Ms. Karin Hollerbach
4200 Park Blvd #238
Oakland, CA 94602
RE: The tariff classification of Mounting Structures for Solar Panels from China
Dear Ms. Hollerbach:
In your letter dated April 11, 2016 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The importation consists of two mounting structures for solar panels. The Tracker is a movable mounting structure while the Rack Mount is a fixed mounting structure. Both products are used to mount either fixed or movable solar panel units. At time of imporation, no solar panels/modules are included.
The Tracker is commonly known as “single axis tracker for solar energy systems”. The brand name of this product is ARCTECH SOLAR. The principal use of this product is in the operation of large-scale solar power plants. The Tracker acts as a mechanical device for the manipulation of solar panels. This movable mounting structure moves the solar panels to track the sun’s movement and maximize the solar panel’s exposure to direct sunlight. The product is mounted facing the sun and then it moves to track the sun’s movement throughout the sky in order for the solar power plant to increase its power generation. The movement is electronically controlled to reorient the panel relative to the sun. The component materials of the solar trackers are 1) electronic components and sensors to control the tracker movement, 2) drive systems which consist of motors and other related parts to move the tracker structure and 3) the tracker system which consists of steel beams (and related parts) manufactured to make up the tracker/mounting structure. The electronic components are pre-assembled and the mechanical tracker components are shipped unassembled and can only be used when assembled according to the installation guide.
The second item under consideration has been described as a Rack Mount used to permanently affix solar panel units. The component materials of the racking system consist of mainly manufactured steel materials with some aluminum parts. The items include circular or rectangular galvanized steel poles, “C” shaped galvanized steel diagonal beams, “C” shaped galvanized steel purlins, galvanized steel sloped supporting profiles and aluminum clamps.
The pictures submitted with your ruling request show that the racking system is designed to hold multiple solar panels and intended to be permanently affixed to the ground.
The applicable subheading for the Trackers will be 8479.89.9899, 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: Other machines and mechanical appliances: Other: Other … Other. The rate of duty will be 2.5% ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the Rack Mount will be 7308.90.9590, HTSUS, which provides for “Structures (excluding prefabricated buildings of heading 9406) and parts of structures (for example, bridges and bridge sections, lock gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters, balustrades, pillars and columns) of iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures of iron or steel: Other, Other, Other, Other, Other.” The general rate of duty will be Free.
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 https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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 [email protected].
Deborah C. Marinucci
National Commodity Specialist Division