CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954699 LTO

Mr. Y. Yoneyama
Sumitomo Corporation of America
345 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10154-0042

RE: Steel Wire Rod; 7227.20.00; silico-manganese steel; chromium-silicon alloy steel; 886738 reconsidered

Dear Mr. Yoneyama:

This is in response to your letter of July 27, 1993, requesting reconsideration of 886738 issued to you on June 24, 1993, by the Portland, Oregon, District, concerning the classification of steel wire rod, from Japan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). FACTS:

The merchandise at issue is hot-rolled steel wire rod in irregularly wound coils, which is used to manufacture valve springs. The diameter of the wire rod is 5.5 mm. The steel wire rod has the following composition:

Carbon 0.51 - 0.59% Manganese 0.6 - 0.8% Silicon 1.2 - 1.6% Chromium 0.6 - 0.8% Phosphorous 0.035% Sulfur 0.040%

In response to your letter of May 25, 1993, you were advised in 886738 that the steel wire rod was classifiable as other alloy steel under subheading 7227.90.60, HTSUS. You contend that, because of its special properties, the subject steel wire rod should be categorized as silico-manganese steel.


Whether the steel wire rod is classifiable as silico- - 2 -

manganese steel under subheading 7227.20.00, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The subheadings at issue are as follows:

7227 Bars and rods, hot-rolled, in irregularly wound coils, of other alloy steel:

7227.20.00 Of silico-manganese steel (4.5% ad valorem)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Other: 7227.90.60 Other (4.5% ad valorem)

Subheading note 1(e) to chapter 72 defines silico-manganese steel as "[a]lloy steel containing by weight:"

- 0.35 percent or more but not more than 0.7 percent of carbon

- 0.5 percent or more but not more than 1.2 percent of manganese, and

- 0.6 percent or more but not more than 2.3 percent of silicon, but not containing any other element in a proportion that would give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel.

The steel wire rod at issue does not fall within the above definition. While the rod does contain the appropriate amounts of carbon, manganese and silicon, it also contains additional elements that give the steel the characteristics of another alloy steel. Specifically, the rod contains chromium content in the range of 0.6 to 0.8%, as well as phosphorous (0.035%) and sulfur (0.040%). The inclusion of the chromium gives the steel the characteristics of chromium-silicon alloy steel (the steel has the same chemical composition as standard [ASTM A 401-77] chromium-silicon alloy steel spring wire), which is an alloy steel other than silico-manganese steel.

Moreover, the chromium content causes the steel to meet the chemical composition requirements in the definition for other alloy steel in note 1(f) to chapter 72. Note 1(f) to chapter 72 defines other alloy steel as "[s]teels not complying with the - 3 -

definition of stainless steel and containing by weight one or more of the following elements in the proportion shown . . . 0.3 percent or more of chromium." There is no requirement that other alloy steel contain more than 1.65% manganese. The steel wire rod is therefore classifiable under subheading 7227.90.60, HTSUS.


The steel wire rod is classifiable under subheading 7227.90.60, HTSUS, which provides for other hot-rolled bars and rods, in irregularly wound coils, of other alloy steel. The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 4.5% ad valorem.

Portland decision 886738, dated June 24, 1993, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director