CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H146056 DSR
Ms. Carmen Morrow
Rolls-Royce North America
2001 S. Tibbs Avenue: Speed Code S36
Indianapolis, IN 46241
RE: Revocation of NY N125656, dated December 13, 2010; subheading 6806.90.00, HTSUS; tariff classification of an article of insulating mineral materials
Dear Ms. Morrow:
This letter is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (NY) N125656, issued to you on December 13, 2010, regarding the classification under the 2010 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of an article of insulating mineral materials used in a gas turbine engine to protect the rear turbine support hub from excessive heat produced by the turbine. The ruling classified the article under subheading 6806.10.00, HTSUS, which provides for “Slag wool, rock wool and similar mineral wools (including intermixtures thereof), in bulk, sheets or rolls.”
We have reviewed the tariff classification of the article and have determined that the cited ruling is in error. Pursuant to section 625 (c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, a notice was published in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 46, No. 32, on August 1, 2012, proposing to revoke New York Ruling Letter (NY) N125656, dated December 13, 2010, pertaining to the tariff classification of an article of insulating materials. No comments were received in response to the notice. Therefore, NY N125656 is revoked for the reasons set forth in this ruling.
In NY N125656, we stated that the product identified as part number 23059513 and described as a “thermal insulation blanket” consists of “ceramic fiber (mineral wool) pads encapsulated in one-inch woven textile squares covered with an outer cladding of stainless steel.” We based the above upon statements by the importer, and upon the following findings in CBP Laboratory Report #15225, dated December 3, 2010:
The sample consists of three layers of white padding enclosed in stainless steel foil 0.003 mm thick. The unit measures at 24.6 cm in outside diameter x 23.1 cm in inside diameter x 5.0 cm long.
… The white padding is composed predominantly of an aluminum silicate (mineral fibers), non-woven glass fibers, and a smaller amount of titanium oxide and other oxides.
The importer states that the material composition of the white padding (by weight percentage) is 35-55% aluminum oxide, 35-55% silica, 0-18% titanium oxide, and less than 1% of other material.
ISSUE: Whether the article in question is classified under (1) subheading 6806.10.00, HTSUS, as a mineral wool in bulk, sheets, or rolls; (2) subheading 6806.90.00, HTSUS, as an other form of mineral wool; (3) heading 7019, HTSUS, as a woven article of glass fibers; or (4) heading 7326, HTSUS, as an other article of iron or steel.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). 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 GRI’s 2 through 6 may then be applied in order. In addition, in interpreting the HTSUS, 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 HTSUS. See T.D. 8980, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).
The HTSUS provisions under consideration in this case are as follows:
6806 Slag wool, rock wool and similar mineral wools; exfoliated vermiculite, expanded clays, foamed slag and similar expanded mineral materials; mixtures and articles of heat-insulating, sound-insulating or sound-absorbing mineral materials, other than those of heading 6811 or 6812, or of chapter 69:
6806.10.00 Slag wool, rock wool and similar mineral wools (including intermixtures thereof), in bulk, sheets or rolls.
* * *
* * *
7019 Glass fibers (including glass wool) and articles thereof (for example, yarn, woven fabrics).
* * *
7326 Other articles of iron or steel.
* * * *
EN 73.26 states that heading 7326, HTSUS, covers other articles of iron or steel that are:
… obtained by forging or punching, by cutting or stamping or by other processes such as folding, assembling, welding, turning, milling or perforating other than articles included in the preceding headings of Chapter 73, HTS, or covered by Note 1 to Section XV or included in Chapter 82 or 83 or more specifically covered elsewhere in the Nomenclature.
Although the article is partially composed of a thin layer of stainless steel foil cladding, the complete article is fully described by a heading other than heading 7326, HTSUS, as explained below.
Heading 6806 covers, in relevant part, articles of heat-insulating mineral materials, other than those of heading 6811, HTSUS, or heading 6812, HTSUS, or of Chapter 69, HTS. The EN to heading 6806 states that the heading covers, in relevant part, articles (usually of low density) made from heat insulating products or mixtures (e.g., blocks, sheets, bricks, tiles, tubes, cylinder shells, cords, pads). Such heat-insulating products or mixtures may be composed of a class of “alumino-silicates” known as “ceramic fibers,” which are formed by “fusing a blend of alumina and silica, in varying proportions, sometimes with the addition of small amounts of other oxides such as zirconia, chromia or boric oxide, and by blowing or extruding the melt into a mass of fibers.” Ibid.
Heading 7019, HTSUS, includes glass fibers themselves, as well as glass fibers (including glass wool as defined in Note 4 to Chapter 70, HTS) made up in various forms, including those glass fiber articles from other headings by reason of their nature. Furthermore, such articles of glass fibers of heading 7019, HTSUS, may be in the forms of thin sheets (voiles), mats, boards, and similar nonwoven products, among others. See EN 70.19. General Note 4 to Chapter 70, HTS, states the following:
For the purposes of heading 7019, the expression "glass wool" means:
(a) Mineral wools with a silica (SiO2) content not less than 60 percent by weight;
(b) Mineral wools with a silica (SiO2) content less than 60 percent but with an alkaline oxide (K2O or Na2O) content exceeding 5 percent by weight or a boric oxide (B2O3) content exceeding 2 percent by weight.
Mineral wools which do not comply with the above specifications fall in heading 6806.
(Emphasis added). Laboratory analysis of the article reveals that the mineral insulating fibers (mineral wool) predominate in the article, and the mineral insulating fibers are indispensable to the primary use and purpose of the article, which is to protect a rear turbine support hub from excessive heat produced by the turbine. According to the importer, the mineral insulating fibers contain 35-55% silica, with an alkaline oxide content not exceeding 5% by weight. Furthermore, the boric oxide content of the fibers does not exceed 2% by weight. Therefore, the article is not composed of glass wool, per General Note 4 to Chapter 70, HTS, and is instead classifiable in heading 6806, HTSUS.
Our inquiry continues with an analysis of which subheading within 6806, HTSUS, applies to the article. Of the relevant subheadings, subheading 6086.10.00, HTSUS, requires that the mineral wool be imported in bulk, sheets, or rolls. The instant article measures at 24.6 cm in outside diameter x 23.1 cm in inside diameter x 5.0 cm long. Upon examination, the article is in the shape of a ring with a large hole in its middle. A sheet is a broad, flat, continuous surface or expanse. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Ed. (2009). Whereas a ring is a circular object, form, line, or arrangement with a vacant circular center. Ibid. As such, the article cannot be described as a sheet.
Thus, it is now the position of CBP that the proper subheading for the article is 6806.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for other forms of mineral wools.
By application of GRI 1 and 6, the subject article is classifiable under heading 6806, HTSUS. Specifically, it is classifiable under subheading 6806.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for “Slag wool, rock wool and similar mineral wools …: Other.” The column one, general rate of duty is “Free.” Duty rates are provided for your convenience and subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided at www.usitc.gov.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY N125656, dated December 13, 2010, is hereby revoked.
In accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division