CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 958588K

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
2nd & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

RE: Application For Further Review of Protest No. 1101-95-100616; Bone Glue

Dear Port Director:

The following is our response to the referral by your office, dated November 1, 1995, of the request for further review of the above-referenced protest.


The consumption entry covering the imported merchandise was liquidated on August 25, 1995, under the provision for inedible gelatin and animal glue, valued 88 cents per kg, in subheading 3503.00.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), with duty at the 1995 general rate of 4.1 cent per kg, plus 5.6 percent ad valorem. A timely protest under 19 U.S.C. 1514 was received on September 15, 1995. The protestant requested reliquidation of the entry under the provision for other animal products not elsewhere specified or included, chiefly used as food for animals or as ingredients in such food, in subheading 0511.99.3000, HTSUS, with a 1995 free rate of duty.

The entry documents, including the commercial invoice and the Certificate of Origin of the People's Republic of China, describe the imported merchandise as bone glue. A document was submitted from the foreign supplier dated May 12, 1995, describing the production process for the imported bone glue. A Customs Laboratory Report dated June 23, 1995, states that a submitted sample was animal glue (bone glue). We conclude that the imported merchandise is bone glue. However a further document was submitted dated May 10, 1995, describing a processing method to produce "Protein-Plus" animal feed pellet binder with the use of the imported bone glue to substantiate the protestant's claim that the bone glue is chiefly used as food for animals or as ingredients in such food, and classified in subheading 0511.99.3000, HTSUS.


The issue is whether bone glue (animal glue) is specifically provided for in heading 3503.00, HTSUS.


Heading 3503.00, HTSUS, provides for gelatin (including gelatin in rectangular (including square) sheets, whether or not surface-worked or colored) and gelatin derivatives; isinglass; other glues of animal origin, excluding casein glues of heading 3501. (Emphasis added.) Subheading 3503.00.1000, HTSUS specifically covers fish glue and subheadings 3503.00.2000 and 3503.00.4000, HTSUS, specifically cover inedible gelatin and animal glue, based upon value. Animal glue, therefore, is specifically provided for in heading 3503.00, HTSUS.

Heading 0511, HTSUS, provides for animal products not elsewhere specified or included; dead animals of chapter 1 or 3, unfit for human consumption. (Emphasis added.) Since glues of animal origin are specified in heading 3503.00, HTSUS, it would preclude coverage in a heading for animal products not elsewhere specified.

Assuming that the merchandise may be classified in heading 0511, HTSUS (and we do not concede this question), no evidence has been submitted that the products are chiefly (or principally) used as food for animals or as ingredients in such food, as required by subheading 0511.99.3000, HTSUS. The document submitted with the protest dated May 12, 1995, describing the bone glue production process, lists many uses of the bone glue such as in the production of glue products, in printing and dyeing, in the production of amino acid, as a binder in animal feed, in wooden furniture, and in textiles.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and General Rules of Interpretation of the HTSUS. The general note to Chapter 5, EN, states that "This Chapter covers a variety of materials of animal origin, unworked or having undergone a simple process of preparation, which are not normally used as food (except certain blood, guts, bladders and stomachs of animals) and which are not dealt with in other Chapters of the Nomenclature." The EN for heading 3503, states, in part, that "gelatin and the glues of this heading are water-soluble protein substances obtained by treating...cartilage, bones...or similar animal materials, usually with warm water with or without additions of acids." The production document of the foreign supplier, dated May 12, 1995, describes a product that has been processed beyond crude raw animal material.


Bone glue, if valued 88 cents or more per kg, is classified in subheading 3503.00.4000, HTSUS, as animal glue, with duty at the 1995 general rate of 4.1 cent per kg, plus 5.6 percent ad valorem.

You are directed to deny the protest in full. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, Revised Protest Directive, dated August 4, 1993, a copy of this decision attached to Customs Form 19, Notice of Action, should be provided by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this decision and any reliquidations of entries in accordance with this decision must be accomplished prior thereto. Sixty days from the date of this decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make this decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division