Mr. James A. Honda
Toyo Ink
350 Starke Road, Suite 400
Carlstadt, NJ 07072

RE: The tariff classification of phthalocyanine blue pigment from Korea and China

Dear Mr. Honda:

In your ruling request received December 17, 2015, you requested a tariff classification and country of origin marking ruling on phthalocyanine blue pigment.

You indicate that the product at issue, phthalocyanine blue pigment, is also known as C.I. Pigment Blue 15-3. You submission describes a scenario where the product at issue will be processed in Japan, incorporating 66% crude pigment from Korea and 34% crude pigment from China. The processing in Japan consists of mixing, reducing particle size, and purifying the two crude pigments. Your submission states “…water, salts, and limited other materials, such as trace cooper are utilized to reduce the particle size and to refine the end-product so that it becomes a coloring agent in the form of a pigment….” You further state that the chemical structure, chemical abstract number (CAS number), and tariff classification of the crude material remain the same after the further processing in Japan.

The applicable subheading for phthalocyanine blue pigment will be 3204.17.9002, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Synthetic organic coloring matter, whether or not chemically defined; preparations as specified in note 3 to this chapter based on synthetic organic coloring matter; synthetic organic products of a kind used as fluorescent brightening agents or as luminophores, whether or not chemically defined: Synthetic organic coloring matter and preparations based thereon as specified in note 3 to this chapter: Pigments and preparations based thereon: Other: Other: Pigment blue 15:3, dry, presscake or aqueous slurry. The general rate of duty will be 6.5 percent ad valorem.

You have also requested a ruling on whether your proposed marking method is an acceptable country of origin marking for the product at issue.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain. With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule, marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable. The proposed marking of “Product of Korea and China, with further processing in Japan” meets the marking requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1304 and 19 CFR Part 134 and is an acceptable country of origin marking.

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., 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 Nuccio Fera at [email protected].


Deborah C. Marinucci
Acting Director
National Commodity Specialist Division