CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963189 JAS
Kenneth G. Weigel, Esq.
Kirkland & Ellis
655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
RE: HQ 956900 Modified; Plastic Front Nozzle, Rear Tank, and Rear Nozzle Assemblies
Dear Mr. Weigel:
This is in reference to HQ 956900, issued on July 10, 1995, in connection with protest 4115-94-100005, which you filed on behalf of Jideco of Bardstown, Inc., against a decision of the Port Director, Cleveland. Among other things, the protest contested the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of plastic front and rear nozzle assemblies and rear tanks for cleaning the windshields of motor vehicles. The ruling classified the merchandise in subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUS, as other parts and accessories of motor vehicles. We have reconsidered the classification of this merchandise and determined that it is incorrect.
Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of HQ 956900 was published on October 13, 1999, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 33, Number 41. No comments were received in response to that notice.
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As described in HQ 956900, the front and rear nozzle assemblies are plastic articles that act as diffusers in a window washer system for motor vehicles when washer fluid is applied to the front and rear windows of the vehicle. The rear tank assembly, also of plastic, provides washer fluid to the rear of the vehicle. When the washer system is activated, the fluid is conveyed from the tank, through the system, onto the windows.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
8424 Mechanical appliances for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders...; parts thereof:
* * * *
8708 Parts and accessories for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:
Other parts and accessories of bodies:
Other parts and accessories:
Whether the front and rear nozzle assemblies, and the rear tank assembly, all of plastic, are parts of mechanical spraying appliances.
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LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified 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.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).
On protest, a claim was made under subheading 8512.90.90, HTSUS, as parts of windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters and, alternatively, under subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUS, as other parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. HQ 956900 rejected the first claim because the articles at issue were neither parts of wiper blades nor parts of motors. However, the claim under subheading 8708.99.50 was sustained. As such, potential classification as other articles of plastics, in Chapter 39, was precluded.
Section XVI, Note 1(l), HTSUS, excludes articles of Section XVII. However, Section XVII, Note 2(e), HTSUS, excludes from the expressions “parts” and “parts and accessories” machines or apparatus of headings 8401 to 8479, or parts thereof. Therefore, if the front and rear nozzle assemblies and the rear tank assembly are parts of a mechanical spraying appliance of heading 8424, they cannot be classified in heading 8708.
Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS, is the authority under which Customs classifies goods that are identifiable parts of machines or apparatus of Chapters 84 and 85. Parts which are goods included in any heading of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85 are in all cases classified in their respective headings. See Note 2(a). Parts suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading, are classifiable with the machines with which they are solely or principally used. See Note 2(b).
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As to the applicability of heading 8424, the ENs on p. 1289, state, in relevant part, the heading includes parts for the appliances and machines of heading 8424. Parts falling in this heading thus include, inter alia, reservoirs for sprayers, spray nozzles, lances and turbulent sprayer heads not of a kind described in heading 84.81. Thus, the front and rear nozzles and the rear tank assembly, being integral, constituent and component parts necessary to the completion of mechanical spraying appliances of heading 8424, and being solely or principally used with such appliances, are classifiable in heading 8424, in
accordance with Section XVI, Note 2(b). This eliminates heading 8708 from consideration. Nozzles similar or substantially similar to the ones at issue here are strainer/check valve combinations. The strainer component prevents larger objects from clogging the system while the valve keeps washer fluids from draining back into the tank. While an examination of the heading 84.81 ENs on pp. 1430-1432 indicates that taps, cocks and valves of heading 8481 remain in that heading even if incorporating other accessory features, the ENs do not indicate that combination strainers/check valves are intended to be included in that heading.
Under the authority of GRI 1 and Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS, the plastic front and rear nozzles and the plastic rear tank assembly are provided for in heading 8424. They are classifiable in subheading 8424.90.90, HTSUS.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
HQ 956900, dated July 10, 1995, is modified accordingly. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
The liquidation or reliquidation of the entry or entries the subject of protest 4115-94-100005 will not be affected by this action.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division