CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082591 JLV
Brian S. Goldstein, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
RE: Half-ton pickup trucks
Dear Mr. Goldstein:
In a letter of July 19, 1988, you request a ruling on
behalf of American Isuzu Motors, Inc., on the tariff
classification of the TCS/TCR under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).
Your submission describes the vehicle as a short
wheelbase pickup truck, designed as a half-ton version of the
Isuzu one-ton pickup truck. It is available in a four-wheel
drive model (TCS) and a two-wheel drive model (TCR). These
vehicles have a wheelbase of 2,330 mm (91.7 inches) and an
overall length of 4040 mm (159.1 inches). They are 1780 mm
wide (70.0) inches and have a gross vehicle weight (G.V.W.) of
1910 kg (the TCS; 4200 lbs) and 1750 kg (the TCR; 3850 lbs).
The TCS/TCR has a payload capacity of 400 kg or 882 lbs.
The cargo bed has a corrugated metal floor and measures 1045 mm
(41.1 inches) by 1380 mm (54.3 inches) by 475 mm (18.7 inches).
The cargo area is separated from the cab by a short metal
partition which appears to provide some protection for the
occupants in the cab from the movement of cargo, and which will
permit access from the cab to the cargo box. The partition
appears to be easily removable. The cab has seating for a
driver and one passenger. Both models have two side doors.
They are powered by a 2.3 or 2.6 liter 4 cylinder engine.
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Both models may be equipped with one or more
accessories, including an optional rear seat, a brush guard,
light bar, rear step bumper, tube bumper, side step, and hatch
gate. The hatch gates will be purchased in the United States
and ordered for only 100 of the vehicles to test their demand
in the market. There are no holes or mountings for the
attachment of seats at the time of importation. The TCS/TCR
will be advertised as a truck.
You believe that the vehicle should be classified as a
motor vehicle for the transport of goods in heading 8704, and,
in support of this, identify the following facts concerning the
design of the vehicle. The vehicle's cab is separate from the
rear cargo area and can only accommodate two persons, a driver
and a passenger. The TCS/TCR's payload capacity is primarily
dedicated to cargo in the rear of the vehicle. The corrugated
flooring in the cargo bed is designed to provide strength and
support and is associated in the motor vehicle industry with
cargo-carrying purposes. The vehicle is designed as a half-ton
version of the Isuzu one-ton pickup truck, and has the same
engine, drive train, axles and suspension system found in that
vehicle. Finally, you state that the TCS/TCR is imported
without rear seating or other amenities associated with
Whether the TCS/TCR is properly classified as a motor
vehicle for the transport of goods.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), govern
classification under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 provides that the
primary consideration in classification of goods should be
given to the terms of the headings and to any relative section
or chapter notes. The headings at issue in this case state:
8703 Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally
designed for the transport of persons . . .
* * * * *
8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods
* * * * *
There are no section or chapter notes relative to these
headings. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the
TCS/TCR is classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of
goods within heading 8704, HTSUSA.
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The frame design, borrowed from the one-ton pickup, and
the separate, flat cargo bed indicate that the TCS/TCR is
designed to meet the demands for transporting goods. This
vehicle is similar in many design features to the Suzuki models
that were classified as motor vehicles for the transport of
goods in our ruling letter of May 4, 1989 (file 083081). There
are no structural or other features which compel a conclusion
that the vehicle is "principally" designed for the transport of
The TCS/TCR is classified as a motor vehicle, with
spark-ignition internal combustion piston engine and a G.V.W.
not exceeding 5 metric tons, for the transport of goods in
subheading 8704.31.00, HTSUSA, dutiable at 25 percent ad
valorem under the provisions of subheading 9903.87.00, HTSUSA.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division
6cc: AD NY Seaport
2cc: Chief, CIE
1cc: AC, CO
1cc: Director, Trade Ops
1cc: Reading File
1cc: Vicki Allums
FILE NAME: 082591