United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0083265 - HQ 0083345 > HQ 0083270

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 083270

December 5, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083270 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8419.90.30

Mr. M. L. Pringle
North Atlantic Technologies, Inc.
12900 Whitewater Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343

RE: Components for air to air plate-type heat exchangers

Dear Mr. Pringle:

Your letter of September 16, 1988, requesting a classification ruling according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for components of air to air plate-type heat exchangers has been referred to this office for a reply.


The merchandise in question are components for industrial air to air plate-type heat exchangers. Such heat exchangers act primarily to preheat combustion air in boilers, incinerators, fired heaters and thermal plants. The four articles to be classified are flat air plates, flat flue plates, an end wall assembly, and a corner post. All of the components are made of steel and are to be imported from Korea and Poland.

Air plates and flue plates are rectangular pieces. They are notched at the corners and are dimpled all over. The dimpling varies according to the use. Deeper dimples allow more space through which flue gas impurities may pass. This greater space prevents clogging.

The end wall assembly consists of a plate to which a number of different stiffeners and angles have been welded, both horizontally and vertically. This assembly supports all the plates within the exchanger.

The corner post is composed of several pieces of steel welded together. It holds the two end walls together similar to the bread in a sandwich and the plates are analogous to the sandwich's filling.


Whether these components of heat exchangers are properly classifiable under the HTSUSA according to their content or their use.


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and...according to the following provisions..." The competing headings in this instance are those within Chapter 72, HTSUSA, which describe basic steel mill products, and the headings of Chapter 84, HTSUSA, which describe steel products that have been advanced.

It is the opinion of this office that the steel components at issue have been worked and advanced into parts of machinery. The end walls and corner posts are advanced beyond an angle, shape or section. The notching, dimpling, and welding of these articles has altered their state from mere articles of base metals to parts of a heat exchanger. Therefore, according to Section XV, Note 1(f), HTSUSA, they are excluded from the headings of Chapter 72 and must be classified by their use.

The appropriate heading for these products is heading 8419, HTSUSA. This heading describes:

8419 Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating...other than machinery or plant of a kind used for domestic purposes...parts thereof...

8419.90.30 Parts of heat exchange units...

You have stated that these components are used in industrial heat exchangers and the function of the heat exchangers is described by this heading. Since non-domestic heat exchangers are classified within heading 8419, the parts of these heat
exchangers are also classified within heading 8419. Therefore, the air plates, flue plates, end wall assemblies, and corner post are to be classified within subheading 8419.90.30, HTSUSA.

These heat exchanger components are not subject to any voluntary restraint agreements. They are also not subject to any special licensing requirements.


Air plates, flue plates, end wall assemblies, and corner posts, which are components of air to air plate-type heat exchangers, are properly classified within subheading 8419.90.30, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: