Ms. Susan Parker
Arysta Lifescience N.A.
15401 Weston Parkway, Suite 150
Cary, NC 27513

RE: The tariff classification of Ethephon (2-Chloroethylphosphonic acid, CAS-16672-87-0) 73.81% Technical and Ethephon 65% MUP from China

Dear Ms. Parker:

In your letter dated December 12, 2008, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject products are based on Ethephon, a name approved by the American National Standards Institute for 2-Chloroethylenephosphonic acid, a plant-growth regulator/ethylene releaser. In your request, you suggested that proper classification for the both the Ethephon 73.81% Technical and the Ethephon 65% MUP products would be in subheading 2931.90.0043, and that the special legislative provision 9902.24.73 would be applicable. We respectfully disagree.

The EPA label for the Ethephon Technical 73.81% clearly indicates the presence of 26.19% inerts, while the label for the Ethephon 65% MUP indicates 35% inerts. Only Ethephon not mixed with inerts would be classifiable in Chapter 29. The presence of inerts gives both products the characteristics of preparations. The labels further indicate that these are intermediate preparations “[f]or formulation into end-use plant growth regulators…” Such intermediate preparations requiring further compounding to produce the readyforuse insecticides, fungicides, disinfectants, etc., are classifiable in heading 3808, provided they already possess insecticidal, fungicidal, herbicidal, etc., properties.

The applicable subheading for both the Ethephon 71.3% Technical and the Ethephon 65% MUP will be 3808.93.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, herbicides, antisprouting products and plant-growth regulators, disinfectants and similar products, put up in forms or packings for retail sale or as preparations or articles (for example, sulfur-treated bands, wicks and candles, and flypapers): Other: Herbicides, anti-sprouting products and plant-growth regulators: Other: Other." The rate of duty will be 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

This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs. Information on the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) can be obtained by contacting the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, or by visiting the EPA website 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 Harvey Kuperstein at (646) 733-3033.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division