CLA-2-29:S:N:N1:235 855810

Ms. Nancy Sutherland
Marketing Specialist
UCB Chemicals Corporation
5505-A Robin Hood Road
Norfolk, Virginia 23513

RE: The tariff classification of diethyl maleate from West Germany, France or Japan.

Dear Ms. Sutherland:

In our meeting on July 25 and in your letter dated July 30, 1990, you requested a tariff classification ruling. According to your ruling request you are of the belief that diethyl maleate is classifiable in HTS subheading 2917.14.5000 or as an alternative in subheading 2917.19.5050.

You state that the above classifications should be acceptable because of the operation of a note to Chapter 29. In fact the note you refer to is a subheading note to Chapter 29, which states "Within any one heading of this chapter, derivatives of a chemical compound ----- are to be classified in the same subheading as the compound ----- provided that they are not more specifically covered by any other subheading and THERE IS NO RESIDUAL SUBHEADING NAMED OTHER in the series of subheadings concerned". (emphasis added). There is a residual subheading named OTHER. (2917.19)

There is another note to Chapter 29 which is pertinant, namely 5 (b) which states that" Esters of ethyl alcohol or glcerol with acid-function organic compounds of subchapters I to VII are to be classified in the same heading as the corresponding acid-function compounds". Diethyl maleate is an ester of ethyl alcohol with an acid-function organic compound.

The paragraph that follows subheading 2917.19.1700 uses the word "derived". We believe that what is meant is that the compound to be classified must have been made by using maleic anhydride. We agree that the diethyl maleate made by you need not have been made using maleic anhydride. This meaning however is quite different from what a "derivative" is as the word is used in the subheading note. The latter implies the use of a precusor and the former describes the compound. We therefore disagree with your conclusion.

Diethyl maleate is therefore not classifiable in 2917.14.5000 HTS because there is a residual OTHER and because it is more specifically provided for as a derivative of maleaic acid in 2917.19.2700 HTS by operation of Headnote 5 (b) to Chapter 29 HTS.

Using the above reasoning we would classify diethyl maleate in subheading 2917.19.2700, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for derivatives of maleic acid. The rate of duty will be 3.7 cents per kilogram plus 16.8 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director
New York Seaport