CLA–2 RR:CR:GC W967681 JAS
MR.A. J. SPATARELLA
KANEMATSU USA INC.
114 West 47th Street, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10036
RE: PVC Laminated Steel Sheet; NY 893462 Revoked
In NY 893462, which the then-Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, issued to you on January 31, 1994, certain pvc laminated steel sheet was found to be classifiable as other articles of iron or steel, in subheading 7326.90.90 (now 7326.90.85), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103–182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 893462 was published on October 19, 2005, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 43. Two comments were received in response to this notice, both favoring the proposal, but without elaboration.
The merchandise was described in NY 893462 as unalloyed steel laminated on one side with polyvinyl chloride (pvc) and coated or plated on the reverse side with zinc metal. There is no further description of this merchandise nor any indication of its intended use.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
7210 Flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of 600 mm or more, clad, plated or coated:
7210.30.00 Electrolytically plated or coated with zinc Otherwise plated or coated with zinc:
7212 Flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of less than 600 mm, clad, plated or coated:
7212.20.00 Electrolytically plated or coated with zinc
7212.30 Otherwise plated or coated with zinc:
Of a width of less than 300 mm:
7212.30.10 Of a thickness exceeding 0.25 mm or more
* * * *
7326 Other articles of iron or steel
7326.90.90 (now 90.85) Other
Whether the merchandise, processed as described, is a product of Chapter 72.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.
Chapter 72, Note 1(k), HTSUS, defines Flat-rolled products, in part, in terms of thickness and width requirements, and includes those products with patterns in relief derived directly from rolling (for example, grooves, ribs, etc.) and those which have been perforated, corrugated or polished, provided that they do not thereby assume the character of articles or products of other headings. The pvc laminated steel sheet at issue meets these descriptions.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. U.S. Customs and Border Protection believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89–80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).
EN 73.26 indicates the heading covers all iron or steel articles other than those included in the preceding headings of Chapter 73, or covered by Note 1 to Section XV or included in Chapters 82 or 83 or more specifically covered elsewhere in the Nomenclature. In addition, General Explanatory Note (IV)(c) to Chapter 72 indicates that the finished products of that chapter may be subjected to further finishing treatments or converted into other articles. Included are surface treatments or other operations to improve the properties or appearance of the metal, protect it against rusting and corrosion, etc. Except as otherwise provided in the text of certain headings, such treatments do not affect the heading in which the goods are classified. Among these treatments or operations are coating with metal, at General Explanatory Note (IV)(c)(2)(d)(iv), and lamination, at General Explanatory Note(IV)(c)(2)(g).
Uniting a pvc layer with a nonalloy steel sheet by an epoxy adhesive or otherwise constitutes a lamination. Typical applications for vinyl laminated steel is in the manufacturing sector, i.e., to give the high gloss look of stainless steel. Zinc is a commonly used coating that imparts corrosion resistance to steel. NY 893462 noted that lamination was not mentioned in any Legal or Explanatory Note as a process to which flat-rolled products may be subjected. Further, NY 893462 does not state the intended end use of the pvc laminated steel sheet at issue. Amendments to the ENs do not change the scope of the HTSUS headings but are a clarification of the current text. Notwithstanding the fact that General Explanatory Note (IV)(c) was not amended to add subparagraph (c)(2)(g) until 1998, it is apparent that individually, or in combination, these processes are designed to improve the properties or appearance of metal and to protect it against rust or corrosion. Therefore, the subject merchandise is provided for both in heading 7210 and in heading 7212. By its terms, heading 7326 is eliminated from consideration.
Under the authority of GRI 1, the pvc laminated nonalloy zinc-coated steel sheet is provided for in heading 7210 or in heading 7212, HTSUS, depending on width. It is classifiable in the appropriate subheading based on thickness and manner of coating or plating. The column 1 rate of duty under all of these provisions is FREE.
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/tata/hts.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY 893462, dated January 31, 1994, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division