Ms. Joanne Burke
Willson International Inc.
One Heritage Place
Southgate, MI 48195
RE: The tariff classification of locomotive controllers from Canada.
Dear Ms. Burke:
In your letter dated June 30, 2004, on behalf of your client ZTR Control Systems you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise under consideration is the NEXSYS and NEXSYS II Locomotive Control Systems, Smart Start™ ZTR Control System and the BOA™ Bolt-On Adhesion System.
The NEXSYS and NEXSYS II Locomotive Control Systems control and regulate the electrical power of a locomotive. These systems include the BOA Excitation/Wheel Slip System, which monitor electrical parameters of traction motors to provide improved traction of locomotive wheels by controlling wheel slippage. In addition to controlling wheel slippage, the NEXSYS system controls other essential functions related to both the basic operation and functionality of the locomotive. Functions such as current overload protection of equipment, relays, contactor control, annunciating lights, fault detection, engine temperature control etc., as well as monitoring and recording vital system information. The NEXSYS systems are microprocessor-based systems that provide real-time diagnostic information, accessible either via a built-in display or via a laptop computer with proprietary software.
The NEXSYS system is a complete electrical control system designed to improve or upgrade an older system. It is a microprocessor-based system that can be tailored to meet the needs of a wide customer segment.
The NEXSYS II is also designed to meet the needs of a wide customer segment. This system replaces most existing modules in a locomotive control system with a microprocessor-based system that dramatically improves the pulling power, operating performance and reliability of older locomotives. Its mounts directly into a Dash 2 cabinet and occupies only four module slots or may be ordered for non-Dash 2 applications. The NEXSYS II can be applied to DC main generator or AC traction alternator equipped locomotives with DC traction motors.
The Smart Start™ ZTR Control System is a microprocessor-based system designed to save fuel on locomotives by automatically shutting off the engine when the locomotive is not being used. This system monitors and records a number of locomotive parameters (i.e. water temp, brake pressure, etc.) to manage locomotive shutdowns and restarts. Smart Start™ is equipped with an integrated diagnostic program for quick, accurate troubleshooting which can improve maintenance operations. This system is custom engineered to each locomotive. Its microprocessor provides the capability to access additional control systems options for fan cycling, high idle control, duty cycle reporting and kilowatt-hour recording.
The BOA™ Bolt-On Adhesion System is similar to the BOA Excitation/Wheel Slip System incorporated into the NEXSYS systems. The Bolt-On Adhesion System controls and monitors electrical parameters of traction motors to determine wheel slippage.
In your letter you suggest classification under 9032.89.6015 as automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus for all four products. Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRIs"). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes ("ENs") constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. Accordingly, heading 9032 is not applicable since the NEXSYS, NEXSYS II and Smart Start™ Systems do not meet the restrictions of Note 7 to Chapter 90. Heading 8537, HTS provides for boards, panels, consoles, etc. for electric control or distribution.
Regarding classification of the BOA™ Bolt-On Adhesion System, we are returning your request for this item because we need additional information. Please submit the following:
Please explain why you believe that it only gives the instructions to an actuator to maintain a measured quantity at a pre-selected value, stabilized against disturbances, as required by Note 7 to Chapter 90. An example of an item that does so is a home thermostat, which instructs the furnace to go on or off to maintain the measured room temperature at the selected degrees Fahrenheit.
Explain why it is called Bolt-on Adhesion.
If the purpose is to keep the shaft of the electric motor for the wheel that it powers at a chosen rpm, how is the actual rpm measured? Is the device that measures the rpm part of the imported BOA? If the shaft of the electric motor is maintained indefinitely at those chosen rpm, how is the speeding up and slowing down of the train, e.g., in a curve, accomplished with no change of the motor's rpm?
Is there any similarity between the BOA and the ABS and other traction items in automobiles which are designed to improve traction performance by, as a first step, comparing the speed of the wheels to each other rather than maintaining their rpms at a pre-selected value?
What is the actuator (if any) it is used with and exactly how does it maintain the measured quantity at the pre-selected value?
The applicable subheading for the NEXSYS, NEXSYS II Locomotive Control Systems and the Smart Start™ ZTR Control System will be 8537.10.9070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Boards, panels, consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases…for electric control or the distribution of electricity... For a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.7 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 Eileen S. Kaplan at 646-733-3016.
Robert B. Swierupski