CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954018 ALS

District Director of Customs
9400 Viscount
Suite 104
El Paso, TX 79925

RE: Internal Advice Request 28/93 Regarding the Classification of "Masonry Cement" from Mexico

Dear Mr. Holler;

This is in response to your request for internal advice as to the classification of a cement product from Mexico invoiced as masonry cement. The port of El Paso has been classifying this product as other hydraulic cement in subheading 2523.90.0000, HTSUSA. The New Orleans Customs Laboratory has analyzed the product and concluded that it is a portland cement. This finding would dictate classification of the product in subheading 2523.29.0000, HTSUSA.


The product under consideration consists of 75 percent gary portland cement and 25 percent calcium carbonate (limestone).


What is the classification of the cement product under consideration?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. - 2 -

GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings 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 whether a product consisting of 75 percent gray portland cement and 25 percent calcium carbonate is classifiable as portland cement we consulted several standards established by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). We noted that Standard C91 deals with a product known as masonry cement (portland cement and limestone) and that such product is not referenced in Standard C595 which list and defines blended hydraulic cement. Standard C465, which superseded C150, and deals with the processing of additions for use in the manufacture of hydraulic cements specifies in section 3.5 thereof that the cement will comply with the specifics for gray portland cement in Standard C150 or C595, "...except that it contains the addition under test. The effect of the addition on the properties of the cement shall also be within the following limits:." Therefore, cement containing 25 percent calcium carbonate additive is still a type of portland cement. In this regard we note that the aforementioned Standard C595 lists many different types of portland cement, several of which contain more that 25 percent additives. It appears that the instant product is considered to be a type of portland cement by both industry standards and commercial convention. The fact that it meets the requirement in Standard C91 for masonry cement does not keep it from being considered a type of portland cement.

The Explanatory Notes to Harmonized System (EN), which represent the considered views of the international classification experts indicate, under EN 25.23, that additives may be placed in a portland cement product without negating its identity as portland cement.


A cement product containing 75 percent portland cement and 25 percent calcium carbonate is classifiable as portland cement in subheading 2523.29.0000, HTSUSA. Such product from Mexico while eligible for a free rate of duty is subject to dumping duties under Case A-201-802-001.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Ruling Division