Dr. Sebastian Koehler, LL.M.
Graf-Arco Strasse 36
RE: The tariff classification of finned copper tubes from Germany
Dear Dr. Koehler:
In your letter dated August 28, 2020, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Wieland-Werke AG.
The products under consideration are described as high-performance technical tubes made from copper or copper alloys that are used in heat exchange units. You indicate that the two tubes being considered are named “GEWA-B Tubes” and “GEWA-C Tubes”. GEWA-B Tubes are nucleate evaporator tubes made of copper alloys with uneven surfaces for shell-and-tube heat exchangers that are parts of packaged chillers for the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry. GEWA-C Tubes are condenser tubes made of copper alloys with uneven surfaces and are parts of shell-and-tube heat exchangers for the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry. Tubes with internal grooving along the entire length that are used for this purpose are also known as finned tubes.
In an email to this office, you state that the vast majority of the GEWA-B Tubes and GEWA-C Tubes are made from Type C 12200 copper which is also referred to as “pure” or “refined” copper. The remaining GEWA-B Tubes and GEWA-C Tubes are made from Type C 70600 copper alloy which consists of 90 percent copper and 10 percent nickel (CuNi10) or Type C 71500 copper alloy which consists of 70 percent copper and 30 percent nickel (CuNi30). The tubes are imported in material lengths in quantities required by Wieland’s customers and are suitable for re-tubing, repairing, and rebuilding bundles.
You have suggested that the GEWA-B and GEWA-C tubes should be classified in subheading 8419.90.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated (excluding furnaces, ovens and other equipment of heading 8514), for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterilizing, pasteurizing, steaming, drying, evaporating, vaporizing, condensing or cooling, other than machinery or plant of a kind used for domestic purposes; instantaneous or storage water heaters, nonelectric; parts thereof: parts: of heat exchange units. We disagree. CBP has previously classified bundles of finned tubes as parts of heat exchangers in H276289 dated November 29, 2016; however, finned tube bundles have also been found to be incomplete condensers in HQ 967390 dated April 1, 2005. Therefore, depending on the application of the finned tubed bundles, the classification may not always fall under parts of heat exchangers. Furthermore, as the instant tubes are imported in material lengths and not in bundle form, and can be used for rebuilding, re-tubing, or repairing, this office finds the tubes are more akin to a part of a part. In Mitsubishi Electronics America v. United States, 19 CIT 378, 383 n.3 (1995) the court stated “a subpart of a particular part of an article is more specifically provided for as a part of a part than a part of the whole”. As such, classification under heading 8419, HTSUS, would not be appropriate.
The applicable subheading for both the GEWA-B and the GEWA-C Tubes, if made from refined copper, will be 7407.10.1500, HTSUS, which provides for copper bars, rods and profiles: of refined copper: profiles: hollow profiles. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for both the GEWA-B and the GEWA-C Tubes, if made from copper-nickel alloys, will be 7407.29.1610, HTSUS, which provides for copper bars, rods and profiles: of copper alloys: other: profiles: hollow: of copper-nickel base alloys (cupro-nickel) or copper-nickel-zinc base alloys (nickel silver). The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.
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 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 Angelia Amerson at [email protected].
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division