CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H207578 TNA
Mr. Marc Romano, Customs Team Leader, US
Husky Injection Molding Systems, Inc.
55 Amherst Villa Road
Buffalo, NY 14225
RE: Revocation of NY N134819; Classification of a valve cable support
Dear Mr. Romano:
This letter is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) N134819, issued to Husky Injection Molding Systems, Inc. (“Husky”) on December 22, 2010, concerning the tariff classification of a valve cable support. In NY N134819, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) classified the merchandise in subheading 7326.90.85, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), as “Other articles of iron or steel: Other: Other: Other: Other.” We have reviewed NY N134819 and found it to be in error. For the reasons set forth below, we hereby revoke NY N134819.
Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, notice proposing to revoke NY N134819 was published in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 46, No. 46, on November 7, 2012. No comments were received in response to this notice.
The subject merchandise consists of a valve cable support, part number 4748679. It is made of non-alloy carbon steel and is designed for use in Husky’s plastic injection molding machines. The support it offers keeps the electrical cables that connect the valve assembly to the plastic injection molding machine from sagging. The subject merchandise also serves to protect the machine’s electrical cables. No samples of the subject merchandise were submitted. However, drawings were submitted showing the valve cable support itself and the physical location of the valve support cable as it is used on an injection molding machine.
Based upon the information contained in the original ruling request, NY N134819 determined that the subject vertical cable support was not a part of Husky’s plastic injection molding machine. However, in your request for reconsideration, you submit that new information is available regarding how this item functions. You state that following the issuance of NY N134819, you sought guidance from your internal engineering design group to clarify whether the subject valve cable support is an optional or necessary component. In response, your engineering team noted that it designed the subject merchandise in response to a service issue. Prior to the development of the subject merchandise, the weight of the valve cables would pull the valve connector off the valve after a short period of time in operation. If the valve connector falls off or pulls out of contact, the machine stops. You state that since discovering this issue, all of your valve assemblies are now mandated to be manufactured with the subject valve cable support, which fixes the problem and allows the machines to continue functioning.
In NY N134819, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) classified the subject valve cable support in subheading 7326.90.85, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), as “Other articles of iron or steel: Other: Other: Other: Other.”
Whether vertical cable supports are classified in heading 7326, HTSUS, as other articles of iron or steel, or in heading 8477, HTSUS, as parts of plastic molding machines?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 GRI may then be applied.
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
7326 Other articles of iron or steel:
8477 Machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof:
Legal Note 2 to Section XVI, HTSUS, of which heading 8477, HTSUS, is a part, provides, in pertinent part, that:
Subject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:
(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapter
84 or 85 (other than headings 8409, 8431, 8448, 8466, 8473, 8487, 8503, 8522, 8529, 8538 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;
(b) Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular
kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading (including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are to be classified with the machines of that kind or in heading 8409, 8431, 8448, 8466, 8473, 8503, 8522, 8529 or 8538 as appropriate. However, parts which are equally suitable for use principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525 to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;
(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading 8409, 8431, 8448,
8466, 8473, 8503, 8522, 8529 or 8538 as appropriate or, failing that, in heading 8487 or 8548.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (Aug. 23, 1989).
The EN to heading 7326, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part:
This heading covers all iron or steel articles obtained by forging or punching, by cutting or stamping or by other processes such as folding, assembling, welding, turning, milling or perforating other than articles included in the preceding headings of this Chapter or covered by Note 1 to Section XV or included in Chapter 82 or 83 or more specifically covered elsewhere in the Nomenclature.
The EN to heading 8477, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part:
The heading covers machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in this Chapter…
Subject to the general provisions regarding the classification of parts (see the General Explanatory Note to Section XVI), the heading also covers parts of the machinery of this heading.
In your request for reconsideration, you argue that the new information you submitted regarding the way the subject merchandise functions warrants reconsideration of NY N134819. You argue that the injection molding machines with which the subject valve cable support is used could not function without it, because the valve connector would be separated from the machine, forcing the machine to cease its operations. As a result, you argue that the subject valve cable support is classified in subheading 8477.90.85, HTSUS, as a part of plastic injection molding machines.
We note that CBP has consistently classified plastic injection molding machines and parts thereof in heading 8477, HTSUS. See, e.g., HQ H025103, dated February 6, 2009; NY M83570, dated June 13, 2006; NY B82646, dated March 26, 1997; NY D87287, dated February 22, 1999; NY L87365, dated September 13, 2006; NY L80203, dated November 12, 2004; NY D82211, dated October 7, 1998; NY J87789, dated August 25, 2003. The subject valve cable support is used with Husky’s plastic injection molding machines. As a result, we examine whether they can be classified as parts of these machines.
The courts have considered the nature of “parts” under the HTSUS and two distinct though not inconsistent tests have resulted. See Bauerhin Technologies Limited Partnership, & John V. Carr & Son, Inc. v. United States, (“Bauerhin”) 110 F.3d 774. The first, articulated in United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, (“Willoughby Camera”) 21 C.C.P.A. 322 (1933), requires a determination of whether the imported item is “an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article.” Bauerhin, 110 F.3d at 778 (quoting Willoughby Camera, 21 C.C.P.A. 322 at 324). The second, set forth in United States v. Pompeo, (“Pompeo”) 43 C.C.P.A. 9 (1955), states that “an imported item dedicated solely for use with another article is a ‘part’ of that article within the meaning of the HTSUS.” Id. at 779 (citing Pompeo, 43 C.C.P.A. 9 at 13). Under either line of cases, an imported item is not a part if it is “a separate and distinct commercial entity.” Id.
In the present case, prior to the development of the subject valve cable support, Husky’s injection molding machines would often cease to function because the weight of their valve cables would pull their valve connector off of the valve. Husky designed the subject merchandise to solve this problem in particular; thus, it was designed for and is used solely for Husky’s injection molding machines. Without the subject valve cable support, Husky’s injection molding machines would continue to shut down when their connector valves became separated from the valves while the machines were in use. Therefore, we find that the subject merchandise is both dedicated solely for use with the injection molding machine and an integral component of the machine, without which the machine would not function properly.
As such, it is classified in subheading 8477.90.85, HTSUS, which provides for “Machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof: Parts: Other.” This conclusion is consistent with prior CBP rulings and Note 2(a) to Section XVI, HTSUS. See, e.g., NY I85725, dated September 16, 2002 (classifying injection molding machine safety covers and doors in subheading 8477.90.85, HTSUS); HQ H025103 (affirming NY M83570’s classification of parts of Husky’s molding machines in subheadings 8477.90.85 and 8477.90.25, HTSUS).
Finally, we note that NY N134819 classified the subject merchandise in heading 7326, HTSUS, as “Other articles of iron or steel.” While we acknowledge that the instant valve cable support is an article of iron or steel of heading 7326, HTSUS, merchandise is only classified there when it is not described elsewhere in the tariff schedule. See Note 2(a) to Section XVI, HTSUS, and EN 73.26. In the present case, because the subject merchandise is described by the terms of heading 8477, HTSUS, it is excluded from heading 7326, HTSUS.
Under the authority of GRI 1, the subject valve cable support is classified in heading 8477, HTSUS. It is specifically provided for in subheading 8477.90.85, HTSUS, which provides for “Machinery for working rubber or plastics or for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof: Parts: Other.” The column one general rate of duty is 3.1% ad valorem.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the internet at www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY N134819, dated December 22, 2010, is REVOKED.
In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this action will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division