John M. Petrie, Director, Global Logistics
Oceaneering International, Inc.
11911 FM 529 Road
Houston, TX 77041
RE: The tariff classification of an underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) from the United States
Dear Mr. Petrie:
In your letter dated April, 10, 2011, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The items under consideration have been identified as submersible ROV used in the oil and gas industry to facilitate deepwater repairs on their facilities. Although you request classification assistance on a broad spectrum of ROVs, you provided information on a single example for which the remainder of this letter will address.
The Hydra® Magnum, you state in your request, represents the backbone of your ROV work systems. The Hydra Magnum is a 170 hp, high-thrust, cage deployed ROV, which you state can perform work in waters up to 10,000 fsw and in severe weather conditions. The Hydra Magnum does not operate through a radio transmission, but rather from a fiber optic tether from the vehicle to the surface.
In your request you suggest classification of ROVs, in general, under 8479.90.9440 or 8479.90.9496 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof: Parts: Other: Of industrial robots” or “Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof: Parts: Other: Other: Other.”
Classification of goods in the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1. states “ ... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings ... .”
General Note 3. (h) (vi) to the HTSUS states “ ... a reference to “headings” encompasses subheadings indented thereunder.” Subheading 8906.90 HTSUS provides for “Other vessels, including warships and lifeboats other than row boats: Other.”
Classification of the ROVs in subheading 8479.90.94, as suggested in your letter, would not be appropriate as subheading 8479.90.94, provides for parts of machines or mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in Chapter 84. The ROVs in question are not parts of any machine or mechanical appliances which is itself classifiable in Heading 8479. The ROVs are complete articles onto themselves. They are not to be incorporated in a more complex entity. In addition, classification of the ROVs in subheading 8479.90.94 is precluded by virtue of Note 1(1) to Section XVI which states that Section XVI does not cover articles of Section XVII.
The applicable subheading for the Hydra® Magnum will be 8906.90.0090, HTSUS, which provides for “Other vessels, including warships and lifeboats other than row boats: Other.
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 Mark Palasek at (646) 733-3013.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division