CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954959 ASM
Mr. Michael F. Mitri
Phelan & Mitri
1177 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06905
RE: Reconsideration and Revocation of New York Ruling Letter
888580 concerning the tariff classification of "Nocolok" Flux
Dear Mr. Mitri:
This letter is in response to your request for a
reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 888580, dated
August 6, 1993, regarding the classification of "Nocolok" Flux
from Germany. A sample was submitted with your letter.
In NYRL 888580, the subject product, "Nocolok" Flux, was
classified in subheading 3810.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule
of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides, in part,
for pickling preparations and pastes consisting of metal and
other materials. We have reviewed that ruling and have found it
to be in error. The correct classification follows.
According to your submission, the intended use of "Nocolok"
Flux is as a coating for metal parts to remove the oxide layer
from the surfaces thereby permitting the metal surfaces to be
joined. It is your contention that fluxes in any form which are
designed to facilitate soldering, brazing or welding processes,
including "Nocolok" Flux, are classifiable under HTSUSA
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The technical literature submitted includes two studies
under the SAE Technical Paper Series identifying the product as
a "flux" in powder form consisting of a "eutectic" mixture of
KAlF4 and K3AlF6. The Condensed Chemical Dictionary indicates
that a "flux" is used to prevent the formation of oxides, and a
"eutectic" mixture is an alloy. According to the product
description, there is no metal filler in the product; it is a
pure flux. Furthermore, because it is eutectic, "Nocolok" melts
at a temperature very close to the melting point of aluminum.
Thus, "Nocolok" facilitates the joining of two metal surfaces by
preventing the formation of oxides in the welding, brazing, or
soldering process of aluminum.
Whether the product, "Nocolok" Flux, should be classified
under HTSUSA subheading 3810.90.2000.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic
detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods
are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the
terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative
section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be
classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and
legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may
then be applied. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's), which represent
the official interpretation of the tariff at the international
level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering
guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.
In order to determine the correct classification of
"Nocolok", it must first be noted that the product is based
exclusively on fluoride salts and contains no metals. As such,
"Nocolok" flux would not be classified under subheading
3810.10.0000 HTSUSA. The EN's for this subheading specifically
describe products used as a pickling preparation for metal
surfaces which are usually comprised of dilute acids
(hydrochloric, sulphuric, hydrofluoric, nitric, phosphoric,
etc.), and sometimes contain alkalis (e.g., sodium hydroxide); or
a preparation used as a soldering, brazing or welding powder or
paste consisting of metal. See, EN's 38.10(1) and (3).
Inasmuch as "Nocolok" flux is neither a pickling preparation
containing dilute acids or alkalis, nor a soldering, brazing or
welding powder consisting of metal, subheading 3810.90 HTSUSA
remains as the proper classification for this product. This
subheading includes fluxes and other auxiliary preparations for
soldering, brazing or welding and used to facilitate the joining
of metals by protecting the metal surface and the solder itself
from oxidation. See, e.g., EN 38.10(2).
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In view of the foregoing, the product known as "Nocolok"
flux is classified in subheading 3810.90.2000, the provision for
"...fluxes and other auxiliary preparations for soldering,
brazing, or welding...: Other: Consisting wholly of inorganic
substances," duty free at the general column one rate.
Accordingly, NYRL 888580, dated August 6, 1993, is hereby
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division