Robert D. Stang
Husch Blackwell LLP
750 17th St. N.W.
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20006-4675

RE: The tariff classification of coiled steel wire nails with galvanized heads from Poland

Dear Mr. Stang:

In your letter dated November 9, 2020 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Metropolitan Staple Corp.

The item under consideration is described as coiled steel wire nails with galvanized heads. The coiled steel nails include a galvanized head with a minimum 10-micron layer of zinc applied at both the top and the side of the nail head. The dimensions of the coiled steel wire nails are as follows: total length (point to top): 25.4 mm (1 inch) – 76.2 mm (3 inches), diameter of shank: 2.1 mm – 3.8 mm, diameter of head 5.1 mm – 7.2 mm and side (thickness) of head: 0.8 mm – 2.0 mm. You state the subject nails assembled in wire coils are meant for use exclusively in pneumatic nail guns, which shoot the nails into the material to be secured (e.g., wood, drywall, etc.).

Consideration was given to classifying this item as galvanized nails in subheading 7317.00.5502, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as you proposed. However, this office disagrees. Industry standards for galvanized fasteners do not include fasteners that are partially galvanized. Additionally, while not dispositive, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level and facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the GRIs. EN 73.17, states, in pertinent part: “All the above mentioned goods remain in the heading whether or not they have heads of non-ferrous metal (other than copper or its alloys) or of other substances (porcelain, glass, wood, rubber, plastic, etc.)” The wording of the EN leads to the conclusion that the composition of the head of the fastener does not drive the classification of the entire fastener. In this instance, only the head is galvanized, therefore it is the opinion of this office that the galvanization would not determine the classification.

The applicable subheading for the coiled steel wire nails with galvanized heads will be 7317.00.5503, HTSUS, which provides for Nails, tacks, drawing pins, corrugated nails, staples…and similar articles, of iron or steel, whether or not with heads of other materials, but excluding such articles with heads of copper: Other: Of one piece construction: Made of round wire…Collated nails: Other: Assembled in a wire coil: Other. The rate of duty will be free.

On March 8, 2018, Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 imposed additional tariffs and quotas on a number of steel and aluminum mill products. On January 24, 2020, Presidential Proclamation 9980 imposed additional tariffs on certain derivative steel and aluminum articles. Exemptions have been made on a temporary basis for some countries. Quantitative limitations or quotas may apply for certain exempted countries and can also be found in Chapter 99. Additional duties for derivative steel articles of 25 percent and for derivative aluminum articles of 10 percent are reflected in Chapter 99, subheading 9903.88.03 for steel and subheading 9903.85.03 for aluminum. Products classified under subheading 7317.00.5503, HTSUS, may be subject to additional duties or quota. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading applicable to your product classification in addition to the Chapter 73 subheading listed above. 

The Proclamations are subject to periodic amendment of the exclusions, so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Proclamations and the applicable Chapter 99 numbers.

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

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 Jennifer Jameson at [email protected].


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division