CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950015 AJS
U.S. Customs Service
701 San Jacinto
P.O. Box 52790
Houston, TX 77052
RE: Steel forged ball valves; hand operated valves; Subheading
8481.80.90; GRI 2(a); The Carrington Co., United Geophysical
Corp. v. The United States; Section XVI, note 2(a); Section XVI,
Dear District Director:
Your undated request for internal advice (file number CLA 2-
84:H:CO), on behalf of the Special Agent in Charge, regarding the
classification of certain ball valves imported by Process
Resources, Inc., has been referred to this office for reply.
The merchandise at issue are steel forged ball valves. They
range in inner diameter size from 1/2" to 16". A "wrench" or
handle is imported with virtually every valve. In their imported
condition the valves are suitable for manual operation by use of
the "wrench". After importation the valves are either retained
in inventory, sold "as is" to end users, or converted to
actuator-operated (electric, hydraulic or pneumatic) valves. In
order to convert the valves to actuator operation an adapter
plate or kit must be installed on or in place of the "topwork" of
Whether the subject valves are properly classifiable within
subheading 8481.80.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for hand operated
valves and similar appliances of steel; or classifiable within
subheading 8481.80.90, HTSUSA, which provides for "other"
appliances of this heading.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 8481, HTSUSA, provides for "[t]aps, cocks, valves
and similar appliances . . ." The subject articles satisfy the
terms of this heading. They are steel forged ball valves.
Subheading 8481.80.30, HTSUSA, provides for "other appliances"
which are hand operated and made of steel. The subject valves
satisfy the terms of this subheading. Upon importation, almost
all of the valves are complete with a "wrench" for manual
operation and made of steel. Accordingly, these valves are
classifiable within this subheading.
General Rule of Interpretation 2(a) states that "[a]ny
reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a
reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided
that, as presented, the incomplete or unfinished article has the
essential character of the complete or finished article." As
stated previously, certain of the subject valves are imported
unfinished without a "wrench" for hand operation. However, these
unfinished valves possess the essential character of a finished
hand operated valve. This conclusion rests on the fact that the
valves possess the type of "topwork" which is designed for the
attachment of a "wrench", and are not equipped with a mounting
plate or conversion kit for actuator-operated adaption.
Therefore, the subject valves which are not imported with a
"wrench" are classifiable within subheading 8481.80.30, HTSUSA,
as unfinished hand operated valves.
It is claimed that some of the valves are converted to
actuator-operation after importation, and that therefore these
valves are classifiable as "other" valves within subheading
8481.81.90, HTSUSA. However, "[i]t is a well-established
principle that classification of an imported article must rest
upon its condition as imported." The Carrington Co., United
Geophysical Corp. v. The United States, 61 CCPA 77 (1974). As
stated previously, the valves are either complete with wrenches
for hand operation or unfinished hand operated valves upon
importation. Consequently, they must be classified based upon
this fact and not the claim that they may be converted to
actuator operation after importation. Accordingly, these valves
are not classifiable within this subheading.
Your request also raises the issue of whether smaller
individual components of the subject valves are to be considered
parts of hand operated valves or parts of other valves. If these
components are goods included in any of the headings of chapters
84 and 85 (other than headings 8485 and 8548) they are
classifiable in their respective headings. Section XVI, note
2(a). From the submitted information we are unable to determine
if this is the case. 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 are classifiable with the
machines of that kind. Section XVI, note 2(b). If the
individual components you are referring to are suitable for use
solely or principally with the subject hand operated valves, they
are classifiable as parts of these valves. This conclusion is
based on the fact that these parts are components of valves that
are classifiable as hand operated valves upon importation.
The steel forged ball valves are classifiable within
subheading 8481.80.30, HTSUSA, which provides for "other
appliances" that are hand operated and made of steel, dutiable at
the General Column 1 rate of 8 percent ad valorem. You should
advise the internal advice applicant of this decision and forward
them a copy.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division