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HQ 083669

May 8, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083669 VEA


TARIFF NO.: 8704.22.50

William T. Clune
Ameri-Can Customshouse Brokers, Inc.
Peace Bridge Plaza
Buffalo, New York 14213-2488

RE: Classification of a mobile security shredder imported from Canada

Dear Mr. Clune:

In a letter dated January 19, 1989, you requested a ruling on behalf of your client, Shred-Tech Inc., on the classifica- tion of a mobile security shredder, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS). This ruling is our decision on that request.


The descriptive literature submitted with your request describes the article as a mobile security shredder truck. The vehicle is a diesel powered, van-type delivery truck equipped with a paper shredding and compacting machine. It is manufactured by Shred-Tech Limited, a Canadian company specializing in reduction engineering and manufacturing.

The body of the vehicle consists of the shredding area and the cargo area. The shredding compartment includes the shredder, the controls, the loading hopper, the paper compactor and loading doors on both sides of the vehicle. Auxiliary equipment contained in the shredder area include an oil cooler opening, a shredder opening, a window, two side doors, a step ladder and rail, and a dome light. The cargo area has a chute or door opening built into its side wall. The dimensions of the shredder and cargo area are as follows. The shredder area is 180-1/2 inches long and 93-7/8 inches wide. The cargo area is 84-1/2 inches long and 93-7/8 inches wide. The gross vehicle weight is 29,500 lbs.

The shredder operates when bags of paper are placed in the shredder hopper and the controls are pushed or pulled. The shredded paper is then pushed through a compactor and into the cargo van area of the truck through a chute in the wall. The unit shreds paper at a rate of approximately 1,000 lbs. per hour, and can store approximately 8,000 lbs. of shredded paper. The entire body of the truck can be hydraulically lifted for dumping at a landfill or recycling site.

The importer states that the shredder truck will be imported into the United States in either of two situations. The vehicle will either be manufactured and assembled in Canada from a chassis and body produced in Canada, or a truck chassis will be purchased from a U.S. manufacturer and shipped to Shred-Tech for installation of the body.


Whether the mobile shredder unit is properly classifiable as a special purpose motor vehicle under heading 8705, subheading 8705.90.00, or as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods under heading 8704, subheading 8704.22.5080.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) govern classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. GRI 1 states that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and to any relative section or chapter notes. The relevant headings at issue in this case include:

8705 Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods (for example, wreckers, mobile cranes, fire fighting vehicles, concrete mixers, road sweepers, spraying vehicles, mobile workshops, mobile radiological units):

8705.90.00 Other

8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods:

Other, with compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine (diesel or semi- diesel):

8704.22 G.V.W. not exceeding 5 metric tons but not exceeding 20 metric tons

8704.22.50 Other

8704.22.5080 G.V.W. exceeding 15 metric tons but not exceeding 20 metric tons

Under GRI 1, the motor vehicle at issue in this case cannot be classified in heading 8705. To qualify for classification in this heading, a vehicle must be a special purpose motor vehicle. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level, although not legally binding, offer some guidance on interpreting provisions under the HTS. The Explanatory Notes for heading 8705 state that the primary purpose of vehicles covered in this heading is not the transport of persons or goods. They are equipped with various devices that enable them to perform certain non-transport functions. Although such a motor vehicle transports the device to a specific location, once the vehicle is at the location, the device and vehicle act as a unit to perform a special function.

The shredder truck in this case does not meet the special purpose requirement under heading 8705. The mobile shredder truck and shredder function as two separate units. The truck transports the shredder to a specific location where paper is picked up and shredded. The truck then transports the shredded paper to a landfill or recycling site. Thus, the motor vehicle's primary function is to transport the shredder and the shredded paper.

Based on the language of the heading, the vehicle in this case should be classified in heading 8704. Heading 8704 provides for motor vehicles which are specifically designed to
transport goods. The primary purpose of the motor vehicle in this case is to transport the shredder to various sites to collect paper and then to transport the shredded paper to a landfill or recycling site. The shredder function is incidental to the principal function of the entire unit which is to transport. Although the vehicle contains an on-site shredder, this adds to its overall convenience and does not detract from its primary function of transporting.

Motor vehicles classified in heading 8704 are dutiable at 25 percent, or are duty free under the Automotive Products Trade Act (APTA), if they meet the conditions in General Note 3(c)(iii) of the HTS. This note states that motor vehicles classified under heading 8704 may be entered duty free under APTA, if they are Canadian articles. An article originates in Canada and is a Canadian article if it meets the conditions listed in General Note 3(c)(vii).

Under the facts presented in this case, we cannot determine whether the vehicle meets the conditions of General Note 3(c)(vii). A copy of that provision is enclosed with this ruling.


The mobile shredder truck is properly classifiable as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods under heading 8704, subheading 8704.22.5080, if it has a compression-ignition internal combustion engine, and its G.V.W. exceeds 15 metric tons, but does not exceed 20 metric tons; and is dutiable at 25%; or is duty free if it satisfies the conditions under APTA.


John Durant, Director

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