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HQ 083442

August 18, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083442 AJS


TARIFF NO: 9406.00.80; 9817.00.50

Ms. Valerie L. Matthews
C.J. Tower & Sons
Customhouse Brokers
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, N.Y. 14207

RE: Prefabricated Quonset steel buildings from Canada

Dear Ms. Matthews:

Your request of November 1, 1988, for a review of N.Y. Ruling 827668 has been referred to this office for a reply.


The articles in question are prefabricated Quonset steel buildings imported from Canada. They are made of galvanized steel and produced in a wide variety of diameters, heights and storage capacities. They are constructed by pouring a concrete foundation and then assembling the building on top of this flooring. These buildings are claimed to be used for the storage of grain, hay, livestock and other agricultural products. However, the enclosed literature from pioneer shows the buildings also are used for commercial and industrial purposes.


Whether prefabricated steel buildings are properly classi- fiable as other prefabricated buildings under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUSA; or as steel structures under subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUSA.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is
determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

Subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUSA, provides for "prefab- ricated buildings". Chapter Note 4 states, "prefabricated buildings" are buildings which are finished in the factory or put up as elements, entered together, to be assembled on site, such as housing or worksite accommodations, offices, schools, shops, sheds, garages or similar buildings. These buildings meet this description. They are factory finished merchandise, assembled on site, and can be used for farm, commercial and industrial purposes. In fact, the enclosed literature states that these buildings are "available to suit any conceivable purpose." Therefore, these prefabricated steel buildings would be class- ifiable as other prefabricated buildings of metal under subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUSA.

The merchandise in question cannot be classified as a structure of steel under heading 7308, HTSUSA, because prefab- ricated buildings of heading 9406 are specifically excluded from this provision by the terms of heading 7308.

If the prefabricated buildings are to be used for the storage of grain, hay, or for livestock and other agricultural uses they are entitled to duty-free treatment under 9817.00.50, HTSUSA as "machinery, equipment, and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes." Buildings which were previously classified under item 870.40, TSUS, will continue to be entitled to duty free treatment under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA.


The prefabricated Quonset steel buildings imported from Canada are classifiable in subheading 9406.00.80, HTSUSA. However, if the buildings are to be primarily used for agricult- ural purposes they are classifiable in subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA. These buildings would be free of duty but subject to the actual use certification prescribed in section 10.138 of the Customs Regulations.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Ruling Division

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