Mr. Jason R. Ricketts
Nissan North America, Inc.
One Nissan Way
Franklin, TN 37067
RE: The tariff classification of a Battery Cathode Material (Mother Roll) from Japan
Dear Mr. Ricketts:
In your letter dated February 5, 2018 you requested a tariff classification ruling. Technical information was included.
The merchandise under consideration is referred to as a mother roll that consists of battery cathode material used in a lithium-ion battery of an automobile. The aluminum foil roll is coated on both sides with a specific thickness of active material. The active material allows a battery to store and release energy, as it facilitates the flow of ions between the cathode and anode electrodes. The roll also features gaps of non-coated aluminum that are located throughout the roll to outline the length of the coated area. It is said that upon importation, the rolls will be cut within the section of the gaps, after the mother roll is slit into smaller rolls for ease of handling.
Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRIs"). GRI 1 provides that classification 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, you suggest that the subject mother roll should be classified within HTSUS heading 8507, which provides for parts of electric storage batteries, including separators therefor, whether or not rectangular (including square) or HTSUS heading 7617,which provides for articles made of aluminum that are not more specifically provided for elsewhere/in any other heading of the tariff .
In regards to HTSUS heading 8507, HQ ruling 081606, dated August 10, 1988, discusses court case Heraeus-Amersil, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 86-41 (Ct. Int'l Trade, decided April 18, 1986), in which the classification of continuous lengths of steel tape imported were merely cut to length after first being welded to contact springs. The court held that the metal tape was classifiable as parts of electrical relays, rather than as a material (wire), as there would be no additional post-importation processing required except cutting to length. The court explains that merchandise must be commercially and practically dedicated to only one use with no additional post-importation processing required except cutting to length. The court case goes on to state that to be classifiable other than as a material, the character and the identity of individual articles must be fixed with certainty at the time of importation.
In this instance, the subject mother roll consists of active battery cathode material and gaps that designate the length of the coated material used in a battery. Based on these facts, it is the opinion of this office that the merchandise is commercially and practically dedicated to only be used with a rechargeable battery, with no additional post-importation processing required except cutting to length.
In regards to HTSUS heading 7616, this heading provides for a wide range of articles made of aluminum that are not more specifically provided for elsewhere/in any other heading of the tariff. However, the subject aluminum foil roll would not be classified under heading 7616, HTSUS, because the aluminum foil roll under consideration is more specifically covered under another heading of the tariff (8507).
As such, the applicable subheading for the mother roll of battery cathode materal will be 8507.90.8000, HTSUS, which provides for Permanent magnets and articles intended to become permanent magnets after magnetization: Parts: Other. The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.
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 https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Sandra Martinez at Sandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division