Deborah B. Stern
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
1000 NW 57th Court, Suite 600
Miami, FL 33126
RE: The tariff classification of cast-iron cylinder head and block castings from Germany.
Dear Ms. Stern:
In your letter dated May 26, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, PACCAR, Inc.
The products under review are Cast-Iron Cylinder Head and Block castings, which are designed to be used with vehicle heavy duty diesel engines. You state that the castings will undergo the following steps prior to importation into the United States:
(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.
You suggested classifying the cylinder head and block castings in subheading 8409.99.1040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS), which provides for parts of motor vehicle diesel engines that 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." This office disagrees. In order for us to determine whether an article fits into this subheading, the article must not be advanced beyond general foundry work.
In ruling HQ H286670, dated July 23, 2019, CBP stated regarding castings "CBP has consistently held that coating, laquering and painting are processes not incidental to general foundry work and which advance cast products beyond the scope of heading 7325. See e.g., Treasury Decision (T.D.) 32506, 22 Treas. Dec. 806, decided May 9, 1912, finding that cast-iron nails galvanized in zinc are no longer dutiable as "castings" because the process of galvanization advanced the cast-iron nails to the point where they were considered "manufactures of metal not specially provided for." See also HQ 959315, dated October 1, 1996, in which CBP held that that zinc-coated castings used as socket caps were not classifiable in heading 7325, HTSUS. Likewise, in HQ 963283, dated May 11, 2000, we held that coating cast-iron platens with lacquer advanced the platens to the extent that they were no longer classifiable as cast articles of heading 7325, HTSUS. In HQ W968382, CBP directly addressed the question of whether painting is, like coating or laquering, a process which precludes classification in heading 7325, finding that "Painting, like coating with lacquer or zinc, accomplishes the purpose of inhibiting rust from developing on the subject cast-iron products. Also like zinc or lacquer coating, painting is a process entirely independent from casting. As such, even if the subject merchandise is painted as opposed to coated with lacquer, it has still been advanced beyond the condition allowed for classification in heading 7325, HTSUS."
The cylinder head casting in NY N276963, dated July 27, 2016, which you compare your product to, did not have a "primer" step, which is a step beyond general foundry work. As a result, this ruling is not applicable.
The applicable subheading for the Cast-Iron Cylinder Head and Block Castings, will be 8409.99.9190, HTSUS, which provides for "Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the engines of heading 8407 or 8408: Other: Other: Other: For vehicles of subheading 8701.20, or heading 8702, 8703 or 8704: Other." The general rate of duty will be 2.5% ad valorem.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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, please contact National Import Specialist Liana Alvarez at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division