Mr. Matthew Hamerstrom
SemiNex Corporation
100 Corporate Place
Peabody, MA 01960

RE: The tariff classification of indium phosphide gallium arsenide semiconductor wafers from an unspecified country

Dear Mr. Hamerstrom:

In your letter dated June 25, 2012, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise subject to this ruling is referred to as indium phosphide gallium arsenide semiconductor wafers. They consist of chemical elements that have been doped with silicon and zinc. The wafers have also been metalized and etched in order to prepare them to be cleaved (cut) into laser bars and laser chips. Once the wafers are diced into individual chips or bars, they will be able to convert electrical energy into infra-red light, as that of a light emitting diode (LED).

In your letter you stated that subheadings 3818.00.00 and subheadings 8541.50.00 seem to be viable classification options. Subheading 3818.00.00 provides for chemical elements and compounds that have been doped for use in electronics. Subheading 8541.50.00 provides for other semiconductor devices. As determined in headquarters’ ruling HQ 953265 for similar merchandise, the subject merchandise does not possess the essential character of a completed LED or any other type of semiconductor device because at its stage of advancement, upon importation, the wafers are nothing more than chemical elements that have been doped with silicon and zinc in order for the die, once the wafer is cleaved, to be used in electronics. As the wafers cannot function as LEDs or any other type of semiconductor devices in its condition as imported, classification within subheading 8541.50.00 is inapplicable.

The applicable subheading for the indium phosphide gallium arsenide semiconductor wafers will be 3818.00.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Chemical elements doped for use in electronics, in the form of discs, wafers, or similar forms; chemical compounds doped for use in electronics: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.

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 Linda Hackett at (646) 733-3015.


Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division