Ms. Maria E. Celis
Neville Peterson LLP
17 State Street – 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of chemical dye intermediates from Japan

Dear Ms. Celis:

In your letter dated May 18, 2009, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Nisso America, Inc.

The product, identified as D-90, is a chemical mixture composed of 94-98% Phenol, 4,4-sulfonylbis-, polymer with 1,1’-oxybis[2-chloromethane], CAS No. 191680-83-8, which is a mixed polymer with an average of 1-3 monomer units, and 2-6% of an unidentified organic compound.

The product, identified as D-08, is a separate chemically defined compound known as 4-(4-Isopropoxyphenylsulfonyl)phenol, CAS No. 95235-30-6. As stated in your letter, D-90 and D-08 are dye developers for thermal paper.

In your letter you suggest classification for both D-90 and D-08 in subheading 2908.99.1200, HTSUS which provides for Halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated or nitrosated derivatives of phenols or phenol-alcohols: Other: Derivatives containing only sulfo groups, their salts and esters: Other: Products described in additional U.S. note 3 to section VI. As a general rule, this Chapter is restricted to separate chemically defined compounds subject to the provisions of Note 1 to the Chapter. D-90 is a chemical mixture containing over 5% by weight of an aromatic substance and, therefore, properly classified in subheading 3824.90.2800, HTSUS. D-08 is a separate chemically defined compound. However, it is not a sulfonated phenol of subheading 2908.99.1200. D-08 does not contain a sulfonate group characterized by the chemical formula R-SO3H. The compound contains a sulfonyl group characterized as R-SO2-R. Based on the chemical structure, D-08 is an aromatic organo-sulfur compound.

Furthermore, General Note 14 to the HTSUS applies to chemical compounds listed in the “Intermediate Chemicals for Dyes Appendix to the Tariff Schedule”. The appendix does not include derivatives of the compounds listed. D-90 and D-08 are not listed in the Dye Appendix and therefore, are ineligible for duty-free treatment.

The applicable subheading for D-08 will be 2930.90.2900, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Organo-sulfur compounds: Other: Aromatic: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.    

The applicable subheading for D-90 will be 3824.90.2800, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Chemical products and preparations of the chemical or allied industries (including those consisting of mixtures of natural products), not elsewhere specified or included: Other: Other: Mixtures containing 5 percent or more by weight of one or more aromatic or modified aromatic substances: Other. The rate of duty will be 6.5 percent 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 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 Richard Dunkel at 646-733-3032.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division