Mr. Rick Van Arnam, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson and Colburn
475 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10016

RE: Classification of an ethylene-propylene copolymer in pellet form from various countries.

Dear Mr. Van Arnam:

In your letter dated July 18, 2011, on behalf of the Lubrizol Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You provided Technical Data and MSDS sheets.

VIM 43 hydrocarbon copolymer, consisting of <50% polyethylene and >50% polypropylene, is used as an ingredient in a prepared viscosity modifier for lubricating oils. MSDS show VIM 43 is a multipurpose hydrocarbon polymer in solid pellet form. Technical Data show that VIM 43, soluble in mineral oil and hydrocarbon solvents, is suitable for use as viscosity improver in the preparation of multigrade crankcase engine oils. Therefore, VIM 43, in its imported form, is not itself an additive for lubricating oil, but is a suitable ingredient of an additive for a lubricating oil. Inquirer cites: (1) NY N115659 that classified a polyisobutylene (PIB) in mineral oil as a finished viscosity modifier in 3811.21.0000, HTSUS, (prepared additives for lubricating oils); (2) Mitsui Petrochemicals v. U.S. 21 CIT 882 (1997) classified an ethylene-propylene copolymer used solely as viscosity improver in 3811.29.0000, HTSUS, (other prepared additives for lubricating oils); (3) BASF v. U.S. 30 CIT 227 (2006) classified a PIB-Amine in hydrocarbon solvent, principally used in gasoline detergent additives, in 3811.90.0000, HTSUS, (other prepared additives for mineral oils); and (4) Chapter 39 Note 2. (h) that excludes prepared additives for mineral oils. However, MSDS show that VIM 43 as imported is not a prepared additive, but is a multipurpose propylene copolymer with a wide range of uses, provided for eo nomine in heading 3902.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for VIM 43 ethylene-propylene copolymer in solid pellet form will be 3902.30.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Propylene copolymers, in primary forms. The rate of duty will be 6.5% ad valorem.

This merchandise maybe subject to the requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which are administered by the U. S. 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

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