CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953562 KCC

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
909 First Ave., Room 2039
Seattle, Washington 98174

RE: Protest No. 3001-92-100788; lavatory modules for airplanes; parts of airplanes; EN 88.03; General EN (III) PARTS AND ACCESSORIES; C.S.D. 83-44; FAA Regulations; 9406.00.80; prefabricated buildings; EN 94.06; Note 4, Chapter 94; HRL 089799

Dear District Director:

This is in response to the Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3001-92-100788, which pertains to the tariff classification of lavatory modules for airplanes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Specifications, photographs of the lavatory module and an additional submission dated July 22, 1993, were submitted for our review.


The lavatory modules are rooms used for an individual's sanitary needs on an airplane. Specifically, the lavatory modules under consideration are built for Boeing's 767 and 747 aircraft. The rooms provide an individual with privacy and a number of conveniences. They contain equipment and facilities for washing, drinking, dispensing of toilet articles, refuse disposal, emergency oxygen provisions, smoke detection, and other articles. The complete unit has a floor, ceiling, walls, and entrance door which are constructed of phenolic resin honeycomb sandwich panels.

The entries of the lavatory modules were liquidated on August 21, 1992, under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUS, which provides for prefabricated buildings. In a protest timely filed on October 21, 1992, Mitsubishi International Corporation, contends that the lavatory modules are properly classified under subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts of airplanes.

The competing subheadings are as follows:

8803.30.00 Parts of goods of heading 8801 or 8802...Other parts of airplanes or helicopters....

9406.00.80 Prefabricated buildings...Other....


Are the lavatory modules classified as prefabricated buildings under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUS, or are they other parts of airplanes under subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, 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...."

In understanding the language of the headings of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). EN 88.03 (pg. 1145) states that:

This heading covers parts of the goods falling in heading 88.01 or 88.02, provided the parts fulfil both the following conditions:

(i) They must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the goods of the above-mentioned headings;

and (ii) They must not be excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII (see the corresponding General Explanatory Note).

General EN (III) PARTS AND ACCESSORIES (pgs. 1410-1412) states that:

It should, however, be noted that these headings apply only to those parts or accessories which comply with all three of the following conditions:

(i) They must not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section....

and (ii) They must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapters 86 to 88....

and (iii) They must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature....

The information submitted indicates that the lavatory modules are manufactured according to Boeing's specifications for use solely with its 747 and 767 aircraft. The lavatory modules are designed to be mounted into the airplane structure and, therefore, have no use whatsoever outside of the airplane. The lavatory modules must meet Federal Aviation Administration Regulations for fire protection (14 CFR 25.853), for load limits and ultimate loads (14 CFR 25.301), and attachment fitting criteria (14 CFR 25.561). If the lavatory modules do not meet these requirements and are installed in an airplane, upon examination by the Federal Aviation Administration the entire airplane will not pass inspection to receive its air worthiness certificate. See also, C.S.D. 83-44 (Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 066654), dated April 30, 1981, which classified electronic subassemblies for aircraft passenger entertainment/service system as parts of airplanes in item 694.61, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (the precursor provision to subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS). Moreover, the lavatory module's primary and standby AC electric power frequency is 400 Hz. This frequency is appropriate for airplanes, whereas, the frequency for buildings is usually 50 to 60 Hz. The above requirements, as well as, various others set forth in the protest identify the lavatory modules as being suitable for use solely or principally with airplanes.

We are of the opinion that the lavatory modules are properly classified under subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS, as other parts of airplanes. The lavatory modules are clearly identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with airplanes. They are not excluded by the terms of Note 2, Section XVII, HTSUS, because they are not among the listed products. Moreover, the lavatory modules are not parts and accessories covered more specifically by another heading in the Nomenclature. The lavatory modules meet both requirements of EN 88.03 and all three requirements of General EN (III) PARTS AND ACCESSORIES to Section XVII.

In making this determination, we have taken into consideration the broad statement of Congressional purpose, in

enacting the "Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft" (via the Trade Agreements Act of 1979), to promote a more free and unencumbered trade in civil aircraft. This agreement applies to all civil aircraft and all other parts, components, and sub- assemblies of civil aircraft. The agreement specifically lists toilet units and sanitary ware specially designed for aircraft as products which are to receive duty-free treatment. In view of the cited legal and administrative authorities, the fact that the lavatory modules provide passenger comfort does not per se make the lavatory modules any less a "part" for tariff purposes. Classification under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUS, is inappropriate, because the lavatory modules are not described by the terms of heading 9406, HTSUS. Note 4, Chapter 94, HTSUS, states that:

For the purposes of heading 9406, the expression "prefabricated buildings" means buildings which are finished in the factory or put up as elements, entered together, to be assembled on site, such as housing or worksite accommodation, offices, schools, shop, sheds, garages or similar buildings.

Additionally, EN 94.06 (pgs. 1582-1583) states that heading 9406, HTSUS, "covers prefabricated buildings, also known as "industrialised buildings", of all materials. These buildings, which can be designed for a variety of uses, such as housing, worksite accommodation, offices, schools, shops, sheds, garages and greenhouses...."

The lavatory modules are not in the class or kind of building listed as exemplars in EN 94.06 or Note 4, Chapter 94, HTSUS. Whether imported as fully assembled or unassembled, the prefabricated buildings of heading 9406, HTSUS, are functional as a building listed in the exemplars. Although the lavatory modules are prefabricated, they are not the class or kind of building classifiable in heading 9406, HTSUS. They are not designed to function as a building, but must be attached to a vehicle structure, in this case an airplane. The lavatory modules are a part of an airplane and, therefore, are not classifiable under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUS. See, HRL 089799 dated October 4, 1991, which classified pickup truck campers under subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUS, as parts and accessories of motor vehicles, and not as prefabricated buildings under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUS.


The lavatory modules are classified under subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts of airplanes. This protest should be granted.

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director