Ms. Theresa Bennett
John S. James Co.
P.O. Box 71188
Charleston, SC 29415-1188

RE: The tariff classification of cenospheres from Germany

Dear Ms. Bennett:

In your letter dated December 6, 2013, on behalf of Lintech International, you requested a tariff classification ruling regarding cenospheres (aka Omega-Spheres, E-Spheres, Isospheres) from Germany. Samples of this merchandise were submitted with your ruling request. These samples were sent to our U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory for analysis. Our laboratory has now completed its analysis.

In your letter you indicated that this merchandise is a residue of fly ash produced as a byproduct of the burning of coal. You stated that the cenospheres will be used as filler material.

Our laboratory has reported that the merchandise is a powder consisting mostly of spherical particles of aluminum silicate less than one millimeter in diameter.

Although you described the merchandise as “hollow ceramic microspheres,” our laboratory has indicated that the appearance of the particles is consistent with fly ash, but not ceramics or expanded mineral materials.

In your letter you suggested that the cenospheres should be classified under the provision for exfoliated vermiculite and similar expanded mineral materials in subheading 6806.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). However, our laboratory has reported that the appearance of the particles is not consistent with expanded mineral material. Therefore, subheading 6806.20.00 is not applicable. The applicable subheading for the cenospheres will be 2621.90.0000, HTSUS, which provides for other slag and ash, including seaweed ash (kelp)…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 Jacob Bunin at 646-733-3027.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner
Acting Director
National Commodity Specialist Division