CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966443 RSD
TARIFF NO. 8207.70.30
Mr. Tommy Hoang
EMO Trans L.A.
1100 Hindry Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
RE: HQ 964755 Modified; Router Bits
Dear Mr. Hoang:
On December 5, 2001, Customs Headquarters issued to you on behalf of Ham Technology, HQ 964755. In HQ 964755 Customs held that certain drill bits and router bits for machines used to manufacture printed circuit boards are classifiable in subheading 8207.50.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and subheading 8207.90.30, HTSUS, respectively. We have reconsidered the classification of the router bits and now believe it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification of the router bits.
The drill bits and router bits were described in HQ 964755 as for use in the printed circuit board industry and unsuitable for cutting metal. These tools are for drilling and routing machines used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards (PCBs). Since the literature initially provided did not indicate the composition of the cutting part of these drill bits and router bits, you provided safety data sheets on the material from which these bits are made. These sheets confirmed that the tools at issue met the requisite percent by weight of tungsten specified in subheadings 8207.50.20, 8207.90.30, and 8207.70.30, HTSUS.
Whether the router bits, are classified as milling tools in subheading 8207.70.30, HTSUS, or cutting tools of subheading 8207.90.30, HTSUS?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. GRI 6 requires that the classification of goods in the subheadings of headings shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings, any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the GRIs.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
Interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power-operated, or for machine-tools (for example, for pressing, stamping, punching, tapping, threading, drilling, boring, broaching, milling, turning or screwdriving), including dies for drawing or extruding metal, and rock drilling or earth boring tools; base metal parts thereof:
8207.70 Tools for milling, and parts thereof:
8207.70.30 With cutting part containing by weight over 0.2
percent of chromium, molybdenum, or tungsten
or over 0.1 percent of vanadium
* * * *
Other interchangeable tools, and parts thereof:
Cutting tools with cutting part containing
by weight over 0.2 percent of chromium,
molybdenum, or tungsten or over 0.1
percent of vanadium
* * * *
Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or
principally with the machines or headings 8456 to 8565, including work or tool holders, self-opening dieheads, dividing heads and other special attachments for machine-tools; tool holders for any type of tool for working in the hand:
8466.92 For machines of heading 8465:8466.92.50 Other
* * * * * *
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
In HQ 964755 we classified the router bits for PCBs in subheading 8207.90.30 as other interchangeable tools with cutting part containing 0.2 percent of chromium, molybdenum or tungsten or over 0.1 percent of vandium. The router bits are used on router machines utilized in the manufacture of PCBs.
In HQ 966199, dated April 18, 2003, Customs Headquarters also examined how router bits should be classified. We pointed out that heading 8207, HTSUS, covers, among other things, interchangeable tools for handtools or for machine-tools. We noted that goods of heading 8207, HTSUS, are excluded from headings 8465 and 8466, HTSUS, by Section XVI, Note 1(o), HTSUS.
EN 82.07 states in relevant part:
Whereas (apart from a few exceptions such as machine saw blades) the preceding headings of this Chapter apply in the main to hand tools ready for use as they stand or after affixing handles, this heading covers an important group of tools which are unsuitable for use independently, but are designed to be fitted, as the case may be, into:
* * *(B) machine-tools, of headings 84.57 to 84.65, or of heading 84.79 by reason of Note 7 to Chapter 84,
(C) tools of headings 84.67,
for pressing, stamping, punching, tapping, threading, drilling, boring, reaming, broaching, milling, gear-cutting, turning, cutting, morticing or drawing, etc., metals, metal carbides, wood, stone, ebonite, certain plastics or other hard materials, or for screwdriving. [Emphasis in original]
In HQ 966199, we determined that because the router bits at issue were for use in machine-tools of heading 8465, HTSUS, they met this description (i.e., tools which are incapable of use independently but are designed to be fit into machine-tools of heading 8465, HTSUS). Thus, the router bits fell under heading 8207, HTSUS. Consequently, the question that had to be decided was under what subheading within heading 8207, HTSUS, the router bits were classified.
In our discussion in HQ 966199 regarding the classification of the router bits, we pointed out that that in cases involving interchangeable tools, such as the instant case, Customs examines the overall design features of an article to determine its primary function or use. In these instances, the article itself indicates prima facie evidence of the use of the class or kind of good to which it belongs.
The router bits that were the subject of HQ 966199 appeared to be used for routing. Available information indicated that the router bits are of a shank type design with a rotary cutting face. The bits have cutting edges which intermittently engage the workpiece, and which remove material by relative movement of the workpiece and the cutter. The router bits described in HQ 966199 appear to be similar to the router bits in HQ 964755. Such tools are designed to shape, finish, dress or contour surfaces, which indicates milling, (i.e., shaping or finishing by means of a mill or machine). The design of the router bits strongly suggested that they performed a milling function to shape or finish the workpiece. In an effort to determine the principal use of the router bits, Customs communicated with several tool industry representatives and researched Internet sources. These sources indicated that router bits perform routing, which is a type of milling, and that router bits used in metal working and in manufacturing PCBs are similar. Based on the information in the record, we concluded that the router bits belong to the class or kind of interchangeable tools for machine-tools principally used as tools for milling of subheading 8207.70.30, HTSUS.
We explained in HQ 966199 that we classified a similar type of router bits in HQ 964755 under subheading 8207.90.30, HTSUS. The router bits were used on router machines utilized in the manufacture of PCBs. However, we indicated that this classification was incorrect and that router bits are properly classified under subheading 8207.70.30, HTSUS, as tools for milling. We further indicated that we intended to modify HQ 964755 to reflect this classification of router bits. Therefore, we find that in HQ 964755 the router bits were incorrectly classified in subheading 8207.90.30, HTSUS. In accordance with the analysis set forth in HQ 966199, the router bits are properly classified in subheading 8207.70.30, HTSUS.
Under the authority of GRI 1, the router bits are provided for in
heading 8207, HTSUS. Through application of GRI 6, the router bits are classified under subheading 8207.70.30, HTSUS, as "Interchangeable tools for . . . machine tools: Tools for milling, and parts thereof: With cutting part containing by weight over 0.2 percent of chromium, molybdenum, or tungsten or over 0.1 percent of vanadium."
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
HQ 964755 dated December 5, 2001 is modified with respect to the router bits.
Myles B. Harmon Director,
Commercial Rulings Division