CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H015929 ARM
Danzas AEI Drawback Services
22210 Highland Knolls Drive
Katy, TX 77450
RE: Classification of Hikorez A-1100 and Sukorez SU-100 hydrocarbon resins
Dear Mr. Brown:
This is in reply to your request submitted August 16, 2007, seeking a binding ruling concerning the classification of Hikorez A-1100 and Sukorez SU-100 hydrocarbon resins under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise at issue consists of two hydrocarbon resins, Hikorez A-1100 and Sukorez SU-100. Hikorez A-1100 is assigned CAS number 64742-16-1. It is a thermoplastic aliphatic resin produced by the polymerization of complex hydrocarbons obtained from a fraction of high temperature cracked petroleum oil. Sukorez SU-100 is assigned CAS number 69430-35-9. It is a thermoplastic cyclic resin produced by the polymerization and hydrogenation of dicyclopentadiene hydrocarbons obtained from a fraction of high temperature cracked petroleum oil. Neither product is highly polymerized although petroleum resins generally contain an average of at least 5 monomer units. The merchandise is used as a tackifier and binder in adhesive tapes, hot melt adhesives, various other adhesives, hot melt road marking, and as an asphalt modifier.
What is the classification of Hikorez A-1100 and Sukorez SU-100 hydrocarbon resins?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.
In your letter of August 16, 2007, you state that you have imported and entered this product for consumption under subheading 3911.10.0000, HTSUS, the provision for “Petroleum resins, coumarone-indene resins, polyterpenes, polysulfides, polysulfones and other products specified in note 3 to this chapter, not elsewhere specified or included, in primary forms: Petroleum resins, coumarone, indene or coumarone-indene resins; polyterpenes” through the ports of Portland, Houston, and Newark for approximately eight months.
Note 3 to Chapter 39 states, in pertinent part, the following:
3. Headings 3901 to 3911 apply only to goods of a kind produced by chemical synthesis, falling in the following categories:
* * * * *
(b) Resins, not highly polymerized, of the coumarone-indene type (heading 3911);
(c) Other synthetic polymers with an average of at least five monomer units;
* * * * *
You also note that the product is currently the subject of drawback claims filed in the Houston Drawback Center. Before discussing the classification of this product, we note that Section 177.1 of Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR § 177.1), states, in pertinent part, the following:
§177.1 General ruling practice and definitions.
(a) The issuance of rulings generally--(1) Prospective transactions. . . . Generally, a ruling may be requested under the provisions of this part only with respect to prospective transactions--that is, transactions which are not already pending before a Customs Service office by reason of arrival, entry, or otherwise.
(2) Current or completed transactions--(i) Current transactions. A question arising in connection with a Customs transaction already before a Customs Service office will normally be resolved by that office in accordance with the principles and precedents previously announced by the Headquarters Office. If such a question cannot be resolved on the basis of clearly established rules set forth in the Customs and related laws, or in the regulations thereunder, or in applicable Treasury Decisions, rulings, opinions, or court decisions published in the Customs Bulletin, that office may be requested to forward the question to the Headquarters Office for consideration, as more fully described in Sec. 177.11.
(ii) Completed transactions. A question arising in connection with an entry of merchandise which has been liquidated, or in connection with any other completed Customs transaction, may not be the subject of a ruling request.
Since you have been importing the merchandise for approximately eight months, there are current or completed transactions for which this ruling cannot apply. However, in order to avoid delay as to any prospective transactions, we will rule on the merchandise described.
While you refer to the merchandise as “coumarone-indene resins, in primary forms,” we find that the merchandise is actually petroleum resins. Coumarone-indene resin is derived by heating a mixture of coumarone and indene with sulfuric acid inducing polymerization. (Hawley’s Condensed Chemcial; Dictionary, 12th ed., p. 320 (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, ©1993). In a telephone conversation between the National Import Specialist and Mr. O’ Brien of DL Trading Ltd, on September 10, 2007, Mr. O’Brien confirmed that the instant products are derived from petroleum. Chapter 39, note 3(b) lists coumarine-indene resins specifically as belonging in heading 3911. However, Chapter note 3(c) includes all other synthetic polymers with an average of at least 5 repeating monomer units. As the subject petroleum resins consist of the requisite monomer units, they remain classified in heading, 3911, HTSUS, because the heading covers both coumarone-indene resins and petroleum resins eo nomine.
By application of GRI 1, Hikorez A-1100 and Sukorez SU-100 hydrocarbon resins are classified in heading 3911, HTSUS. Specifically, the instant merchandise is classified in subheading 3911.10.00, HTSUS, the provision for: “Petroleum resins, coumarone-indene resins, polyterpenes, polysulfides, polysulfones and other products specified in note 3 to this chapter, not elsewhere specified or included, in primary forms: Petroleum resins, coumarone, indene or coumarone-indene resins; polyterpenes.” The 2007 general column one, general rate of duty is 6.1%.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject
to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.
This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You may contact them by mail at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Mail Code 70480, Washington, DC 20460, or by telephone at (202) 554-1404.
Gail A. Hamill, Chief
Tariff Classification and Marking Branch