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HQ 081691

January 18, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 081221 JAS


TARIFF NO.: HTSUS 8606.99.00

R. Christian Berg, Esq.
Harris & Berg
1101 30th. St. N.W., Suite 103
Washington, D.C. 20007

RE: Classification of Railway Freight Car Body

Dear Mr. Berg:

Under the authority of 19 U.S.C. 1516(a), and section 175.1, Customs Regulations, you request information on the classification and rate of duty on an imported component of an intermodal railway car known as the "front runner."


When complete, the front runner is a stand-alone railway freight car specially designed to carry 40 ft. and 48 ft. truck trailers. The completed car is a single platform lightweight car, designated by the Association of American Railroads as AAR Class FC. This car is pictured and described in The Car and Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practices, 5th. ed. (1984), at p. 191.

The article in issue is a series of components welded together to form the car body. It consists essentially of the central box section, to which other components are fabricated. The box section is a hollow welded steel unit, 51 ft. 2 in. long, with gussets at each end, which forms the backbone of the car. This welded unit rests on top of and is attached at both ends to rectangular steel supporting units, open at one end. At the rear or A-end of the car are two steel outrigger platforms situated on either side of the box section that run half its length. These platforms are attached to the rectangular supporting units. The wheels of the truck trailers will rest on the outrigger platforms. Steel axle/wheel housings are welded on either side of the box section in front of the outrigger platforms. At the opposite or B-end of the
car is a crossover platform for crewmen. It is situated on either side of the box section and rests on the welded steel supporting units. At the same end is a hydraulic stanchion (not the subject of this inquiry) on a supporting plate, to which is attached the front end of the truck trailer. You state a number of nuts, bolts, washers, pins and other subsi- diary articles, listed but not described, are included in the importation. It is indicated that the imported car body repre- sents 57 percent of the total value of the completed front runner car.

After importation, brake assemblies, wheels, axles, yokes, roller bearings, trailer hitch, front and rear couplers and release rigging, and handrails, and some lesser components and fasteners, are added to complete the car. These components represent 43 percent of the total value of the completed car.


Is the front runner car body regarded for tariff purposes as an unfinished railway or tramway freight car, or is it classifiable under an applicable parts provision ?


Effective January 1, 1989, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), replaced the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), as the official tariff code of the United States. General Rule of Interpretation 2(a), HTSUS, states, in part, that any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article unfin- ished, provided that, as entered, the unfinished article has the essential character of the finished article.


The fabricated front runner car body, as imported, consti- tutes an unfinished railway or tramway freight car, not self- propelled, of the type classifiable in subheading 8606.99.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The rate of duty under this provision is 18 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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