Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Certain Analytical-Grade Acetonitrile, 57629-57631 [2015-24288]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 185 / Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Notices API chapters AmSpec Services, LLC is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth Title 17 ................. Maritime Measurement. CBPL No. ASTM 27–01 .............. 27–02 .............. D287 D1298 27–04 27–05 27–06 27–08 27–11 27–13 .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. D95 D4928 D473 D86 D445 D4294 27–20 .............. 27–48 .............. 27–50 .............. 27–53 .............. 27–54 .............. 27–58 .............. Pending ........... Pending ........... D4057 D4052 D93 D2709 D1796 D5191 D97 D2500 Standard Test Method for API Gravity of crude Petroleum and Petroleum Products. Standard Practice for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Meter. Standard Test Method for Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation. Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oils by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration. Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products. Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids. Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry Standard Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products. Standard Test Method for Density and Relative Density of Liquids by Digital Density Meter. Standard Test Methods for Flash-Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester. Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Middle Distillate Fuels by Centrifuge. Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Fuel Oils by the Centrifuge Method. Standard Test Method For Vapor Pressure of Petroleum Products. Standard Test Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Products. Standard Test Method for Cloud Point of Petroleum Products. Dated: September 10, 2015. Ira S. Reese, Executive Director, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate. [FR Doc. 2015–24229 Filed 9–23–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–14–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES U.S. Customs and Border Protection Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Certain Analytical-Grade Acetonitrile U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of final determination. AGENCY: 16:45 Sep 23, 2015 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Title Anyone wishing to employ this entity to conduct laboratory analyses and gauger services should request and receive written assurances from the entity that it is accredited or approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct the specific test or gauger service requested. Alternatively, inquiries regarding the specific test or gauger service this entity is accredited or approved to perform may be directed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling (202) 344–1060. The inquiry may also be sent to CBPGaugersLabs@cbp.dhs.gov. Please reference the Web site listed below for a complete listing of CBP approved gaugers and accredited laboratories. http://www.cbp.gov/about/labsscientific/commercial-gaugers-andlaboratories VerDate Sep<11>2014 57629 Jkt 235001 This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain analytical-grade acetonitrile. Based upon the facts presented, CBP has concluded that the country of origin of the analytical-grade acetonitrile is the country of origin of the crude acetonitrile for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. DATES: The final determination was issued on September 18, 2015. A copy of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final determination within October 26, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ross Cunningham, Valuation and Special Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade (202) 325–0034. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that on September 18, 2015 pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain analytical-grade acetonitrile, which may be offered to the U.S. Government under an undesignated government procurement contract. This final determination, HQ H265712, was issued under procedures set forth at 19 CFR part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511–18). In the final determination, CBP concluded that the processing in the United States does not result in a substantial transformation. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Therefore, the country of origin of the analytical-grade acetonitrile is the country of origin of the crude acetonitrile for purposes of U.S. Government procurement. Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that a notice of final determination shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such determination in the Federal Register. Dated: September 18, 2015. Harold Singer, Acting Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade. HQ H265712 September 18, 2015 OT:RR:CTF:VS H265712 RMC CATEGORY: Country of Origin David R. Stepp Bryan Cave LLP 120 Broadway, Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401–2386 Re: U.S. Government Procurement; Country of Origin of Acetonitrile; Substantial Transformation Dear Mr. Stepp: This is in response to your letter dated April 1, 2015, requesting a country-of-origin determination on behalf of the SigmaAldrich Corporation (‘‘Sigma-Aldrich’’). You state that Sigma-Aldrich wishes to sell ‘‘analytical-grade acetonitrile’’ to the U.S. Government and thus seeks a determination that the country of origin of its product will be the United States. E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 57630 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 185 / Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Notices tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES We note that Sigma-Aldrich is a partyat-interest within the meaning of 19 CFR 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final determination. A meeting was held by teleconference on August 15, 2015. FACTS: Analytical-grade acetonitrile is a purified chemical that Sigma-Aldrich plans to manufacture in the United States from crude, commercial-grade acetonitrile imported from China and other countries. You state that commercial-grade acetonitrile is most useful as an industrial-grade solvent. Because it is produced as a byproduct of other industrial processes, you state that it contains a relatively low level of ‘‘pure acetonitrile.’’ You state that commercial-grade acetonitrile ‘‘can be less than 95%’’ and that it contains contaminants such as water. As its name suggests, purified analytical-grade acetonitrile contains fewer contaminants and may be up to 99.5% pure. In its purified, analytical grades, acetonitrile is suitable for use in chemical testing instruments such as Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography. These instruments are used for analyzing chemicals for pharmaceutical drug development and production, food safety, medical clinical testing, and environmental testing. You state that commercial-grade acetonitrile is unsuitable for these applications because its impurities would cause false readings and damage the testing equipment. Sigma-Aldrich produces several analytical grades of purified acetonitrile, including CHROMASOLV® Plus for HPLC; MC–MS CHROMASOLV®; LC– MS Ultra CHROMASOLV®, tested for UHPLC–MS; and CHROMASOLV® Plus, for HPLC. Sigma-Aldrich will purify the imported commercial-grade acetonitrile using the following processes. The steps are set forth in general terms in accordance with your request to exclude confidential information: 1. Freezing the crude product; 2. Extracting the pure acetonitrile from the frozen mass; 3. Analyzing the purified acetonitrile output product and the correct purity level for the grade being produced; 4. Packaging the purified acetonitrile, which requires: a. Special glass bottles b. Rinsing the bottles c. Filling the bottles You state that the process is lengthy and requires sophisticated, expensive equipment and highly educated personnel. The steps described above VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:45 Sep 23, 2015 Jkt 235001 take about four days for a ‘‘typical batch’’ of 20,000 liters. Scientists, all of whom possess at least a Bachelor of Science degree, perform or oversee the production process which uses a specialized unit and precision testing equipment. ISSUE: Whether the purification process described above will ‘‘substantially transform’’ the product such that the country of origin of the finished analytical-grade acetonitrile will be the United States for U.S. Government procurement purposes. LAW AND ANALYSIS: Pursuant to Subpart B of Part 177, 19 CFR 177.21 et seq., which implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues country-of-origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is a product of a designated country for the purpose of granting waivers of certain ‘‘Buy American’’ restrictions on U.S. Government procurement. In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government procurement, CBP applies the provisions of Subpart B of Part 177 consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 CFR 177.21. In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations restrict the U.S. Government’s purchase of products to U.S.-made or designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the Trade Agreements Act. See 48 CFR 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition Regulations define ‘‘U.S.-made end product’’ as ‘‘an article that is mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different article of commerce with name, character, or use distinct from that of the article or articles from which it was transformed.’’ See 48 C.F.R § 25.003. You argue that the imported commercial-grade acetonitrile will be substantially transformed when SigmaAldrich purifies it into analytical-grade acetonitrile. Therefore, in your view, the finished product will be eligible for U.S. Government procurement because its country of origin will be the United States. A substantial transformation occurs when an article is used in a manufacturing process that results in a new article that has a new name, character or use different from that of the original imported article. In previous rulings, ‘‘CBP has consistently held that refining or purification of a PO 00000 Frm 00064 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 crude substance does not generally effect a substantial transformation that results in a different article of commerce with a new name, character, or use’’. Headquarters Ruling Letter (‘‘HQ’’) H113256, dated December 27, 2010. For example, CBP has held that refining linseed oil, in H554664, dated October 29, 1987, and Octamine (an aviation lubricant), in HQ 556143, dated March 2, 1992, did not result in an article with a new name, use, or character. You argue that the acetonitrile purification processes will result in a substantial transformation because the finished product will have a new name, character, and use. Although a change in a product’s name is the weakest evidence of a substantial transformation, as noted in Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220 (1982), aff’d 702 F.2d 1022 (Fed. Cir. 1983), you point that ‘‘[t]he imported product is referred to as ‘crude’ or ‘commercial grade,’ whereas the processed product is referred to as ‘purified’ and ‘analytical grade.’’’ In both cases, however, the name of the product remains acetonitrile. The adjectives ‘‘crude,’’ ‘‘commercial grade,’’ ‘‘purified,’’ and ‘‘analytical’’ qualify the noun ‘‘acetonitrile.’’ As we have previously noted, the addition of an adjective in front of a product name is generally not persuasive. See HQ 731731, dated February 23, 1989. We therefore find that the purification process does not result in an article with a new name. You also argue that the processed acetonitrile has a new character compared to the crude acetonitrile. You state that the imported crude acetonitrile has the character of an industrial manufacturing byproduct, whereas the purified product has the character of a laboratory reagent. CBP’s examination of character, however, focuses on the chemical and physical properties of the product itself. See HQ 571975, dated April 3, 2002. CBP’s Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate informed us that no chemical reactions or physical changes occur in Sigma-Aldrich’s processing. Instead, the processing only removes impurities in the acetonitrile. We therefore find that the purification process does not result in an article with a different character. While the finished product will not have a different name or character, it will have a different use. The imported crude product can be used as a solvent for industrial processes but not in precision testing applications because impurities can damage the testing equipment or produce measurement errors. Although the finished product could also be used as a solvent, you E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1 57631 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 185 / Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Notices state that this is unlikely because it would be ‘‘cost prohibitive.’’ Therefore, you state that its likely use is confined to analytical testing. In support of your argument that a substantial transformation will take place when the crude acetonitrile is purified into analytical-grade acetonitrile, you analogize to rulings HQ 563301, dated August 26, 2005 and HQ 731731, dated February 23, 1989. In HQ 731731, we found that a substantial transformation occurred when raw powdered vancomycin hydrochloride was processed into a finished antibiotic drug capable of intravenous use. As imported, the raw chemical was unfit for medical use. Applying the three substantial transformation factors, we found that the name changed to ‘‘sterile’’ vancomycin hydrochloride, the use changed to an injectable antibiotic, and the character changed to a purified solution of uniform potency levels. Accordingly, we found that the chemical was substantially transformed. Similarly, in HQ 563301 we found that a substantial transformation occurred when bulk parathormone was processed into finished parathormone cartridges. We held that the ‘‘extensive processing transforms the raw parathormone from an unstable, non-sterile, frozen material unsuitable for human use into a pharmaceutical agent ready for human use.’’ A common theme in HQ 563301 and HQ 731731 is the production of a medicine from chemicals that were previously unfit for human consumption. In both cases, we found that—along with the required change in name and character—this conversion from raw chemicals to medication represented a significant change in use. Here, aside from the fact that no change in name or character will occur, the production of analytical-grade acetonitrile results in a less significant change in use, namely, from one type of industrial use to another. We believe that this case is more analogous to cases involving the refining and purification of chemicals than to those involving the production of medicine. As noted above, CBP has consistently held that refining or purification of a crude substance does CBPL No. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES HOLDING: The purification process described above will not substantially transform the acetonitrile, and the country of origin of the finished analytical-grade acetonitrile will not be the United States for U.S. Government procurement purposes. Sincerely, Harold Singer, Acting Executive Director, Regulations & Rulings, Office of International Trade. [FR Doc. 2015–24288 Filed 9–23–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P D1298 27–03 27–04 27–05 27–06 27–13 D4006 D95 D4928 D473 D4294 .............. .............. .............. .............. .............. 16:45 Sep 23, 2015 Notice is hereby given, pursuant to CBP regulations, that Saybolt LP has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes for the next three years as of May 20, 2015. SUMMARY: Effective Dates: The accreditation and approval of Saybolt LP as commercial gauger and laboratory became effective on May 20, 2015. The next triennial inspection date will be scheduled for May 2018. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Approved Gauger and Accredited Laboratories Manager, Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1500N, Washington, DC 20229, tel. 202– 344–1060. Notice is hereby given pursuant to 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13, that Saybolt LP, 220 Texas Ave., Texas City, TX 77590, has been approved to gauge petroleum and certain petroleum products and accredited to test petroleum and certain petroleum products for customs purposes, in accordance with the provisions of 19 CFR 151.12 and 19 CFR 151.13. Saybolt LP is approved for the following gauging procedures for petroleum and certain petroleum products from the American Petroleum Institute (API): SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: API Chapters DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection Accreditation and Approval of Saybolt LP as a Commercial Gauger and Laboratory U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of accreditation and approval of Saybolt LP as a commercial gauger and laboratory. AGENCY: ASTM 27–02 .............. VerDate Sep<11>2014 not generally effect a substantial transformation. You attempt to distinguish one of these cases, H566143, dated March 2, 1992, by pointing out that there was no substantial transformation because ‘‘both the precursor and purified substances had the same essential character as aviation lubricants of merely different grades and were therefore not different articles of commerce, and both substances had the same chemical structures.’’ Yet here too the crude and purified acetonitrile will have the same essential character as acetonitrile and you have provided no evidence that the substances will have a different chemical structure. Therefore, we are ‘‘bound to follow the well-settled principle of Customs law that the mere refining of a chemical does not result in a substantial transformation of the imported chemicals into a new and different article of commerce with a new name, character, and use.’’ HQ 556143, dated March 2, 1992. 3 ................... 5 ................... 7 ................... 8 ................... 12 ................. 17 ................. Title Tank Gauging. Metering. Temperature Determination. Sampling. Calculations. Maritime Measurement. Saybolt LP is accredited for the following laboratory analysis procedures and methods for petroleum and certain petroleum products set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratory Methods (CBPL) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM): Title Standard Practice for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), or API Gravity of Crude Petroleum and Liquid Petroleum Products by Hydrometer Meter. Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oil by Distillation. Standard Test Method for Water in Petroleum Products and Bituminous Materials by Distillation. Standard Test Method for Water in Crude Oils by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration. Standard Test Method for Sediment in Crude Oils and Fuel Oils by the Extraction Method. Standard Test Method for Sulfur in Petroleum and Petroleum Products by Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\24SEN1.SGM 24SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 185 (Thursday, September 24, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57629-57631]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-24288]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Notice of Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Certain 
Analytical-Grade Acetonitrile

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: Notice of final determination.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document provides notice that U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (``CBP'') has issued a final determination concerning the 
country of origin of certain analytical-grade acetonitrile. Based upon 
the facts presented, CBP has concluded that the country of origin of 
the analytical-grade acetonitrile is the country of origin of the crude 
acetonitrile for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.

DATES: The final determination was issued on September 18, 2015. A copy 
of the final determination is attached. Any party-at-interest, as 
defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial review of this final 
determination within October 26, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ross Cunningham, Valuation and Special 
Programs Branch, Regulations and Rulings, Office of International Trade 
(202) 325-0034.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that on September 18, 
2015 pursuant to subpart B of Part 177, U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection Regulations (19 CFR part 177, subpart B), CBP issued a final 
determination concerning the country of origin of certain analytical-
grade acetonitrile, which may be offered to the U.S. Government under 
an undesignated government procurement contract. This final 
determination, HQ H265712, was issued under procedures set forth at 19 
CFR part 177, subpart B, which implements Title III of the Trade 
Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511-18). In the final 
determination, CBP concluded that the processing in the United States 
does not result in a substantial transformation. Therefore, the country 
of origin of the analytical-grade acetonitrile is the country of origin 
of the crude acetonitrile for purposes of U.S. Government procurement.
    Section 177.29, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.29), provides that a 
notice of final determination shall be published in the Federal 
Register within 60 days of the date the final determination is issued. 
Section 177.30, CBP Regulations (19 CFR 177.30), provides that any 
party-at-interest, as defined in 19 CFR 177.22(d), may seek judicial 
review of a final determination within 30 days of publication of such 
determination in the Federal Register.

    Dated: September 18, 2015.
Harold Singer,
Acting Executive Director, Regulations and Rulings, Office of 
International Trade.
HQ H265712

September 18, 2015

OT:RR:CTF:VS H265712 RMC

CATEGORY: Country of Origin

David R. Stepp

Bryan Cave LLP

120 Broadway, Suite 300, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2386
Re: U.S. Government Procurement; Country of Origin of Acetonitrile; 
Substantial Transformation

    Dear Mr. Stepp: This is in response to your letter dated April 1, 
2015, requesting a country-of-origin determination on behalf of the 
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (``Sigma-Aldrich''). You state that Sigma-
Aldrich wishes to sell ``analytical-grade acetonitrile'' to the U.S. 
Government and thus seeks a determination that the country of origin of 
its product will be the United States.

[[Page 57630]]

We note that Sigma-Aldrich is a party-at-interest within the meaning of 
19 CFR 177.22(d)(1) and is entitled to request this final 
determination. A meeting was held by teleconference on August 15, 2015.

FACTS:

    Analytical-grade acetonitrile is a purified chemical that Sigma-
Aldrich plans to manufacture in the United States from crude, 
commercial-grade acetonitrile imported from China and other countries. 
You state that commercial-grade acetonitrile is most useful as an 
industrial-grade solvent. Because it is produced as a byproduct of 
other industrial processes, you state that it contains a relatively low 
level of ``pure acetonitrile.'' You state that commercial-grade 
acetonitrile ``can be less than 95%'' and that it contains contaminants 
such as water.
    As its name suggests, purified analytical-grade acetonitrile 
contains fewer contaminants and may be up to 99.5% pure. In its 
purified, analytical grades, acetonitrile is suitable for use in 
chemical testing instruments such as Liquid Chromatography-Mass 
Spectrometry and Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography. These 
instruments are used for analyzing chemicals for pharmaceutical drug 
development and production, food safety, medical clinical testing, and 
environmental testing. You state that commercial-grade acetonitrile is 
unsuitable for these applications because its impurities would cause 
false readings and damage the testing equipment.
    Sigma-Aldrich produces several analytical grades of purified 
acetonitrile, including CHROMASOLV[supreg] Plus for HPLC; MC-MS 
CHROMASOLV[supreg]; LC-MS Ultra CHROMASOLV[supreg], tested for UHPLC-
MS; and CHROMASOLV[supreg] Plus, for HPLC. Sigma-Aldrich will purify 
the imported commercial-grade acetonitrile using the following 
processes. The steps are set forth in general terms in accordance with 
your request to exclude confidential information:
    1. Freezing the crude product;
    2. Extracting the pure acetonitrile from the frozen mass;
    3. Analyzing the purified acetonitrile output product and the 
correct purity level for the grade being produced;
    4. Packaging the purified acetonitrile, which requires:
    a. Special glass bottles
    b. Rinsing the bottles
    c. Filling the bottles
    You state that the process is lengthy and requires sophisticated, 
expensive equipment and highly educated personnel. The steps described 
above take about four days for a ``typical batch'' of 20,000 liters. 
Scientists, all of whom possess at least a Bachelor of Science degree, 
perform or oversee the production process which uses a specialized unit 
and precision testing equipment.

ISSUE:

    Whether the purification process described above will 
``substantially transform'' the product such that the country of origin 
of the finished analytical-grade acetonitrile will be the United States 
for U.S. Government procurement purposes.

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

    Pursuant to Subpart B of Part 177, 19 CFR 177.21 et seq., which 
implements Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended 
(19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), CBP issues country-of-origin advisory rulings 
and final determinations as to whether an article is a product of a 
designated country for the purpose of granting waivers of certain ``Buy 
American'' restrictions on U.S. Government procurement.
    In rendering final determinations for purposes of U.S. Government 
procurement, CBP applies the provisions of Subpart B of Part 177 
consistent with the Federal Procurement Regulations. See 19 CFR 177.21. 
In this regard, CBP recognizes that the Federal Acquisition Regulations 
restrict the U.S. Government's purchase of products to U.S.-made or 
designated country end products for acquisitions subject to the Trade 
Agreements Act. See 48 CFR 25.403(c)(1). The Federal Acquisition 
Regulations define ``U.S.-made end product'' as ``an article that is 
mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States or that is 
substantially transformed in the United States into a new and different 
article of commerce with name, character, or use distinct from that of 
the article or articles from which it was transformed.'' See 48 C.F.R 
Sec.  25.003.
    You argue that the imported commercial-grade acetonitrile will be 
substantially transformed when Sigma-Aldrich purifies it into 
analytical-grade acetonitrile. Therefore, in your view, the finished 
product will be eligible for U.S. Government procurement because its 
country of origin will be the United States.
    A substantial transformation occurs when an article is used in a 
manufacturing process that results in a new article that has a new 
name, character or use different from that of the original imported 
article. In previous rulings, ``CBP has consistently held that refining 
or purification of a crude substance does not generally effect a 
substantial transformation that results in a different article of 
commerce with a new name, character, or use''. Headquarters Ruling 
Letter (``HQ'') H113256, dated December 27, 2010. For example, CBP has 
held that refining linseed oil, in H554664, dated October 29, 1987, and 
Octamine (an aviation lubricant), in HQ 556143, dated March 2, 1992, 
did not result in an article with a new name, use, or character.
    You argue that the acetonitrile purification processes will result 
in a substantial transformation because the finished product will have 
a new name, character, and use. Although a change in a product's name 
is the weakest evidence of a substantial transformation, as noted in 
Uniroyal, Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 220 (1982), aff'd 702 F.2d 1022 
(Fed. Cir. 1983), you point that ``[t]he imported product is referred 
to as `crude' or `commercial grade,' whereas the processed product is 
referred to as `purified' and `analytical grade.''' In both cases, 
however, the name of the product remains acetonitrile. The adjectives 
``crude,'' ``commercial grade,'' ``purified,'' and ``analytical'' 
qualify the noun ``acetonitrile.'' As we have previously noted, the 
addition of an adjective in front of a product name is generally not 
persuasive. See HQ 731731, dated February 23, 1989. We therefore find 
that the purification process does not result in an article with a new 
name.
    You also argue that the processed acetonitrile has a new character 
compared to the crude acetonitrile. You state that the imported crude 
acetonitrile has the character of an industrial manufacturing 
byproduct, whereas the purified product has the character of a 
laboratory reagent. CBP's examination of character, however, focuses on 
the chemical and physical properties of the product itself. See HQ 
571975, dated April 3, 2002. CBP's Laboratories and Scientific Services 
Directorate informed us that no chemical reactions or physical changes 
occur in Sigma-Aldrich's processing. Instead, the processing only 
removes impurities in the acetonitrile. We therefore find that the 
purification process does not result in an article with a different 
character.
    While the finished product will not have a different name or 
character, it will have a different use. The imported crude product can 
be used as a solvent for industrial processes but not in precision 
testing applications because impurities can damage the testing 
equipment or produce measurement errors. Although the finished product 
could also be used as a solvent, you

[[Page 57631]]

state that this is unlikely because it would be ``cost prohibitive.'' 
Therefore, you state that its likely use is confined to analytical 
testing.
    In support of your argument that a substantial transformation will 
take place when the crude acetonitrile is purified into analytical-
grade acetonitrile, you analogize to rulings HQ 563301, dated August 
26, 2005 and HQ 731731, dated February 23, 1989. In HQ 731731, we found 
that a substantial transformation occurred when raw powdered vancomycin 
hydrochloride was processed into a finished antibiotic drug capable of 
intravenous use. As imported, the raw chemical was unfit for medical 
use. Applying the three substantial transformation factors, we found 
that the name changed to ``sterile'' vancomycin hydrochloride, the use 
changed to an injectable antibiotic, and the character changed to a 
purified solution of uniform potency levels. Accordingly, we found that 
the chemical was substantially transformed. Similarly, in HQ 563301 we 
found that a substantial transformation occurred when bulk parathormone 
was processed into finished parathormone cartridges. We held that the 
``extensive processing transforms the raw parathormone from an 
unstable, non-sterile, frozen material unsuitable for human use into a 
pharmaceutical agent ready for human use.''
    A common theme in HQ 563301 and HQ 731731 is the production of a 
medicine from chemicals that were previously unfit for human 
consumption. In both cases, we found that--along with the required 
change in name and character--this conversion from raw chemicals to 
medication represented a significant change in use. Here, aside from 
the fact that no change in name or character will occur, the production 
of analytical-grade acetonitrile results in a less significant change 
in use, namely, from one type of industrial use to another.
    We believe that this case is more analogous to cases involving the 
refining and purification of chemicals than to those involving the 
production of medicine. As noted above, CBP has consistently held that 
refining or purification of a crude substance does not generally effect 
a substantial transformation. You attempt to distinguish one of these 
cases, H566143, dated March 2, 1992, by pointing out that there was no 
substantial transformation because ``both the precursor and purified 
substances had the same essential character as aviation lubricants of 
merely different grades and were therefore not different articles of 
commerce, and both substances had the same chemical structures.'' Yet 
here too the crude and purified acetonitrile will have the same 
essential character as acetonitrile and you have provided no evidence 
that the substances will have a different chemical structure. 
Therefore, we are ``bound to follow the well-settled principle of 
Customs law that the mere refining of a chemical does not result in a 
substantial transformation of the imported chemicals into a new and 
different article of commerce with a new name, character, and use.'' HQ 
556143, dated March 2, 1992.

HOLDING:

    The purification process described above will not substantially 
transform the acetonitrile, and the country of origin of the finished 
analytical-grade acetonitrile will not be the United States for U.S. 
Government procurement purposes.

Sincerely,
Harold Singer,
Acting Executive Director, Regulations & Rulings, Office of 
International Trade.
[FR Doc. 2015-24288 Filed 9-23-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P