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 from Germany.

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 subheading 3810.90.2000. - 2 -

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.


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). - 3 -


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 revoked.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division