CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956607 JAS

District Director of Customs
1 East Bay Street
Savannah, GA. 31401

RE: PRD 1703-94-100065; Dumper Cab Chassis and Dumper Bodies Imported Together; Heading 8704, Heading 8707; Complete but Unassembled Dump Trucks, GRI 2(a), HQ 950221, HQ 950431, HQ 952850

Dear Sir: This is our decision on Protest 1703-94-100065, filed against your action in classifying certain dumper cab chassis and dumper bodies from Australia. The entries were liquidated on March 11 and 25, 1994, and this protest timely filed on June 3, 1994. FACTS:

The merchandise is four motor chassis with enclosed cabs for dump trucks or dumper cab chassis, and five dumper bodies. Originally, five Euclid R50 off-highway dump trucks were manufactured in Canada, shipped to Australia where they were used for some time, then disassembled and the components sold to the importer/protestant. Whether by coincidence, design or inadvertence, the individual components were shipped aboard the same vessel, so that they arrived and were offloaded at Savannah at the same time.

The four cab chassis were entered separately under the provision in heading 8704 for cab chassis, and the five dumper bodies entered as other bodies of heading 8707. The import specialist determined that the importation consisted of four unassembled dump trucks and liquidated the entries under a provision in heading 8704 for dumpers designed for off-highway use. The fifth dumper body remained classified in the provision for other bodies. This classification is not being protested. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows: 8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods:

8704.10 Dumpers designed for off-highway use:

8704.10.10 Cab Chassis...4 percent

8704.10.50 Other...25 percent under 9903.87.00 * * * *

8707 Bodies (including cabs), for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:

8707.90 Other:

8707.90.50 Other...4 percent


Whether cab chassis and dumper bodies imported together are complete but unassembled dumpers of heading 8704.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The General Explanatory Note to Rule 2(a) states in part that complete or finished articles presented unassembled or disassembled are to be classified in the same heading as the assembled article. When goods are so presented, it is usually for reasons such as requirements or convenience of packing, handling or transport. Articles are to be considered unassembled - 3 -

for purposes of this rule provided only simple assembly operations are involved. The EN continues by stating unassembled components of an article that are in excess of the number required for the article when complete are to be classified separately.

Protestant's counsel maintains that because breakbulk freight rates are higher than roll on-roll off (RORO) rates, it was more expensive to ship the components separately rather than assembled. For this reason, the manner of shipment has no apparent relation to the requirements of packing, handling or transport. Counsel also maintains that the dumper cab chassis and dumper bodies are to be classified separately because they are routinely imported this way for legitimate duty avoidance purposes and because the components have separate commercial identities. While dumper cab chassis are heavy-duty construction vehicle components capable of continuous use over a long period of time, dumper bodies wear out quickly and must be replaced on a regular basis. New bodies are compatible with used cab chassis and used bodies can be matched with other cab chassis for less vigorous applications. For this reason, protestant and others in the industry often buy and sell used cab chassis and dumper bodies separately and customarily hold them in inventory until a buyer can be found. Thus, individual components may be sold separately or may be stripped down and sold as parts. However, just as often a cab chassis may be combined with a dumper body if a customer needs a complete dump truck.

A number of cases are cited for the proposition that the instant components should be separately classified. In HQ 952850, dated April 14, 1993, ball point pen parts in one shipment which at times were intermingled with parts from other shipments to make complete pens of a desired color were held to constitute bulk inventory and the components separately classified. It appears that none of the components in one shipment could be assembled into complete pens of a desired color. HQ 952850 is clearly distinguishable because the components in issue here are sufficient to assemble complete dump trucks. In HQ 950221, dated November 22, 1991, bulk shipments of numerous computer parts and components from consolidated shipments arriving together were held to be separately classifiable because the manner of importation was not for convenience of packing, handling or transport. HQ 950431, dated December 5, 1991, held that parts of hearing aids were to be separately classified because of a lack of evidence that the importation was anything other than bulk shipments of numerous components or parts. HQ 950221 and HQ 950431 are likewise - 4 -

distinguishable because the evidence in those cases showed that the importations were nothing more than bulk shipments of numerous components and parts. In this case protestant has not conclusively demonstrated that at the time of importation the cab chassis and dumper bodies were strictly bulk component parts destined for inventory. In fact, the record here may reasonably be interpreted as supporting the opposite conclusion. In two instances cab chassis and dumper bodies were reassembled after importation and sold as off-highway dumpers. Unlike the cited cases, there are only two components involved here, with cab chassis being complete subassemblies clearly dedicated to receiving dumper bodies. Moreover, the cab chassis and dumper bodies at one time comprised complete and fully functional dump trucks which were later disassembled into their constituent component parts.

The facts of this case are consistent with the statement in the Explanatory Note to GRI 2(a) that complete or finished articles presented unassembled or disassembled are to be classified in the same heading as the assembled article.


Under the authority of GRI 2(a), the dumper cab chassis and dumper bodies are unassembled dumpers of heading 8704. They are classifiable in subheading 8704.10.50, HTSUS. The extra dumper body is classifiable in subheading 8707.90.50, HTSUS. The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director,
Commercial Rulings Division