CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:EMAIN H317007 JDK
TARIFF NO(s).: 8409.99.10
Sandler, Tavis & Rosenberg, P.A.
5835 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 200
Miami, FL 33126
RE: Revocation of NY N312073; Tariff Classification of Cast-Iron Cylinder Heads and Block Castings
Dear Ms. Stern,
This is in response to your letter, dated February 24, 2021, submitted on behalf of PACCAR, Inc. (PACCAR) requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) N312073, dated June 18, 2020. In NY N312073, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) classified the cast-iron cylinder heads and block castings under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Upon review of NY N312073, we have determined the ruling to be incorrect. We accordingly revoke the ruling.
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 N312073 was published on October 12, 2022, in Volume 56, Number 40, of the Customs Bulletin. No comments were received in response to this Notice.
The instant merchandise is designed to be used with heavy duty diesel engines for vehicles. The steps that the castings and cylinder heads will undergo before importation to the United States is described in NY N312073 as follows:
(A) Manufacturing the cast-iron part:
1. Core making, 2. Core package assembly, 3. Painting core package, 4. Mold preparation, 5. Locating core package in mold, 6. Pouring, 7. Cooling down;
(B) Cleaning (or "fettling") the casting and rough machining for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers:
8. Removing sand, 9. Breaking gating system (i.e., removing the casting from the mold), 10. Rough shot blasting, 11. Rough automatic finishing, 12. Manual grinding, 13. Final shot blasting, 14. Quality checks;
(C) Machining to permit location in finishing machinery:
15. Primer (a coat of primer paint is sprayed onto the casting to prevent rust), 16. Data Matrix Code ("DMC") laser-etching; (D) Packing: 18. Preservation, 19. Packaging.
For the cylinder head castings only, there is step 17. After precision scan measurements of each casting, the foundry will machine datum points to within microns of their required positions, and then performs a quality check. The datum points are used by the engine plant in the U.S. to ensure proper positioning of the machining processes; some of the U.S. processes are held to a few micron tolerances.
In your submission, you clarify that the primer step is only for block castings, and oiling is only for cast-iron cylinder heads.
Whether or not the instant cylinder heads and block castings are "cast-iron parts, not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery."
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is determined 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 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
There is no dispute that the subject merchandise are parts of diesel engines that are classified in heading 8408, HTSUS, or in subheading 8409.99, HTSUS. As such, the case is governed by GRI 6, which provides as follows:
For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheading of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.
The HTSUS provisions in question are as follows:
8409 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the engines of heading 8407 or 8408:
8409.99.10 Cast-iron parts, not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery...
* * *
8409.99.91 For vehicles of subheading 8701.20, or heading 8702, 8703 or 8704...
Per GRI 6, the subject parts are properly classified under subheading 8409.99.10, HTSUS, if they fall under the scope of the provision for cast-iron parts, not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery.
In Ross Machine & Mill Supply, Inc. et al. v. United States, 69 Cust. Ct. 160 (U.S. 1972) (Ross Machine), the court held that "painting" cast-iron rollers for machines to protect them against oxidation did not advance them beyond being cleaned for the purposes of classification under the Tariff Schedule of the United States (TSUS), the predecessor tariff schedule to the HTSUS. Specifically, the issue in Ross Machine was whether painted iron castings were classified under TSUS provision 680.60, which provided for "Cast-iron (except malleable cast-iron) rollers for machines, not alloyed and not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues, and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery."
Decisions by the Customs Service and the courts interpreting nomenclature under the TSUS are not deemed dispositive in interpreting the HTSUS. However, such prior decisions should be considered on a case-by-case basis if they are instructive in interpreting the HTSUS, particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remains unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTSUS. In this case, the text of subheading 8409.99.10, HTSUS, is quite similar to the text of the provision at issue in Ross Machine. As such, we find Ross Machine to be instructive in determining whether the instant parts are advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery.
Likewise, in HQ H015186 (October 17, 2008), CBP also found that Ross Machinery was instructive when we held that a rust preventative coating did not remove certain cast iron machine tools, which are parts, from the applicable subheading of 8466.93.15, HTSUS. Subheading 8466.93.15, HTSUS, provides for cast iron parts, "not advanced beyond cleaning and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers, or to permit location in finishing machinery," which is identical to the language of 8409.99.10, HTSUS.
In the instant matter, the block castings are painted with primer and the cast-iron cylinder heads are coated with an oil only to prevent oxidation during transport. Pursuant to the reasoning in Ross Machine and HQ H015186, the application of rust preventative coating to products considered cast-iron parts do not advance the products beyond being cleaned, and the instant parts fall under the scope of subheading 8409.99.10, HTSUS.
By application of GRIs 1 and 6, the instant cast-iron cylinder heads and block castings are classified under heading 8409, HTSUS, and specifically provided under subheading 8409.99.10, HTSUS, as "[p]arts suitable for use solely or principally with the engines of heading 8407 or 8408: Other: Other: Cast-iron parts, not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery...." The column one, general rate of duty is free.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY N312073, dated June 18, 2020, is REVOKED.
In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Yuliya A. Gulis, Acting Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division
 Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, P.L. 100-418, August 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1107, 1147; H.R. Rep. No. 576, 100th Cong., 2d Sess. 549-550 (1988) 1988 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1547, 1582-1583. See also, Hewlett-Packard Co. v. United States, 189 F. 3d. 1346; 22 Ct. Int'l. Trade 514 (1999)