Ms. Michelle Schulz
Braumiller Schulz & Co., LLP
5220 Spring Valley, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75254
RE: Tariff classification of high impact polystyrene resins from Mexico and Canada
Dear Ms. Schulz:
In your letter dated October 16, 2007, on behalf of Total Petrochemicals USA Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling for high impact polystyrene resins in five grades: Polystyrene 825, 845E, 940E, 945 and 945E. You provided Technical Data Sheets, MSDS Sheets, an Electron Microscope Image, Typical Lab Analysis and samples. Your samples are being returned.
The products are each described as high impact polystyrene resins prepared by dissolving 6-8% by weight of rubber homopolymer in the presence of less than 95% by weight of styrene monomer, followed by polymerizing with stirring (mechanical blending), resulting in a thermoplastic product where the rubber homopolymer remains separate and distinct from the polystyrene homopolymer.
Originally, you suggested classification in subheading 3903.19.0000, HTSUS, for: Polystyrene: Other. However, chapter 39 subheading note 1(a)(1) provides: the designation in a subheading of a polymer by the prefix “poly” means that the constituent monomer unit must contribute 95% or more by weight of the total polymer content. Your products each contain less than 95% by weight of styrene monomer.
Based on further information provided by phone on November 27, 2007, you confirmed that each product contained less than 95% by weight of the styrene monomer and agreed that each of the products are properly classifiable under the appropriate subheading for styrene polymer blends, containing less than 95% by weight of styrene monomer, based on the guidelines in chapter 39 heading note 4 and subheading note 1(a)(4).
Chapter 39 note 4, in pertinent part, provides that polymer blends are to be classified in the heading covering polymers of that comonomer unit which predominates by weight over every other single comonomer unit. Heading 3903 provides for: Polymers of styrene, in primary forms.
Chapter 39 subheading note 1(a)(4), in pertinent part, provides that styrene polymer blends, not meeting subheading note 1(a)(1), are to be classified in the subheading, among the remaining subheadings in the series, covering the polymers of that monomer unit which predominates by weight over every other single comonomer unit. Subheading 3903.90, HTSUS, provides for: Polymers of styrene, in primary forms: Other.
The applicable subheading for the Polystyrene 825, 845E, 940E, 945 and 945E high impact polystyrene resins will be subheading 3903.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Polymers of styrene, in primary forms: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 6.5% 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 World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which are administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Information on the TSCA can be obtained by contacting the EPA at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Mail Code 70480, Washington, D.C., by telephone at (202) 554-1404, or by visiting their website at www.epa.gov.
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 entry documents filed at the time merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Frank Cantone at (646) 733-3038.
Robert B. Swierupski