CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955090 ASM
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 37260
Milwaukee, WI 53237-0260
RE: Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3701-93-
100120, Zirconium Butoxide (CAS 1071-76-7), 80 percent Solution
This is a decision on a protest filed August 19, 1993,
against your decision in the classification of merchandise
liquidated on August 6, 1993.
The protestant entered the subject merchandise in subheading
2905.19.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
Annotated (HTSUSA), for "Acyclic alcohols and their halogenated,
sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives: Saturated
monohydric alcohols: Other: Other" which is dutiable at the
column one general rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem.
Customs reclassified the merchandise under subheading
3815.90.5000 HTSUSA, as "Reaction initiators, reaction
accelerators and catalytic preparations, not elsewhere specified
or included: Other: Other" which is dutiable at the column 1
general rate of 5 percent ad valorem.
The protestant seeks reclassification of the goods to
subheading 2905.19.0050, claiming that the chemical should be
classified under the provision for alcohols and their
halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives.
What is the proper classification under the HTSUSA of
zirconium butoxide (CAS 1071-76-7), 80 percent solution in 1-
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LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in
accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). As
stated in GRI 1, the classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the headings which must be read in
conjunction with the relative section or 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 in their
appropriate order. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's), facilitate
classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in
understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.
According to the Customs laboratory report, this product is
composed of a mixture of 1-butanol zirconium (4+) salt (80
percent) and 1-butanol (20 percent). The product is described by
the protestant as a mixture of zirconium butoxide and butanol.
It is offered in their catalog in both forms, i.e.: 80 percent
solution and as a product which is 98 percent pure. Although the
protestant is seeking classification of the product in Chapter
29, the EN's state that generally, Chapter 29 is restricted to
separate chemically defined compounds, i.e. "A separate
chemically defined compound is a compound of known structure,
which does not contain other substances deliberately added during
or after its manufacture (including purification)." See EN's,
Section VI, General notes (Chapter Note 1), pgs. 326-327.
The EN's for Chapter 29 note that the separate chemically
defined compounds of Chapter 29 may contain "impurities." The
definition for "impurities" is provided in the EN's (pgs. 326-
327) as a substance whose presence in the single chemical
compound results solely and directly from the manufacturing
process (including purification). In this case, butanol is added
to create the initial reaction and more is added so that the
product can be standardized. As such, the butanol cannot be
considered an impurity within the meaning of Chapter 29.
With respect to the possibility of the addition of butanol
to the mixture as a solvent, Legal Note 1(e) to Chapter 29 states
that where the product is dissolved in other solvents, such
methods must be solely for reasons of safety or transport "...
and that the solvent does not render the product particularly
suitable for specific use rather than for general use (emphasis
supplied)." It is our opinion that while the butanol may have
been added for ease of handling, it has also been added to
standardize the product, i.e., for a specific use. Therefore, it
does not satisfy the exception contained in Legal Note 1(e), and
cannot be classified in Chapter 29.
While the product could be classified as a mixture in
subheading 3823.90.5010, HTSUSA, the residual provision for
aromatic mixtures, the Customs laboratory report specifically
describes the uses for this product as a "polymer catalyst." The
report further provides that the chemical used in this product,
zirconium (4+) salt, is defined as a catalyst, for ammonia
reaction with fatty acids (Chemical Abstracts, 9th).
Preparations containing catalysts are more specifically described
in heading 3815, HTSUSA, which is the residual provision for
"Reaction initiators, reaction accelerators and catalytic
preparations, not elsewhere specified or included."
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In the EN's for heading 3815, it is stated at pg. 537-8,
that this heading covers preparations of mixtures which include
(i) free radical "catalysts" (e.g., organic
solutions of organic
peroxides or of azo compounds, redox mixtures);
(ii) ionic "catalysts";
(iii) "catalysts for polycondensation reactions"
of calcium acetate with antimony trioxide).
It is further stated in the EN for heading 3815, pg. 538,
that these preparations are generally used in the course of
manufacture of polymers. Inasmuch as this preparation is a
mixture which contains an organic catalyst and is used as a
polymer catalyst, we find that the product, zirconium butoxide
(CAS 1071-76-7), 80 percent solution in 1-butanol, is properly
classified under heading 3815, HTSUSA.
The product, zirconium butoxide (CAS 1071-76-7), 80 percent
solution in 1-butanol, is properly classified under subheading
3815.90.5000 HTSUSA, a provision for "Reaction initiators,
reaction accelerators and catalytic preparations, not elsewhere
specified or included: Other: Other." Merchandise entered in
1993 and liquidated under subheading 3815.90.5000 HTSUSA, was
subject to the column one general rate of duty of 5 percent ad
Since the rate of duty under the classification indicated
above is the same as the liquidated rate, you are instructed to
deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be
attached to the Form 19, Notice of Action, to be returned to the
In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive
099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest
Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the
protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter.
Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision
must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty
days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and
Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs
personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS, and to the
public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of
Information Act and other public access channels.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division