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

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin for artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures from Japan.

Dear Mr. Brashem:

In your letter dated May 12, 2009 you requested a tariff classification and country of origin ruling for artificial graphite 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; baked at 1400oF to carbonize the pitch; impregnated with special pitch to increase mechanical strength, density and electrical conductivity; and rebaked to carbonize the special pitch. These carbon electrode semimanufactures are exported to Japan to be heated to over 5000oF to graphitize the carbon and produce artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures. The artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures may then be exported to be lathe machined into finished lengths and diameters; drilled for socket connections for use as graphite electrodes; and used for melting steel in electric arc furnaces.

The applicable subheading for the artificial graphite 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).

Petroleum coke (heading 2713), coal tar pitch (heading 2708), carbon (heading 2803) and other binders (not specified) are transformed in China into carbon electrode semimanufactures (heading 3801). These carbon electrode semimanufactures would be exported to Japan and heated to over 5000oF to graphitize the carbon and produce artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures (also heading 3801).

During the graphitization process, the carbon electrode semimanufactures are heated in a furnace for an extended period of time to temperatures over 5000oF for about 10 days. Through this process, the non-graphitic, amorphous carbon electrode semimanufactures are transformed into artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures. The graphitization process transforms the carbon into graphite crystallites. The resulting artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures now have a low electrical resistivity and a high thermal shock resistance necessary for use in electric arc furnace steel making operations.

The carbon electrode semimanufactures will be substantially transformed in Japan into an article having a name (artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures), character (graphitized carbon with low electrical resistivity and high thermal shock resistance), or use (for melting steel in electric arc furnaces) differing from that of the carbon electrode semimanufactures. Therefore, the country of origin of the artificial graphite electrode semimanufactures will be Japan.

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