CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 957150 JAS

TARIFF NO: 8479.90.80

District Director of Customs
150 N. Royal Street, Rm 3004
Mobile, AL 36602

RE: PRD 1901-94-100047; Metal Canopies, Hydraulic Shield-Type Roof Supports, Parts of Excavating Machinery, Part of a Part, Subheading 8431.49.90; Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States; Shearing Machine, Conveyor, Roof Supports, Long Wall Mining Machine; Unfinished Functional Unit, Section XVI, Note 4; HQ 084831, HQ 087077 Dear District Director:

This is our decision on Protest No. 1901-94-100047, filed against your decision in classifying certain steel canopies used with apparatus described as a Long Wall Mining Machine. The entry under protest was liquidated on April 1, 1994, and this protest timely filed on June 22, 1994.


The merchandise is metal canopies or covers used as component parts of hydraulic mine roof support shields. The canopy is that portion of the roof support which cantilevers out and is pressed against the roof of an underground coal mine to prevent it from collapsing onto the coal cutting machine and conveyor that moves the coal. The coal cutting or shearing machine, the conveyor situated beneath the cutting machine, and roof support shields comprise what protestant identifies as a Long Wall Mining Machine (LWMM). In operation, as the coal cutter shears the face of a coal deposit, the hydraulically operated roof support shields advance the coal cutter and conveyor forward toward a new face. The three components are interdependent and each is necessary for the LWMM to function properly. The canopies were entered under a provision in heading 8431 for parts of excavating, boring or extracting machinery. The import specialist determined that the canopies were parts of hydraulic mine roof supports. Because there is no specific provision for such roof supports and their parts, the entry was - 2 -

liquidated under a provision in heading 8479 for parts of machines and mechanical appliances not specified or included elsewhere in chapter 84.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8431 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to 8430:

8431.49 Other:

8431.49.90 Other...2 percent

* * * *

8479 Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 84]:

8479.90 Parts:

8479.90.85 Other...3 percent


Whether canopies for hydraulic mine roof supports are parts of excavating, extracting or boring machinery.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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 provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Counsel for the protestant maintains that if imported together, the coal cutting or shearing machine, the conveyor, and the hydraulic roof supports would comprise a functional unit under Section XVI, Note 4, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), the function being appropriate to excavating or extracting machinery of heading 8430. We agree. The claim, however, is that under GRI 2(a), the mine roof supports or shields are incomplete or unfinished machines having the essential character of excavating or extracting machines of heading 8430, and that the canopies are parts thereof. Counsel's rationale is that the mine roof support shields impart the essential character to this functional unit because they are the - 3 -

most unique and specially engineered component in the LWMM, and that they represent nearly 75 percent of the cost or value of the complete machine. Alternatively, counsel claims the canopies are parts of extracting machines.

In our opinion, counsel's claim is without merit because, as drafted, Note 4 requires that the individual components necessary to the functional unit be imported together. There is no legal authority that provides for unfinished functional units or for parts of functional units. HQ 084831, dated December 26, 1989, and HQ 087077, dated March 27, 1991.

If imported by itself, the coal shearing or cutting machine would be an excavating or extracting machine of heading 8430. The real issue, we believe, is whether hydraulic mine roof supports are parts of coal cutting machines and, if so, whether the canopies in issue are parts of that part. Articles may be regarded as parts for tariff purposes if they are necessary to the completion of the article with which they are used, that is, if they are integral, constituent or component parts without which the parent article cannot function as that article. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, 738 F. Supp. 528 (CIT 1990). Neither the hydraulic mine roof supports nor the canopies qualify as parts under this test. The hydraulic roof supports and canopies function to support the roof of a coal mine and prevent it from collapsing. The roof supports also incorporate an advancing mechanism that moves the coal cutting machine and conveyor in tandem toward a new face of the coal deposit after a preceding face has been cut. While the cutting machine cannot advance by itself, it independently performs the function for which it was designed - to shear or cut coal - and does not rely on the roof supports or canopies to perform that function. For this reason, neither the hydraulic mine roof supports nor the metal canopies are parts for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the metal canopies which are parts or components of hydraulic mine roof supports, are provided for in heading 8479. They are classifiable in subheading 8479.90.80, HTSUS.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of - 4 -

Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division