Mr. Eric P. Arneson
Stepan Company
22 West Frontage Road
Northfield, IL 60093

RE: The tariff classification of Vegetable Pitch

Dear Mr. Arneson:

In your letter dated October 02, 2012 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The instant product is called Vegetable Pitch. It is also know as Coco, Me Esters (CAS Number 68953-21-9).

The product consists of fatty acid methyl esters (ME) derived from coconut oil via a transesterification process, utilizing methanol as a co-reactant. The main reaction products are a mixture of ME’s (principally methyl laurate and methyl myristate) and glycerol. The ME’s are separated from the glycerol. The MEs distilled via controlled temperature and pressures. At the end of this distillation process, a non-volatile remainder is left behind. Stepan Company calls this material “Vegetable Pitch.”

In your request you indicate that you believe that Heading 3807 excludes the instant product. You base this on your interpretation that the EN’s for Heading 3807 “only covers material obtained from resinous and non-resinous wood”. We disagree with that conclusion. In a later paragraph in the same text you refer to it is indicated that heading 3807 also applies to Vegetable Pitch which per the EN’s:

“Vegetable pitch…are residues of the distillation or other treatment of vegetable materials.” The heading does therefore apply to Vegetable Pitch obtained from materials other than those you indicate. The applicable subheading for the Vegetable Pitch will be 3807.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Wood tar; wood tar oils; wood creosote; wood naphtha; vegetable pitch; brewers' pitch and similar preparations based on rosin, resin acids or on vegetable pitch. The rate of duty if imported into the United States will be 0.1 percent per kilogram.

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 Paul Hodgkiss at (646) 733-3046.


Thomas J. Russo
National Commodity Specialist Division