Mr. Ned Marshak
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
399 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
RE: The tariff classification of light-rail unfinished car bodies from Italy
Dear Mr. Marshak:
In your letter dated September 15, 2005, on behalf of your client Ansaldobreda S.p.A., you requested a tariff classification ruling. You submitted supporting documentation with your request.
Your request concerns the tariff classification of certain light-rail vehicle (LRV) semi-finished car body shells to be imported from Italy for use in the Los Angeles, California metro rail system. Each LRV will consist of an “A” and a “B” car body, which, after completion and assembly in the United States, will be connected together to create a complete LRV. Neither the “A” or “B” car body, when finished, can operate without the other “half” since each car body contains unique components which complement each other and contribute to a complete LRV.
In their imported condition each of the “half” bodies will consist of a steel frame and various internal components, including the pneumatic, electrical and air conditioning systems, wires and cables, windows and seals, doors, lighting, pipes, tubes and raceways, and other fittings. The following major components will be assembled to the car bodies in the United States after importation: trucks, wheels and axles, propulsion equipment, brake system, seats and other structural elements. The value of components added in the United States and assembly and testing performed in the United States after importation is said to equal approximately 50 percent of the final sales price to LA-Metro. We agree with your analysis that case law supports a position that these unfinished car bodies, as imported, do not have the essential character of a complete rail car and are classifiable as “other parts of railway rolling stock”.
The applicable subheading for the unfinished rail cars will be 8607.99.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other parts of railway rolling stock. The rate of duty will be 3.1 per cent 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 Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.
Robert B. Swierupski