Lara A. Austrins
Benjamin L. England & Associates, LLC
810 Landmark Drive
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
RE: The tariff classification of assemblies for lawn mowers from China.
Dear Ms. Austrins:
In your letter dated June 3, 2020, on behalf of your client, International Products 90 LLC, you requested a ruling on the tariff classification and the applicability of subheading 9817.00.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for lawn mower assemblies.
The merchandise involved in this ruling request consists of four assemblies: drive components assembly (part no. 463017); spindle mower cutting assembly housing (part no. 43644); pivot shaft guide roller push arm (part No. 45944); and steering component assembly (part no. 462811). You have stated that each of these assemblies is specially designed for and used on commercial riding, stand-on or walk-behind lawn mowers. These particular mowers are used to mow yards, parks, sports grounds, large fields, etc.
The drive components assembly, part no. 463017, which is also known as the idler arm assembly, consists of one machined idler arm, two bearing spacers and a jackshaft bearing. It is attached to the transmission drive system and engages and idles the transmission drive system. The assembly is an essential part of the mower's cutting deck. It is attached to the pulley and transmission belt in order to engage and idle the transmission drive system.
The spindle mower cutting assembly housing, part no. 43644, serves as the housing for the entire spindle mower cutting assembly. It is an essential part of the mower's cutting deck, as the assembly works together with the pulleys and belts to provide smooth and even mowing.
The pivot shaft guide roller push arm, part no. 45944, consists of the roller shaft welded to a shaft bracket. It is an essential part of the mower's cutting deck, as it allows the deck to flow at the correct height as the turf height changes.
The steering assembly LH, part no. 462811, consists of the control lever bar, the control link LH, elastic stop nut and a hex head bolt. It is an essential part of the mower's drive system, as it is a unique casting produced for specific commercial mowers. The steering assembly is attached to the handle bar and the dampener and used in conjunction with other parts to turn the mower.
The applicable subheading for the four assemblies: drive components assembly (part no. 463017); spindle mower cutting assembly housing (part no. 43644); pivot shaft guide roller push arm (part no. 45944); and steering component assembly (part no. 462811) will be subheading 8433.90.1090, HTSUS, which provides for harvesting or threshing machinery, including straw or fodder balers; grass or hay mowers; machines for cleaning, sorting or grading eggs, fruit or other agricultural produce, other than machinery of heading 8437; parts thereof: parts: of mowers for lawns, parks or sports grounds: other. The general rate of duty will be free.
In your submission, you also request that the four assemblies be considered for duty-free treatment as agricultural or horticultural machinery under subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUS, which provides for parts to be used in articles of heading 8433, HTSUS.
Subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUS, is an actual use provision. To fall within a special classification, a three-part test must be met. First, the subject merchandise must not be excluded from the heading under Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2, HTSUS. Secondly, the terms of the headings must be met in accordance with GRI 1, which provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Thirdly, the article must comply with the actual use regulations under Section 10.131 through 10.139, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 10.131 through 10.139).
U.S. Note 2(t) to Subchapter XVII of Chapter 98, excludes "articles" of heading 8433, HTSUS, but does not exclude "parts" of articles of such heading (see H264768, dated September 7, 2017). As the subject spindle shafts and spindle assemblies are considered parts of an article of heading 8433, HTSUS, the exclusion in Note 2(t) does not apply. Accordingly, the goods satisfy the first part of the test.
The assemblies also satisfy the terms of subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUS, which has two requirements: the article under consideration must 1) qualify as a part; and 2) be used with an article of headings 8432, 8433, 8434, or 8436. Regarding the second requirement of subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUS, lawn mowers are provided for in heading 8433, HTSUS, and therefore the assemblies are parts to be used in an article provided for in heading 8433, HTSUS. With respect to the first requirement of the subheading, a part must be either: an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined could not function as such article. In this case, the assemblies are stated to be for use as integral parts of the lawn mowers without which the lawn mowers could not function properly.
Therefore, provided the assemblies will be actually used in lawn mowers classified in heading 8433, and the documentary requirements of 19 C.F.R. 10.131 through 10.139 can be satisfied, they may qualify for duty-free treatment under 9817.00.60. We note in particular that the importer is responsible for satisfying the documentary requirements, and the assemblies must be intended for such use at the time of entry and proof thereof must be furnished within three years of the date of entry.
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.
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 Anthony E. Grossi at email@example.com.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division