CLA-2-39:RR:NC:TA:350 D86127

Mr. Rufus E. Jarman, Jr.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: The tariff classification of a tractor pin feed belt (pin belt) and a stacker (transfer) belt, from Japan. The manufacturer is Hitachi Koki Co., Ltd.

Dear Mr. Jarman:

In your letter dated December 18, 1999, on behalf of International Business Machines Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

As a ruling written under Section 177.1 (a) of the Customs Regulations it is understood that the classifications arrived at herein pertain only to future transactions. A sample of the pin belt (IBM part number 88F3373) and the stacker belt (IBM part number 06F0220) , both used in the same high speed electrophotographic printer, were submitted. Because of the physical appearance of the belts and your claim for classification under heading 4010, which covers machine belts of vulcanized rubber, the items were sent to the Customs Laboratory for analysis. The laboratory found both belts to be of a plastics material containing no rubber.

The issue is not so much the particular tariff heading under which these belts would be classified, but whether the belts are considered conveyor belts or power transmission belt, i.e., synchronous or timing. As an adjunct to the issue of the classification of these belts you have informed us that you have also requested a scope determination from the Commerce Department in connection with antidumping investigation A-588-807.

The pin belt, about 28 centimeters in circumference, is composed of a toothed or crenelated 11 millimeter wide plastic unit with embedded steel cord tensile members. Plastic forms or segments are fitted over the top or smooth surface of the belt and connected thereto by means of steel fasteners. Additionally, a 5 millimeter steel pin is permanently affixed to each plastic form and project upward. There are no textile components used in this belt. The belt is designed to engage continuous feed printing paper and feed it through an IBM 3900 printer. The stacker belt, about 23 centimeters in circumference, is a 10 millimeter wide toothed or crenelated plastic belt with textile polyester tensile cords imbedded in the belt. Flat plastic “fingers”, 12 millimeters long and evenly spaced every 15 millimeters, protrude from the top surface of the belt. This belt, arranged in parallel with other stacker belts, is used to guide incoming paper into a stack within the IBM 3900 printer. There is no textile fabric present, only the polyester tensile cords.

The belts have the appearance of a synchronous belt because of the teeth or notches on the inner surface. Both belts are driven by a geared drive shaft at one end of the loop, but pass over an idler pulley or shaft at the other end. It is our understanding from the information you provide and machine diagrams furnished that these belts serve no other function than to “convey” (their sole function) and do not have a dual function in that they do not both convey and perform a synchronous power drive or other motion on another shaft or device. Such a dual purpose belt or one that is interchangeable, because of its design, for use in conveying or power transmission would be considered a synchronous or power transmission belt.

The applicable subheading for the Pin Belt will be 3926.90.6090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of plastics, belts, for machinery, not containing textile fibers, other than synchronous. The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the Stacker Belt will be 3926.90.5900, HTS, which provides for other articles of plastics, belts, for machinery, containing textile fibers, other than V-belts, combined with a single textile man-made fiber, other. The rate of duty is 2.4 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 George Barth at 212-637-7085.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division