Mr. Marvin Brashem
M. Brashem, Inc.
14023 NE 8th Street
Bellevue, WA 98007

RE: Tariff classification and country of origin for green carbon electrode semimanufactures from China.

Dear Mr. Brashem:

In your letter dated April 20, 2009 you requested a tariff classification and country of origin ruling for unmachined impregnated carbon electrode semimanufactures.

In China, crushed petroleum coke, coal tar pitch, carbon and other binders are mixed, heated and extruded into carbon paste cylinders of certain lengths and diameters called green electrodes. These semimanufactures would be exported to be baked at 1400oF to carbonize the pitch; impregnated with special pitch to increase mechanical strength, density and electrical conductivity; and rebaked to carbonize special pitch. The semimanufactures would be exported; heated to over 5000oF to graphitize the carbon; lathe machined into finished lengths and diameters; and drilled for socket connections for use as graphite electrodes.

The applicable subheading for the green carbon electrode semimanufactures will be 3801.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other preparations based on graphite or other carbon in the form of pastes, blocks, plates or other semimanufactures. The rate of duty will be 4.9%, ad valorem.

Section 134.1 (b) of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 134.1(b)) defines “country of origin” as the country of manufacture, production or growth of any article of foreign origin entering the U.S. Further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the “country of origin” within the meaning of the marking laws and regulations. For country of origin purposes, a substantial transformation of an imported article occurs when it is used in manufacture, which results in an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of the imported article (19 C.F.R. 134.35).

The countries of origin of the petroleum coke (heading 2713), coal tar pitch (heading 2708), carbon (heading 2803) and other binders (not specified) were not provided. However, each component, whether domestic or foreign, will be substantially transformed in China into an article having a name, character, or use differing from that of any component, namely, carbon semimanufactures (heading 3801). Therefore, the country of origin of the unmachined impregnated carbon electrode semimanufactures will be China.

This merchandise may be subject to the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You may contact the EPA located at 402 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460, at telephone number 204- 554-1404.

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 Frank Cantone at (646) 733-3038.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division