Ms. Nancy Sutherland
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
Jean F. Maguire
New York Seaport