Background

In the June 15, 2022, Customs Bulletin and Decisions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is changing a determination on the country of origin of polyetheretherketone powder. Ruling HQ H305264 will modify ruling NY N111878 to reflect this change, effective with respect to goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Aug. 14.

According to CBP, untempered PEEK powder is imported from the United Kingdom into Germany where it is further processed by a special tempering step that allows it to be used at high temperatures in laser sintering machines for dosing and recoating. The raw material imported into Germany cannot be used for laser sintering. The tempered powder is intended for export to the U.S. for use in injection molding, extrusion, compression molding, and composites for the manufacture of engine parts and in heat exchange applications.

CBP is now reversing its determination that the tempering in Germany resulted in a substantial transformation. CBP explains that it has generally held that a heat treatment will result in a substantial transformation only if it alters the article’s mechanical properties to a significant extent. In this case, while the tempering in Germany may enable the PEEK to be better suited for laser sintering, after this process the PEEK remains a manufactured PEEK resin whose basic properties are determined in the initial production process. As a result, the country of origin of the PEEK powder for marking purposes is the United Kingdom.

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