Ms. Patricia Sanders
P.S. Customs Brokerage, Inc.
829 Fairways Court
Stockbridge, GA 30281
RE: The tariff classification of a Front End Assembly Line from Germany
Dear Ms. Sanders:
In your letter dated August 26, 2015, on behalf of your client ThyssenKrupp System Engineering GmbH, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The importation consists of an entire Front End Assembly Line that will be imported and shipped complete and assembled at the importer’s site. A main floor of a car is built out of 3 single sub-assemblies, a front end which consists of the motor compartment, rear end and floor pan middle. The assembly line is designed to assemble front end sub-assemblies of cars using spot resistance welding. The function of the front end line is to weld single, stamped metal parts together in order to get a complete front end assembly. A front end assembly line consists of standard equipment along with purchased parts such as robots, weld guns, safety roller gates, and safety light curtains and customized equipment such as fixtures and grippers. At time of importation, the robots are not equipped with the end-of arm tooling (EOAT) that will be mounted on the importers site. The welding robots are electrically operated. The front end assembly line system also consists of the riveting system and the conveyor/transport systems. It also includes a checking trolley which is a manual cart for transporting the parts. When the front end assembly is finished, it is delivered in-plant to another line where it will be welded together with the floor pan middle and the rear end in to get a main floor complete.
The single stamped parts are loaded manually by operators and sometimes automatically by robots into fixtures. The fixtures are used to hold the single parts in their current position while robots weld the single parts together using attached resistance spot welding weld guns. Since the front end sub-assembly consists of various parts, it becomes necessary to build it in several fixtures and steps. After the first assembly step, a robot with an attached gripper picks up the part and loads it into the next fixture where additional parts are loaded manually and or by robots. A welding robot welds these parts together to the previous assembly and each procedure is repeated until the front is finished.
In accordance with Note 4 to Section XVI, the applicable subheading for the Front End Assembly Line, as described above, will be 8515.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electric (including electrically heated gas), laser or other light or photon beam, ultrasonic, electron beam, magnetic pulse or plasma arc soldering, brazing or welding machines and apparatus, whether or not capable of cutting; electric machines and apparatus for hot spraying of metals or cermets; parts thereof: Machines and apparatus for resistance welding of metal: Fully or partly automatic”. The rate of duty will be Free.
Guidance was also requested as to how the above system would be classified if imported in multiple shipments. Regulations covering a single entry/multiple shipments scenario are found in §141.58, Customs Regulations (“CR”). Points covered in §141.58, CR, include application procedures and the time limits for the arrival dates. In particular, please note §148.58(i)/”When separate entry and entry summary required” which states
When all portions of an entity do not arrive at the port of entry within the time constraints of paragraphs (b)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section, as applicable, a separate entry and entry summary must be filed for each portion that has already arrived, and for each portion that subsequently will arrive on separate conveyances. The merchandise included on each separate entry shall be classified in its condition as imported. Each entry would reflect the quantities, values, classification and rates of duty, as appropriate, of the various components conveyed in each shipment, and not the value or classification of the ordered single entity.
As stated above, merchandise is to be classified according to its condition as imported. Should the requirements of §141.58, CR not be met, each component of the system would be separately classified in its own respective heading.
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 http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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 Patricia O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gwenn Klein Kirschner
National Commodity Specialist Division