222 N. Sepulveda Boulevard Suite 1200
El Segundo, CA 92045
RE: The tariff classification of a wind powered generating set from Germany
Dear Ms. Wright:
In your letter dated December 27, 2018 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Enercon Canada, Inc.
The merchandise under consideration is identified as the direct-drive wind energy converter consisting of the nacelle, the rotor blades, and the tower. You describe the nacelle as consisting of a glass-fibre reinforced plastic (GRP) enclosure containing the rotor hub, generator, and the main carrier. The main carrier is said to be the central load-bearing element of the nacelle, where the rotor and generator components are attached. The main carrier rotates on the tower head by means of the yaw bearing and the entire nacelle can be rotated by the yaw drives for rotor alignment.
The rotor blades are constructed of GRP, balsa wood, and foam. The tower is made from precast concrete segments and steel. You state that the rotor blades are attached to the rotor and the nacelle is mounted to the tower post-importation. After the subject generating set is constructed the full width of the rotor blades is 127 meters and the approximate height of the tower is 135 meters.
Due to the size of the nacelle, rotor blades, and tower, you state that the wind generating set will be imported together, on a single conveyance, in an unassembled state. Subsequent to importation into the United States the three aforementioned components are fitted together to form a complete electric generating set.
Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order. GRI 2(a) states as follows:
Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or failing to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.
Furthermore, the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (ENs) represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The EN for GRI 2(a) states in Rule 2(a) (Articles presented unassembled or disassembled) (V):
The second part of Rule 2 (a), provides that complete or finished articles presented unassembled or disassembled are to be classified in the same heading as the assembled article. When goods are so presented, it is usually for reasons such as requirements or convenience of packing, handling or transport.
In your request you suggest the wind powered generating set is correctly classified under 8502.31.0000, HTSUS. We agree.
In accordance with GRI 2(a), the applicable subheading for the wind generating set, as described above, will be 8502.31.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Electric generating sets…: Other generating sets: Wind-powered.” The general rate of duty will be 2.5%.
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 Karl Moosbrugger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division