CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966958 DSS
Mr. Jim Wickstead
Circle International, Inc.991 Supreme Drive
Bensenville, IL 60106
RE: Revocation of NY I81109; Zinc-plated steel compression fittings from India
Dear Mr. Wickstead:
This letter is pursuant to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection’s (Customs) reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) I81109, dated April 26, 2002. We have reviewed the classification in NY I81109 and have determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.
Pursuant to section 625 (c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 USC 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 revocation of NY I81109 was published in the March 10, 2004, CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 38, Number 11. No comments were received in response to this notice.
In NY I81009, we classified certain zinc-plated steel compression fittings from India. The articles were described in NY I81109 as follows:
The samples you provided are connectors for junction boxes. Your request includes metallic setscrew connectors, metallic setscrew couplings, metallic compression connectors, and metallic compression fittings. The items are manufactured from mild steel and are zinc-plated. They are used to connect conduits together.
In NY I81109, we classified the instant articles under subheading 7326.90.8586, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for “Other articles of iron or steel: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other.”
Whether the instant articles are classified as steel pipe fittings under heading 7307, HTSUSA, or as other articles of iron and steel under heading 7326, HTSUSA.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUSA 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.
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 HTSUSA 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).
The HTSUSA provisions under consideration are as follows:
7307 Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves) of iron or steel:
Threaded elbows, bends and sleeves:
7307.92.3010 Of iron or nonalloy steel
Of iron or nonalloy steel
* * *
Other articles of iron or steel:
EN 73.07 provides in pertinent part as follows:
This heading covers fittings of iron or steel, mainly used for connecting the bores of two tubes together, or for connecting a tube to some other apparatus, or for closing the tube aperture. This heading does not however cover articles used for installing pipes and tubes but which do not form an integral part of the bore (e.g., hangers, stays and similar supports which merely fix or support the tubes and pipes on walls, clamping or tightening bands or collars (hose clips) used for clamping flexible tubing or hose to rigid piping, taps, connecting pieces, etc.) (heading 73.25 or 73.26)[emphasis in original].
The connection is obtained:
by screwing, when using cast iron or steel threaded fittings;
or by welding, when using buttwelding or socketwelding steel fittings. In the case of buttwelding, the ends of the fittings and of the tubes are square cut or chamfered;
or by contact, when using removable steel fittings.
This heading therefore includes flat flanges and flanges with forged collars, elbows and bends and return bends, reducers, tees, crosses, caps and plugs, lap joint stubends, fittings for tubular railings and structural elements, off sets, multibranch pieces, couplings or sleeves, clean out traps, nipples, unions, clamps and collars.
In NY I81109, we concluded that the instant articles were articles of steel not provided for elsewhere in the HTSUS. Because heading 7326, HTSUS, covers all articles of iron or steel not elsewhere specified or included (see EN 73.26), the goods will be provided for in heading 7326, HTSUS, only if they are described in that heading and if they are not provided for in another heading (in this instance, heading 7307).
New information has been presented to Customs, however, that has caused us to view the classification in NY I81109 as incorrect. This information indicates that the connectors and couplings serve to connect the bores of two tubes together or to connect a tube to some other apparatus (i.e., a junction box). Therefore, we find that the instant articles are within the scope of the description provided in the heading text of 7307 and EN 73.07, above. Accordingly, we find that the instant articles are provided for in heading 7307, HTSUS. Some of the fittings are threaded, which indicates that the connection is made by screwing. These connectors and couplings are classified under subheading 7307.92.3010, HTSUS, which provides for, “Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves) of iron or steel: Other: Threaded elbows, bends and sleeves: Sleeves (couplings): Of iron or nonalloy steel.” The other fittings of nonalloy steel where the connection is not threaded (e.g., compression connectors), are classified in subheading 7307.99.5045, HTSUS, which provides for, “Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel: Other: Other: Other: Of iron or nonalloy steel: Other.”
In accordance with the above discussion, at GRI 1 the instant fittings fall under heading 7307, HTSUS.
The threaded couplings are classified under subheading 7307.92.3010, HTSUS, which provides for, “Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves) of iron or steel: Other: Threaded elbows, bends and sleeves: Sleeves (couplings): Of iron or nonalloy steel.” The General Column One rate of duty is 1.2 percent.
The other fittings are classified in subheading 7307.99.5045, HTSUS, which provides for, “Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel: Other: Other: Other: Of iron or nonalloy steel: Other.” The General Column One rate of duty is 4.3 percent.
In accordance with 19 USC 1625 (c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY I81109 is REVOKED.
Myles B. Harmon
Commercial Rulings Division