
dated December 18, 1991, concluded that the chemical (CAS# 75-52-
5) was classifiable in subheading 2904.20.5000, Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). That subheading
provides for other derivatives of hydrocarbons containing only
nitro or only nitroso groups.
What is the classification of nitromethane?
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LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order.
GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the heading and any relative section
and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if
the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining
GRI's are applied, taken in order.
In considering this matter we noted that the importer began
importing the chemical in late October 1991. The shipments were
entered under subheading 2904.90.5000, HTSUSA, by the importer's
Customs broker. Some of the entries were liquidated as entered.
NYRL 869027, issued on December 18, 1991, concluded that the
chemical of 95 percent minimum purity should be classified under
subheading 2904.20.5000, HTSUSA.
We have reviewed the classification of the chemical
nitromethane, noting that such chemical, as imported, is of 95
percent minimum purity. While heading 2904, HTSUSA, under which
both of the referenced subheadings fall, covers sulfonated,
nitrated or nitrosated derivatives of hydrocarbons, whether or not
halogenated, we have concluded that subheading 2904.20, HTSUSA,
which provides for derivatives containing only nitro or only
nitroso groups, more specifically covers the chemical.
Nitromethane from China of 95 percent minimum purity is
classifiable under subheading 2904.20.5000, HTSUSA, and subject to
a general rate of duty of 7.9 percent ad valorem.
Since the classification indicated above is the same as the
classification under which the entry was liquidated, you are
instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision
should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the
protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.
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The claim of detrimental reliance will be the subject of a
separate letter to the importer.
NYRL 869027 is affirmed.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division