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HQ 083529

December 28, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:CV:G: 083529 JLV; 835024


TARIFF NO.: 8704.23.00; 9903.87.00

Ford Motor Company
ATTN: Mr. P. B. Kruzich
West Park Center
5111 Auto Club Drive
P. O. Box 6089
Dearborn, Michigan 48126

RE: Ford CFT 8000 cab chassis equipped with air-brake hoses and electrical cables for braking and lighting systems on a trailer

Dear Mr. Kruzich:

In a letter of October 28, 1988, supplemented by a letter of December 13, 1988, you requested on behalf of Ford Motor Company a ruling on the classification of a cab chassis that has been equipped with a "road tractor package." This ruling is our decision on the classification of the cab chassis under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA).


The vehicle is identified by you as a Ford CFT 8000 "road tractor" which, as imported, will be equipped with all of the essential components, except for the fifth wheel, for use in pulling a trailer or semi-trailer. The "essential" components consist of a unique braking system which supplies air to a trailer's brakes to permit an operator to control the trailer brakes independently of the motor vehicle; additional turn signals to provide increased visibility during turns; and a modified electrical system to provide electrical power to a trailer. These items constitute a "tractor package."

The CFT 8000, equipped with the tractor package, is a tilt-cab motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVW) of 51,000 lbs. It is powered by a compression-ignition diesel engine and has an extra heavy duty tandem rear axle.

It will be available in three wheelbases of 189, 207, and 225 inches (overall length of 326, 350, and 374 inches, respectively), and will have a length of 159, 177, and 195 inches from behind the cab to the rear axle (the CA) and a length of 84, 90, and 96 inches from the rear axle to the end of the frame (the AF), respectively. These dimensions are the same as the dimensions for the CFT 8000 cab chassis for cargo van applications. In its condition as imported it will not be fitted with a cargo body, fifth wheel assembly, or machinery or equipment on the rear frame section of the chassis.

You believe that the CFT 8000, when equipped with the tractor package, is classifiable under subheading 8701.20.00, HTSUSA, as a road tractor for semi-trailers. In support of this position, you state that the tractor package is specifically added for trailer or semi-trailer towing uses, and that the extended frame length and wheelbase is not unlike those offered in the CTL 9000 series tractors. Furthermore, you state that the extended frame length and wheelbase will provide the flexibility of a unit that can be modified to meet all market conditions, and that it is easier and safer to shorten the frame and wheelbase than it is to lengthen them.


Is the CFT 8000, equipped with a tractor package for towing trailers or semi-trailers, an unfinished road tractor for semi-trailers or is it a cab chassis for motor vehicles for the transport of goods?


The headings in issue are heading 8701 which provides for tractors (other than tractors of heading 8709), heading 8704, which provides for motor vehicles for the transport of goods, and heading 8706, which provides for chassis fitted with engines, for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. In this case, the relevant legal note is note 4, chapter 87, which states as follows:

4. Motor chassis fitted with cabs fall in headings 8702 to 8704, and not in heading 8706.

The article in question is a motor vehicle chassis fitted with a cab. It lacks a cargo body or any platform or equipment for transporting goods or pulling a trailer or other machinery. It fits within the meaning of the phrase "motor chassis fitted with cabs" and, therefore, does not fall within heading 8706.

The CFT 8000, equipped with the tractor package, is otherwise indistinguishable from the CFT 8000, which is a motor chassis or cab chassis designed for cargo van applications. The tractor package is designed to permit a motor vehicle to tow all types of road trailers, including, of course, the type of trailers known as semi-trailers.

Note 2, chapter 87, states as follows:

2. For "the purposes of this chapter, "tractors" means vehicles constructed essentially for hauling or pushing another vehicle, appliance or load, whether or not they contain subsidiary provision for the transport, in connection with the main use of the tractor, of tools, seeds, fertilizers or other goods.

The addition of the tractor package to the CFT 8000, which is otherwise a cab chassis used for cargo vans, does not make this motor vehicle an unfinished tractor which is "constructed essentially" for the purposes identified in note 2, chapter 87, HTSUSA. It is a motor chassis, as the term is defined in note 2, chapter 87, HTSUSA, which has been equipped with a trailer towing package. Motor chassis are classified in headings 8702 to 8704.

We also note that the length of the frame from the rear axle to the end of the frame (the AF measurement) is the same as that for the CFT 8000 without the tractor package. None of the specifications for road tractors (whether in the Cargo series or the CLT 9000 series) includes a comparable AF measurement. Although the CLT 9000 series, which is a road tractor series as indicated in the brochure submitted by you, includes vehicles with a wheelbase that is the same as or longer than the CLT 8000, the CA measurement does not exceed 122 inches and there is no measurement given for the AF. We conclude that the CFT 8000 with a tractor package (trailer towing package) is, as you state, a vehicle which offers the flexibility of a unit that can be modified to meet all market conditions, which would include modification by shortening of the frame to make the motor chassis suitable for use as a road tractor. But in its condition as imported, it remains classified as a motor chassis.


The CFT 8000 motor chassis, equipped with a tractor package, is classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods, other, with compression-ignition internal combustion engine, with a G.V.W. exceeding 20 metric tons, in subheading 8704.23.00, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the rate of 25 percent ad valorem pursuant to subheading 9903.87.00, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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