Ms. Jennifer Lynn Petty
Nexeo Solutions LLC
5200 Blazer Parkway
Dublin, Ohio 43017
RE: The tariff classification of an intermediate stream of mixed xylene isomers from Canada.
Dear Ms. Petty:
In your letter dated March 12, 2012, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You provided a percent by weight component breakdown of your product and MSDS sheets for our review.
Mixed Xylene Tower Overhead is described as an intermediate stream of mixed xylene isomers. The product is formed in a distillation tower at the Suncor Energy’s Sarnia Refinery in Canada and then extracted as is. The product is a mixture of C-8 aromatic hydrocarbons that distill at 137-143 degrees centigrade and consist of p-xylene (17-22%wt), m-xylene (41-51%wt), o-xylene (2-29%wt) and ethylbenzene (11-24%wt).
In your letter you suggest classification under subheading 2902.44.0000, HTSUS, for mixed xylene isomers. To fall in this heading, a product must contain 95% or more by weight of xylene isomers, all isomers being taken together. You suggest that ethylbenzene is a xylene isomer at the early stage of its creation. However, it is not regarded as an isomer but as a component of a xylene stream. Xylene (dimethylbenzene) (C6H4(CH3)2) is a benzene derivative in which two atoms of hydrogen have been replaced by two methyl groups. Ethylbenzene (C6H5.C2H5) is a benzene derivative in which one atom of hydrogen has been replaced by an ethyl group. Therefore, there are three xylene isomers: o-xylene, m-xylene and p-xylene. Your product, which contains 76-89% by weight of these xylene isomers, must be classified elsewhere.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings at the international level. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (Aug. 23, 1989). EN 29.02 (C) (I) (c) is applicable to your product and provides: To fall in this heading xylene must contain 95% or more by weight of xylene isomers, all isomers being taken together. Xylene of lower purity is excluded (heading 27.07). The product which contains 76-89% by weight of xylene isomers is excluded from this provision. Chapter 27 subheading note 3. in pertinent part provides: For the purposes of subheading 2707.30, the term xylenes applies to products which contain more than 50% by weight of xylenes. The product contains 76-89% by weight of xylene isomers of which 41-51% by weight is m-xylene.
The applicable subheading for the mixture of xylene isomers when containing more than 50% by weight of m-xylene will be 2707.30.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: m-Xylene. The rate of duty will be free.
The applicable subheading for the mixture of xylene isomers when containing 50% or less by weight of any one xylene isomer will be 2707.30.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: other xylenes. The rate of duty will be free.
This merchandise may be 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., Washington, D.C. 20460, by calling the TSCA Assistance Line at (202) 554-1404, by Fax at (202) 554-5603, by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting their website at www.epa.gov.
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 http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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.
Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division