CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086211 JMH
Mr. P. Kimball
Valve & Filter Corporation
8041 West 1-70 Frontage Road, #9
Arvada, Colorado 80002
RE: Butterfly valves from France
Dear Mr. Kimball:
This is in response to your November 2, 1989 letter
regarding the dutiable status of certain butterfly valves
imported from France.
The articles in question are rubber encapsulated iron
butterfly valves to be imported from France. The valves are to
be used in agricultural irrigation systems. The items are
manually operated only by a hand lever. The butterfly valves are
in sizes of two inches, two and a half inches, three inches, four
inches, six inches and eight inches.
Whether the butterfly valves qualify for any special
agricultural use duty exemptions.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is
governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1,
HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification
shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and
any relative section or chapter notes and...according to the
The appropriate classification for butterfly valves is
within heading 8481, HTSUSA. Heading 8481 describes "Taps,
cocks, valves and similar appliances...including pressure-
reducing valves and thermostatically controlled valves..." Hand
operated butterfly valves made of iron are classified within
subheading 8481.80.30, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 8 percent ad
Some articles are entitled to duty free treatment under
subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA, if the articles are used for
agricultural or horticultural purposes. Heading 9817.00.50
describes "Machinery, equipment and implements to be used for
agricultural or horticultural purposes..." To fall within this
special classification a three part test must be met.
First, the articles must not be among the long list of
exclusions to headings 9817.00.50 and 9817.00.60, HTSUSA, under
Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2, HTSUSA.
Secondly, the terms of the heading must be met in accordance with
GRI 1. Heading 9817.00.50 describes "Machinery, equipment and
implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural
purposes..." This determination focuses upon the specific
agricultural or horticultural pursuit in question and what
machine, equipment or implement performs this pursuit. Thirdly,
the merchandise must have the actual use certification required
under 10 C.F.R. 10.138.
Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1971) defines
machinery, equipment and implement as follows:
Machinery: machines as a functioning unit...the
constituent parts of a machine or instruments:
Equipment: ...the implements (as machinery or tools)
used in an operation or activity: APPARATUS...
Implement: ...an article..serving to equip...a tool or
utensil forming part of equipment for work...
The butterfly valves are classified within subheading
8481.80.30. Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note
2(t) lists the exclusions to heading 9817.00.50 from Chapter 84,
HTSUSA. Subheading 8481.80.30 is not excluded from Subchapter
XVII, U.S. Note 2(t). The first prerequisite is met.
Secondly, the butterfly valves must be included within the
terms of the heading. The valves must be "machinery,"
"equipment" or "implements" used for an "agricultural or
The initial determination to be made is what
agricultural or horticultural pursuit is in question. You state
that the butterfly valves are utilized in agricultural
irrigation systems. Therefore, the agricultural or horticultural
pursuit in question is the irrigation of crops.
The next determination to be made is what "machinery",
"equipment" or "implement" performs the irrigation of crops.
The butterfly valves are used in an irrigation system. It is the
irrigation system which is the machine, equipment or implement
that irrigates the crops. The butterfly valves are necessary
components of an irrigation system. However, they are not the
machine, equipment, or implement which fulfills the task. The
valves by themselves do not accomplish the pursuit of irrigating
crops, but are merely parts of the machine, equipment, or
implement which does so.
It is the opinion of this office that the butterfly valves
are parts, not "machinery", "equipment" or "implements" within
the meaning of heading 9817.00.50. Therefore, the second
prerequisite is not met, and the articles are not allowed the
allowance under heading 9817.00.50.
The butterfly valves in question are properly classified
within subheading 8481.80.30, HTSUSA, as "Taps, cocks, valves and
similar appliances...including pressure-reducing valves and
thermostatically controlled valves..."
Butterfly valves are "parts" of an agricultural irrigation
system. "Parts" are not provided for within heading 9817.00.50,
HTSUSA, which describes "Machinery, equipment and implements to
be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes." Therefore,
the butterfly valves are ineligible for duty free classification
within heading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division