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HQ 082257

December 1, 1988

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 082257 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 674.7080; 8467.92.0090

Richard E. Toth
Taurus International Corporation
P.O. Box 699
Ramsey, New Jersey 07446

RE: Tariff Classification of Cold Formed Anvil Blanks

Dear Mr. Toth:

In your letter of May 3, 1988, you inquire as to the tariff classification of a cold headed or cold formed part of a power impact wrench called an anvil blank. Our ruling follows.


A submitted sample is of an article approximately 2-9/16 inches long, press forged in the general shape of a T-bolt, but with a round upper shaft tapering to a square end. It appears to have first been surface cleaned and then norma- lized, which is a heat treatment followed by air cooling designed to impart a uniform, relatively fine-grained microstructure. This is the condition of the article as imported. After importation, the shaft is ground to remove rust and scale and the wings or ears machined to round the edges. The surface of the blank is then hardened by heating it in contact with a high-carbon material in a process called carburizing. The blank is then final cleaned by shot preening and pilot holes drilled in each wing.

You state that previous entries of this merchandise have been classified under the provision for forgings of iron or steel, other than alloy iron or steel, not machined, not tooled, and not otherwise processed after forging, in item 606.71, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). How- ever, Customs now proposes to classify the anvil blanks as parts of hand-directed or hand-controlled tools with pneumatic or self-contained non-electric motor, in item 674.70, TSUS, dutiable at the rate of 2.5 percent ad valorem.


Is the anvil blank advanced beyond the forging stage? If so, is it sufficiently identifiable as an unfinished part?


Schedule 6, Part 2, Headnote 1, TSUS, which governs entries under item 606.71, permits forged articles to be further advanced by annealing, tempering, case-hardening, and similar heat-treatments, unless the context of the involved provision requires otherwise. The language of item 606.71 covers only articles which have not been processed after forging. Our courts have held that normalizing is not a process incidental to the creation of a forging, but is a heat treatment to which forgings are subjected to improve the properties of the metal. Consequently, forgings of iron or steel which have been normalized are not classifiable in item 606.71.

There appears to be agreement that after final processing in the United States the anvil blanks belong to a class or kind of merchandise chiefly used with those hand-directed tools classifiable in item 674.70, TSUS. For Customs pur- poses, unless the context requires otherwise, a tariff description covers an article whether assembled or not assembled, and whether finished or not finished. Articles such as anvil blanks which have been advanced beyond the stage of a basic shape or form of iron or steel will be regarded for Customs purposes as unfinished articles or as unfinished parts of articles, if they have been so far advanced at the time of importation as to be clearly dedicated to and commercially fit for use only as the article or part intended. Each case, of course, depends on the particular facts involved. The articles here have a uniquely-shaped shank which is circular at the top but which tapers to a square bottom. This design, in our opinion, makes the articles commercially unsuitable for use as anything else or for being made into anything else. We consider the grinding, machining, carburizing, shot preening and drilling to be relatively insubstantial post-importation processing operations.


The anvil blanks in question are unfinished articles for tariff purposes, and are classifiable as parts of hand- directed or hand-controlled tools with pneumatic or self- contained non-electric motor, in item 674.70, TSUS.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), is scheduled to replace the TSUS as the tariff code of the United States on January 1, 1989. The HTSUSA provision applicable to the anvil blank is subheading 8467.92.0090, Parts of pneumatic tools for working in the hand, dutiable at the rate of 2.5 percent ad valorem.

This is Customs current position on the classification of the anvil blank. However, if this provision changes before January 1, 1989, this advice may not continue to apply.


John Durant, Director,
Commercial Rulings Division

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