CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 959797 MGM
U.S. Customs Service
111 W. Huron St.
Buffalo, NY 14202
Re: Protest 0901-96-101817; Solvent Black 7
Dear Port Director:
This is our decision regarding Protest 0901-96-101817,
concerning your classification of a dyeing material, Solvent
Black 7, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States (Annotated) (HTSUSA). All HTSUSA provisions and rates of
duty discussed below are those which were in effect in 1996.
Solvent Black 7, CAS No. 8005-02-5, a number listed in the
Chemical Appendix to the HTSUSA, is a synthetic organic dyeing
material. Customs Laboratory Report 2-1997-21846, dated June 13,
1997, states that "it is soluble in organic solvents which is
characteristic of a solvent dye. Unlike a basic dye, it is not
soluble in water." This dye is also known as "nigrosine oil
soluble" and "C.I. Solvent Black 7."
Protestant was directed to enter the merchandise under
subheading 3204.12.50, HTSUSA, as "Synthetic organic coloring
matter...: Acid dyes...: Other: Other." Protestant asserts that
the merchandise is properly classified under subheading
3204.13.1000, HTSUSA, as "Synthetic organic coloring matter...:
Basic dyes...: Basic Black 7." The entry here protested was made
on February 26, 1996, and liquidated on June 14, 1996. A protest
was timely filed on July 23, 1996.
Is synthetic organic dye Solvent Black 7 properly classified
under subheading 3204.13.1000, HTSUSA ?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the
HTSUSA. Tariff classification is governed by the principles set
forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the
absence of special language or context which requires otherwise,
by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the
Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUSA
and are to be considered statutory provisions of law.
GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first
according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and
any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise
required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order. GRI 6
requires that the classification of goods in the subheadings of a
heading shall be determined according to the terms of those
subheadings, any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis,
to the GRIs.
In understanding the language of the HTSUSA, the Explanatory
Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding
System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive or
legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each
heading, and are generally indicative of the proper
interpretation of the HTSUSA. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg.
35127 (August 23, 1989).
The protestant argues that this dye should be classified
under subheading 3204.13.1000, HTSUSA, as a basic dye. The ENs
to Chapter 32 state that "basic dyes are water-soluble cationic
dyes." The Customs laboratory report states that Solvent Black 7
"is soluble in organic solvents which is characteristic of a
solvent dye. Unlike a basic dye, it is not soluble in water."
Accordingly, it is not a basic dye classifiable in subheading
3204.13.1000, HTSUSA. Although this subheading does contain an
eo nomine provision for "Basic black 7," this is a separate and
distinct compound with a separate CAS registry number, 6363-84-4.
Subheading 3204.12.50, HTSUSA, the subheading under which
the entry of merchandise was liquidated, provides for acid dyes.
The Ens to Chapter 32 define acid dyes as "water soluble anionic
dyes which are applied to nylon, wool, silk, modacrylic fibres or
leather." Inasmuch as Solvent Black 7 is insoluble in water it
is not properly classified in subheading 3204.12.50, HTSUSA.
Subheading 3204.19.2500, HTSUSA, provides for solvent dyes
not specifically named elsewhere but listed by CAS number in the
Chemical Appendix to the Tariff Schedule. The ENs state that
solvent dyes "are dissolved in organic solvents and applied to
synthetic fibres." This is consistent with the Customs
laboratory report. Within heading 3204, solvent dyes are
specially provided for in subheading 3204.19, HTSUSA, the
provision for "Other, including mixtures of coloring matter of
two or more of the subheadings 3204.11 to 3204.19: Solvent dyes
and preparations based thereon." As Solvent Black 7 is not among
those dyes here specifically listed by name and is listed in the
Chemical Appendix, it is properly classified in subheading
Solvent Black 7 is properly classified under subheading
3204.19.2500, HTSUSA, at a rate of duty of 17.3% ad valorem. As
this is the rate of duty under which the merchandise was
originally liquidated, the protest should be denied.
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 together
with the Customs Form 19, Notice of Action, to the Protestant no
later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any
reliquidation of the entry in accordance with this decision must
be accomplished prior to the mailing of the decision. Sixty days
from the date of this 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