Mr. Kazumune V. Kano
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
303 East Wacker Drive (Suite 1100)
Chicago, IL 60601
RE: The tariff classification of a needle bearing insert for a rocker arm assembly from Japan
Dear Mr. Kano:
In your letter dated October 28, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client NTN Bearing Corporation of America.
The article in question is described as a needle bearing-like insert for a rocker arm assembly used in passenger automobile engines. You explain that the rocker arm needle roller bearing insert is made of steel and in its condition as imported contains a plastic center piece that holds the individual rollers in place during shipment. After importation, the plastic center piece is removed and a rocker arm pin inserted to complete the rocker arm assembly. You indicate that the bearing insert is used only with the rocker arm assembly for spark-ignition internal combustion piston engines of passenger automobiles, and is not used for any other purpose. A sample of the bearing insert, rocker arm pin and complete rocker arm assembly were submitted.
Examination of the submitted samples reveals that the bearing insert is comprised of twelve cylindrical rollers held within an outer race by a plastic center piece. The individual rollers are less than 5 millimeters in diameter and have a length that is more than three times their diameter. After importation, when the insert is assembled with the rocker arm pin, the outer surface of the pin serves as the inner race for the bearing assembly. In its condition as imported, the bearing insert does not have an inner race.
In your request you argue that the needle roller bearing insert is not an article of heading 8482, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for needle roller bearings, because in its condition as imported the bearing insert does not have two races. You aver that the bearing insert is properly classifiable in HTSUS heading 8409, which provides for parts of combustion piston engines. We disagree.
Needle roller bearings without an inner race and cage, similar in design to the subject rocker arm insert, are commonly known in the trade as full complement, shell type needle bearings and are used in a wide range of mechanical applications. While the Explanatory Notes (ENs) relevant to HTSUS heading 8482 may, as you point out, explain that “[n]ormally, bearings consist of two concentric rings (races) enclosing the balls or rollers, and a cage”, the ENs clearly provide that the heading “covers all ball, roller or needle roller type bearings.” We find nothing in the language of the ENs to preclude classification of roller bearings with less than two races and/or no cage in HTSUS heading 8482. In New York ruling 861287 a bearing insert for a wheel, consisting simply of a plastic cage, or retainer, fitted with several needle rollers was found to be classified in heading 8482, HTSUS, as a needle roller bearing.
Note 2(a) to Section XVI of the HTSUS provides that parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapter 84 are to be classified in their respective headings. Although the bearing insert is, prima facie, a part of the engine in which it is used, because the bearing insert is a good of HTSUS heading 8482, it cannot be classified as a part of an engine in HTSUS heading 8409. Accordingly, the needle bearing insert falls to be classified in heading 8482, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for the needle bearing inserts will be 8482.40.0000, HTSUS, which provides for needle roller bearings. The rate of duty will be 5.8 percent ad valorem.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.
Robert B. Swierupski