Mr. Glenn L. OverstreetKSI Corporation839 Mitten RoadBurlingame, CA 94010
RE: The tariff classification of two O-rings.
Dear Mr. Overstreet:
In your letter dated August 19, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Applied Materials, Inc.
Images were submitted in lieu of samples.
The articles under consideration are both described as O-rings, and are made from Chemraz perfluoroelastomer material, which would be considered a plastic of chapter 39. In your submission, you state these O-rings will be manufactured in the United States, but will be exported to foreign distribution centers in Europe and Asia, and then will be imported from these foreign distribution centers. You further indicate that Applied Materials, Inc., does not currently utilize heading 9801, for U.S. goods returned, and they want the ten-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) classification for these products.
The first article, part number 3700-02683, is a chamber lid O-ring seal. It is specifically designed to be used on a semiconductor wafer CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) processing chamber. The O-ring seal is seated into a groove machined into the top surface of the wafer processing chamber body, and it functions to form a compressible seal between the chamber body and the chamber lid when closed. The processing chamber is under high vacuum during wafer processing, and it provides a vacuum seal from atmosphere between the chamber body and the chamber lid. The O-ring also provides a seal against the leakage of process gases used within the chamber during wafer processing. It has a round cross-section and is in the shape of a torus, and its nominal measurements are 18 inches (inner diameter) by 18 3/8 inches (outer diameter), with a cross-section diameter of 0.21 inches.
The second article, part number 3700-03024, is a wafer lift formed O-ring. It is specifically designed to be used on a semiconductor wafer HDPCVD (High Density Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition) processing chamber. The HDPCVD chamber uses a gaseous plasma under vacuum to deposit chemical films on the surface of semiconductor wafers. The O-ring is seated into a groove machined into the side of the chamber body where it forms a compressible seal between the chamber body and a wafer lift mechanism. The processing chamber is under high vacuum during wafer processing, and it provides a vacuum seal from atmosphere between the chamber body and the wafer lift mechanism. The O-ring also provides a seal against the leakage of process gases used within the chamber during wafer processing. It has a round cross-section and is pre-formed into a triangle shape with rounded vertex and base angles, and its nominal measurements are 10 inches wide by four inches high, with a cross-section diameter of 0.14 inches.
In your request, you suggest that the correct classification for the subject O-rings would be subheading 8486.90.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “[m]achines and apparatus of a kind used solely or principally for the manufacture of semiconductor boules or wafers, semiconductor devices, electronic integrated circuits or flat panel displays; machines and apparatus specified in Note 9(C) to this chapter; parts and accessories: [p]arts and accessories.” We disagree. The subject O-rings are precluded from classification under Section XVI, per Note 1(g), HTSUS, as these would be considered parts of general use, and are more appropriately classified elsewhere in the tariff.
We do agree with the point made in your submission that as the second product does not meet the definition of an O-ring as it is not in a circular, ring shape, it would be classified as an “other” gasket or seal of plastic.
The applicable subheading for the O-ring, part number 3700-02683, will be 3926.90.4510, HTSUS, which provides for “[o]ther articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: [o]ther: [g]askets, washers and other seals: O-[r]ings.” The rate of general duty will be 3.5 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the O-ring, part number 3700-03024, will be 3926.90.4590, HTSUS, which provides for “[o]ther articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: [o]ther: [g]askets, washers and other seals: [o]ther.” The rate of duty will be 3.5 percent ad valorem.
If these are imported from China, pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheading 3926.90.4510 and 3926.90.4590, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.03, in addition to subheading 3926.90.4510 or 3926.90.4590, HTSUS, listed above.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china, respectively.
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 at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 Kristopher Burton at [email protected]
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division