Ms. Esther Springer-Johannesen
Seko Customs Brokerage
23199 77th Ave. S.
Kent, WA 98032

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin for granular activated carbon from Malaysia

Dear Ms. Springer-Johannesen:

In your letter dated May 19, 2016, filed on behalf of Advanced Carbons SDN, BHD., you requested a ruling on the classification and country of origin of granular activated carbon contained in your submission.

This product is originally imported into Malaysia from China as the raw material, carbonized coal granules or pellets. The raw material is further processed into the granular activated carbon using high temperature and steam from 860°C to 960°C in an upright furnace.

You submitted a sample which was forwarded to our laboratory for analysis. This sample consists of eight containers with four different products which were labeled as:

"No. 1 Raw Pellets," "No 1-A Product 4 MM Pellets," "No. 2 Raw Granules," and "No. 2-A Product Gas 8x30"

Samples 1 and 2 are raw materials which are for comparison with samples 1-A and 2-A which are the finished products as activated carbon.

Note, the first sample you submitted was lost in-transit and you submitted a second sample. This sample will not be returned. We regret the lost sample and the delay.

The CBP laboratory noted the condition of the pellet samples: No. 1 and No. 1-A consist of cylindrical pellets with No. 1-A appearing to be slightly smaller. No.2 consists of large, randomly-shaped granules. No. 2-A consists of smaller, randomly-shaped granules.

You state that products 1-A and 2-A submitted in their imported condition should be classified in subheading 3802.10.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for: Activated carbon; activated natural mineral products; animal black, including spent animal black; activated carbon.

This office agrees. Products 1-A, 4 MM Pellets, and 2-A, Gas 8x30,

The applicable subheading for products 1-A, 4 MM Pellets, and 2-A, Gas 8x30, will be 3802.10.0010, HTSUS, which provides for: Activated carbon; activated natural mineral products; animal black, including spent animal black; activated carbon. The rate of duty will be 4.8%.

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


You have also asked for confirmation that the country of origin for the products 1-A, 4 MM Pellets, and 2-A, Gas 8x30, is Malaysia due to a shift in tariff classification. Specifically, you state that coal will be imported from China in a raw, un-activated state under the subheading 2803.00.50, HTSUS. This coal will be processed and transformed into activated carbon under the subheading 3802.10.0010, HTSUS.

The country of origin of an article for U.S. tariff purposes is the country in which the last substantial transformation took place. A substantial transformation occurs when an article is used in a manufacturing process or operation that results in a new article that has a new name, character or use different from that of the original imported article. A substantial transformation will not result from a minor manufacturing or combining process that leaves the identity of the article intact. See United States v. Gibson-Thomsen Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 267 (1940); and National Hand Tool Corp. v. United States, 989 F.2d 1201 (Fed. Cir. 1992). The products 1-A, 4 MM Pellets, and 2-A, Gas 8x30, are country of origin Malaysia.

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 Patrick Day at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division