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HQ 082591

October 31, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082591 JLV


TARIFF NO.: 8704.21.00

Brian S. Goldstein, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005

RE: Half-ton pickup trucks

Dear Mr. Goldstein:

In a letter of July 19, 1988, you request a ruling on behalf of American Isuzu Motors, Inc., on the tariff classification of the TCS/TCR under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Your submission describes the vehicle as a short wheelbase pickup truck, designed as a half-ton version of the Isuzu one-ton pickup truck. It is available in a four-wheel drive model (TCS) and a two-wheel drive model (TCR). These vehicles have a wheelbase of 2,330 mm (91.7 inches) and an overall length of 4040 mm (159.1 inches). They are 1780 mm wide (70.0) inches and have a gross vehicle weight (G.V.W.) of 1910 kg (the TCS; 4200 lbs) and 1750 kg (the TCR; 3850 lbs).

The TCS/TCR has a payload capacity of 400 kg or 882 lbs. The cargo bed has a corrugated metal floor and measures 1045 mm (41.1 inches) by 1380 mm (54.3 inches) by 475 mm (18.7 inches). The cargo area is separated from the cab by a short metal partition which appears to provide some protection for the occupants in the cab from the movement of cargo, and which will permit access from the cab to the cargo box. The partition appears to be easily removable. The cab has seating for a driver and one passenger. Both models have two side doors. They are powered by a 2.3 or 2.6 liter 4 cylinder engine.

Both models may be equipped with one or more accessories, including an optional rear seat, a brush guard, light bar, rear step bumper, tube bumper, side step, and hatch gate. The hatch gates will be purchased in the United States and ordered for only 100 of the vehicles to test their demand in the market. There are no holes or mountings for the attachment of seats at the time of importation. The TCS/TCR will be advertised as a truck.

You believe that the vehicle should be classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods in heading 8704, and, in support of this, identify the following facts concerning the design of the vehicle. The vehicle's cab is separate from the rear cargo area and can only accommodate two persons, a driver and a passenger. The TCS/TCR's payload capacity is primarily dedicated to cargo in the rear of the vehicle. The corrugated flooring in the cargo bed is designed to provide strength and support and is associated in the motor vehicle industry with cargo-carrying purposes. The vehicle is designed as a half-ton version of the Isuzu one-ton pickup truck, and has the same engine, drive train, axles and suspension system found in that vehicle. Finally, you state that the TCS/TCR is imported without rear seating or other amenities associated with passenger use.


Whether the TCS/TCR is properly classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), govern classification under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 provides that the primary consideration in classification of goods should be given to the terms of the headings and to any relative section or chapter notes. The headings at issue in this case state:

8703 Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons . . .

8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods

There are no section or chapter notes relative to these headings. For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the TCS/TCR is classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods within heading 8704, HTSUSA.

The frame design, borrowed from the one-ton pickup, and the separate, flat cargo bed indicate that the TCS/TCR is designed to meet the demands for transporting goods. This vehicle is similar in many design features to the Suzuki models that were classified as motor vehicles for the transport of goods in our ruling letter of May 4, 1989 (file 083081). There are no structural or other features which compel a conclusion that the vehicle is "principally" designed for the transport of persons.


The TCS/TCR is classified as a motor vehicle, with spark-ignition internal combustion piston engine and a G.V.W. not exceeding 5 metric tons, for the transport of goods in subheading 8704.31.00, HTSUSA, dutiable at 25 percent ad valorem under the provisions of subheading 9903.87.00, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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