CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951607 DWS

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
55 Erieview Plaza
Cleveland, OH 44114

RE: Protest No. 4103-92-100025; Abrasive Wheel; Agglomerated Abrasive; EN 68.04; EN 68.05; 6804.22.10

Dear Sir:

This is our response on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 4103-92-100025, dated January 1, 1992, concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on abrasive wheels under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of abrasive wheels. The wheel is comprised of a base of nonwoven nylon textile material which is uniformly sprayed with a plastic binder material. Then, crushed abrasive is sprayed on the plastic binder so that the grain adheres to the nonwoven textile fibers individually and uniformly throughout the mass. Strips of the finished abrasive grain- impregnated textile are glued to a tube of phenolic resin- impregnated cardboard. The completed article is designed for the cleaning, finishing, and smoothing of metal, wood, or glass surfaces.


What is the proper classification of the abrasive wheels under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 6805.30.10, which provides for: "[n]atural or artificial abrasive powder or grain, on a base of textile material, . . . . whether or not cut to shape or sewn or otherwise made up: [o]n a base of other materials: [a]rticles wholly or partly coated with abrasives, in the form of sheets, strips, disks, belts, sleeves or similar forms."

However, the entry was liquidated under subheading 6804.22.10, HTSUS, which provides for: "[m]illstones, grindstones, grinding wheels and the like, without frameworks, for grinding, sharpening, polishing, trueing or cutting, hand sharpening or polishing stones, and parts thereof, of natural stone, of agglomerated natural or artificial abrasives, or of ceramics, with or without parts of other materials: [o]ther millstones, grindstones, grinding wheels and the like: [o]f other agglomerated abrasives or of ceramics: [b]onded with synthetic resins."

The importer argues that the artificial abrasives and grains mixed with the nylon binder are not "agglomerated abrasives", and, therefore, the abrasive tube is precluded from classification under subheading 6804.22.10, HTSUS.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 68.05 (pp. 899-900), HTSUS, states that:

[t]his heading covers, in particular:

(3) Grinding wheels, heads, discs, points, etc., as used on machine-tools, electro-mechanical or pneumatic hand tools, for the trimming, polishing, sharpening, trueing or sometimes for the cutting of metals, stone, glass, plastics, ceramics, rubber, leather, mother of pearl, ivory, etc. . . .

Agglomerated grinding wheels, etc., are made by mixing ground abrasive or stone with binders such as ceramic materials . . . . sodium silicate, cement . . . . or less rigid cementing materials. Textile fibers such as cotton, nylon or flax are sometimes incorporated in the mixtures. The mixtures are moulded to shape, dried, and then heated (if necessary to the stage of vitrification in the case of ceramic binders) or cured (in the case of the rubber, plastics, etc., binders). The articles are then trimmed to size and shape. (emphasis supplied).

In part, Explanatory Note 68.05, states that:

[t]his heading covers textile material, paper, paperboard, vulcanised fibre, leather or other materials, in rolls or cut to shape (sheets, bands, strips, discs, segments, etc.) or in threads or cords, on to which crushed natural or artificial abrasives have been coated, usually by means of glue or plastics. The heading also covers similar products of nonwovens, in which abrasives are uniformly dispersed throughout the mass and fixed on to textile fibres by the bonding substance.

It is our position that the subject abrasive tube is specifically provided for under heading 6805, HTSUS. It is not provided for under heading 6804, HTSUS, because, as Explanatory Note 68.04, HTSUS, describes, the heading covers actual agglomerated material which has been molded to shape and heated or cured. The subject merchandise consists of nonwoven strips in which the abrasives are uniformly dispersed throughout the mass and fixed on to the textile fibers by the plastic bonding substance. The subject material is not used to create millstones, grindstones, grinding wheels, and the like. We find that Explanatory Note 68.05, HTSUS, specifically describes the subject merchandise.


The subject abrasive wheel is classifiable under subheading 6805.30.10, HTSUS. The protest should be granted 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.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division