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Customs officer says 400 series is not stainless steel

November 8, 2008

Sir I'm a manufacturer & exporter of stainless steel Utensils.
Just know from one requirement of my buyer to mfg. ss utensils from 400 series stainless steel. I made and sent to port for shipment of my goods, but from custom one officer said this is not a stainless steel this is magnetic material and stopped my consignment.
So sir please tell me what should I do, I export in chapter 732304 from duty drawback scheme
please guide how should I convince to that officer of custom
please reply as soon as possible


Brijesh Kansara
- Vasai (e) Thane, Maharashtra , India

November 13, 2008

Hi, Brijesh. Buy a nice set of a major brand of 400 series stainless flatware to demonstrate that it also is magnetic and the same as your utensils. Having no use for the flatware after using it as proof, ask the customs officer if his family could use it :-)


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 14, 2008

The issue isn't really whether 400 series stainless steel is stainless or not. The issue is that he is not paid enough to meet his family's needs.

Tom Rochester
CTO - Jackson, Michigan, USA
Plating Systems & Technologies, Inc.
supporting advertiser
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First of two simultaneous responses -- November 18, 2008

If his problem is ignorance, he can enter 400 series stainless steel in any common search engine and get hundreds of hits that will say that it is magnetic.

If it is graft, you will need to find out the level of the bribe required.

You could go to his boss or higher headquarters, but I imagine that he or his replacement will find all sorts of ways to get even.

You might do the search and print out say 10 different references that say that it is magnetic. Talk nice and it may work.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- November 18, 2008

Dear Brijesh Kansara,

You have exported stainless steel utensils made of 400 series under the category 7324-04. If you refer the customs duty drawback rates 2007-2008 schedule 4, Section 7324 covers tables, kitchen and other household articles and parts thereof of iron and steel.

Section 7324-01 covers stainless steel utensils with Ni content of 8 wt.% and above

Section 7324-02 covers copper bottom or aluminium brazed or aluminium clad stainless steel utensils with Ni content of 8 wt.% and above

Section 7324-03 covers copper bottom or aluminium brazed or aluminium clad stainless steel utensils with Ni content less than 8 wt.%

Section 7324-04 covers others

With respect to the base metal composition, 400 series stainless steel utensils should fall under the category 7324-03. Copper bottom/aluminium brazing/aluminium clad refer only the superficial modification of the surface without any change in the base metal composition.
I am not sure whether there is any sub class in section 7324-03 to cover this.

Testing stainless steel utensils using a bar magnet is not the correct method to test its grade. There are certain grades of stainless steels which contain low nickel and high manganese which is non-magnetic. Often stainless steel utensils are made using this grade of stainless steels.

The recommended solution: The customs officials should draw sufficient number of samples and send them to a National laboratory/NABL accredited laboratory, to test the chemical composition of the stainless steel utensils and to verify their grade.

Our laboratory has been doing this certification process for more than a decade.

T.S.N. Sankara Narayanan
T.S.N. Sankara Narayanan
- Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
(ed.note Nov. 2017: The good doctor has a fascinating blog at https://advancementinscience.wordpress.com)

December 10, 2008

There are over 60 different types of stainless steel. The Customs officer is plain ignorant. Please refer him to:


where he can read up on free publications documenting the different types of stainless.

Good luck,

Michael Liu Taylor
Michael Liu Taylor
specialty stainless steel distributor - Dallas, Texas

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