Mr. Andrew Gerard
Aries Global Logistics, Inc.
Airport Industrial Park
145 Hook Creek Blvd., Bldg. A-3A
Valley Stream, NY 11581

RE: The tariff classification of a brick type plate used in ballistic jackets from Italy.

Dear Mr. Gerard:

In your letter dated August 21, 2007, on behalf of First Choice Armor & Equipment, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample described as a brick type plate used in ballistic jackets was submitted with your request. The sample was sent to our Customs Laboratory for analysis. The laboratory has now completed its analysis of the product.

You indicate that the article is produced specifically for the manufacture of ballistic vests. The plates are used for ballistic protection in tactical vests. You also indicate that the item consists of 98% alumina (a synthetic oxide of aluminum) and 2% other components, and that it is baked with a fiber glass Kevlar coating which provides its ballistic value.

Laboratory analysis indicates that the sample is an off white, curved, rectangular protective plate with corners clipped and with rounded edges. It measures 24.9 cm x 29.8 cm x 10 mm thick. It is composed essentially of aluminum oxide and conforms to the definition of a ceramic article as stated in Chapter 69, Additional U.S. Note 1, and of a refractory article as stated in Chapter 69, Additional U.S. Note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The average hardness is 1376 on the Knoop scale, or approximately 8.1 on the Mohs scale.

You suggest classification in subheading 6902.20.5010, HTSUS, which provides for “Refractory bricks, blocks, tiles and similar refractory ceramic constructional goods, other than those of siliceous fossil meals or similar siliceous earths: Containing by weight more than 50 percent of alumina (Al2O3), of silica (SiO2), or of a mixture or compound of these products: Other, Alumina.”

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6902 state that the provision covers a group of refractory products normally used in the construction of ovens, kilns, furnaces or other plant for the metallurgical, chemical, ceramic, glass and other industries. However, since this article is not of the class or kind of merchandise that will be used in the construction of the aforementioned, consideration of classification under subheading 6902.20.5010, HTSUS, is precluded.

The applicable subheading for the brick type plate used in ballistic jackets will be 6903.20.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Other refractory ceramic goods… Containing by weight more than 50 percent of alumina (Al2O3) or of a mixture or compound of alumina and of silica (SiO2).” The rate of duty will be 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 World Wide Web at

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 Sharon Chung at 646-733-3028.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division