CLA-2-73:OT:RR:NC:N1:117

Mr. Anurag Bajaj
Marimba Auto LLC
41133 Van Born Road, Suite 200
Belleville, MI 48111

RE: The tariff classification of automotive steering tubes from South Korea

Dear Mr. Bajaj:

In your letter dated July 17, 2018, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The products to be imported are described as automotive steering telescopic tubes, Part numbers 48865 H09J0-T, 48865 H09K0-T and 48863 126J0-T. These nonalloy steel Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) tubes are cold-drawn, annealed, straightened, cut-to-size and then chamfered. They have wall thicknesses of approximately 3.75 mm or more and are available in lengths ranging from approximately 163.5 mm to 215.4 mm. You state that the tubes are designed to be used with another tube (not included in this request) in which the inner tube slides inside the outer tube. When assembled with other parts, the tubes allow the driver to adjust the steering height/position in the car.

You suggested classification of the steering column tubes in heading 8708, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for parts and accessories for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. This office disagrees with your proposed classification.

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. GRI 3(a) states that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description.

Furthermore, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c) states, "a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for "parts" or "parts and accessories" shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory."

From the information submitted, it appears that the tubes under consideration are simply pipes that have not been made into a specific identifiable article. As a result, they are more specifically provided for as pipes of heading 7306, HTSUS, rather than parts of steering columns of heading 8708, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the automotive steering tubes will be 7306.30.5015, HTSUS, which provides for other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (for example, open seamed or welded, riveted or similarly closed), of iron or steel: other welded, of circular cross section, of iron or nonalloy steel: having a wall thickness of 1.65mm or more: other, other, cold-drawn. The 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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.

On March 8, 2018, Presidential proclamations 9704 and 9705 imposed additional tariffs and quotas on a number of steel and aluminum mill products.  Exemptions have been made on a temporary basis for some countries. Quantitative limitations or quotas may apply for certain exempted countries and can also be found in Chapter 99. Additional duties for steel of 25 percent and for aluminum of 10 percent are reflected in Chapter 99, subheading 9903.80.01 for steel and subheading 9903.85.03 for aluminum. Products classified under HTSUS subheading 7306.30.5015 may be subject to additional duties or quota.  At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 number applicable to your product classification in addition to the Chapter 72, 73 or 76 number listed above. 

The Proclamations are subject to periodic amendment of the exclusions, so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Proclamations and the applicable Chapter 99 numbers.

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 Mary Ellen Laker at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Steven A. Mack
Director
National Commodity Specialist Division