CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084140 JAS

Steven Baker, Esq.
Bellsey and Baker
100 California Street, Suite 670
San Francisco, California 94111

RE: Pit Liner Pedestal and Walkway

Dear Mr. Baker:

In a letter dated March 20, 1989, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, on behalf of Toshiba International Corporation, you inquire as to the tariff classification of a pit liner pedestal and a walkway, both from Japan. Our ruling follows.


The articles in question are used in the construction of a hydroelectric power plant. Initially, a pit is dug to house the turbine. The turbine pit is a space open at one end which provides access to the gate mechanism, main guide bearing, and packing box, all turbine components. The pit is then lined with concrete. The pit liner pedestal is of one-piece construction and has a U-shape cross section. It is made of steel plates, flanges and ribs, plus connecting hardware, and serves as an internal form and protective lining for the concrete. It has a platform-like top that serves as a floor on which rests the generator and the rotating parts of the turbine (turbine runner and shaft), plus the unbalanced hydraulic thrust to the stay ring (a structural member providing support for portions of the turbine distributor). A floor-plate walkway of steel is placed around the circumference of the turbine pit and will rest on the concrete. It is located approximately at the level of the gate levers and is intended to provide workers access to the turbine-generator for inspection, operation and maintenance.

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You state that the pit liner pedestal provides the framework and support for the generator and turbine, without which they cannot operate. Therefore, you maintain that by function and design the pit liner pedestal is an integral, constituent part of the turbine, and is classifiable under the provision for hydraulic turbines, water wheels and regulators therefor, and parts, in subheading 8410.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your submission does not address the classification of the walkway.

You state that Customs officers at Seattle have proposed to classify the merchandise under the provision for other structures and parts of structures, of iron or steel, in subheading 7308.90.9090, HTSUSA.


Are the pit liner pedestal and walkway classifiable in heading 7308, in heading 7326, as other articles of iron or steel, or in heading 8410, as claimed?


General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, HTSUSA, states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. General Rule of Interpretation 3(a) states in part that where goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. Heading 7308 covers structures and parts of structures of iron or steel, heading 7326 covers other articles of iron or steel, while heading 8410 covers hydraulic turbines and parts thereof.

Section XV (which includes merchandise of headings 7308 and 7326) does not cover articles of section XVI (which includes merchandise of heading 8410). See Section XV, Note 1(f), HTSUSA. Therefore, if the pit liner pedestal and walkway are classifiable in heading 8410, or in another heading of section XVI, they are precluded from classification in section XV.

Neither the pit liner pedestal nor the walkway are considered parts of the turbine. They are not integral working parts either of the turbine or of the generator. Although the generator and working parts of the turbine rest on top of the

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pit liner pedestal, the pedestal is not necessary to their completion or proper functioning. Rather, the pit liner pedestal serves to line and protect the concrete structure that surrounds and supports the turbine.

We conclude that the pit liner pedestal and the walkway are not parts classifiable in heading 8410. There is no evidence either that they are classifiable elsewhere in section XVI. As such, these articles are not precluded from classification in heading 7308 or in heading 7326, if they otherwise qualify.

Explanatory Notes, which provide guidance in interpreting the HTSUSA at the international level, indicate that heading 7308 covers metal structures and their parts made up of plates, among other components. Once put in position, they generally remain in that position. The notes indicate further, at p. 1020, that in addition to the structures and parts mentioned in the heading, pit head frames and superstructures, and gangways (which allow persons to move from one place to another on a ship), are also included. In our opinion, the pit liner pedestal and walkway are encompassed by heading 7308. Under GRI 3(a), heading 7308 is more specific than heading 7326.


The pit liner pedestal and walkway are classifiable under the provision for other structures and parts of structures, of iron or steel, in subheading 7308.90.9090, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 5.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division