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HQ 083969

May 26, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 083969 JAS


TARIFF NO. 7326.20.0050; 7326.90.9090; 9817.00.5000

Ms. Loretta J. Evans
Arthur J. Fritz & Co.
P.O. Drawer G
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Tree Crosses and Tree Moving Baskets of Wire

Dear Ms. Evans:

In your letter of February 6, 1989, to the District Director of Customs at Blaine, you request a ruling on certain wire containment articles from Canada used to protect the root systems of shrubs and small trees during transport. Our ruling follows.


Tree crosses, also called wire B & B supports, are 5- pointed wire articles, produced from various gauges of galvanized steel wire. They are used primarily by nurserymen to contain and protect the root systems of shrubs and small trees dug by hand, during delivery to a display area or job site. The shrubs and trees are placed in the center of these crosses lying flat on the ground and the wire tines bent up and in and secured with twine.

Tree moving baskets are wire containers made from various gauges of galvanized steel wire with loops at the top. They are used to protect the root systems of larger shrubs and trees dug by hand and by machine. The loops of these baskets are bent inward and secured by twine. Both the tree crosses and wire baskets can be removed before planting but are often left on the dirt ball to rust away in the ground.

You note that these articles have previously qualified for duty-free entry under item 666.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), as other agricultural or horticultural implements not specially provided for.


Are tree crosses and tree moving baskets, of wire, classifiable free of duty as agricultural and horticultural implements, or under other applicable tariff provisions?


Agricultural machines, machinery and equipment, and their parts, are classifiable under various duty-free provisions in Chapter 84, Harmonized Traiff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). There is no equivalent provision in Chapter 84 for articles previously classified under item 666.00, TSUS, as agricultural and horticultural implements.

Under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), classification for legal purposes shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. For purposes of Chapter 73, HTSUSA, the word "wire" means hot or cold-formed products of any cross-sectional shape, of which no cross-sectional dimension exceeds 16 mm. See Chapter 73, Note 2, HTSUSA. Accordingly, tree crosses and tree moving baskets, of wire, meeting this definition, are classifiable under the provision for other articles of iron or steel wire, in subheading 7326.20.0050. Those articles not meeting this definition are classifiable as other articles of iron or steel, in subheading 7326.90.9090, HTSUSA. the rate of duty under both provisions is 5.7 percent ad valorem.

Subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUSA, provides for the duty- free entry of machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultutal purposes. This is an actual use provision. Notwithstanding the existence of a competing provision or provisions in the HTSUSA, articles are eligible for classification in subheading 9817.00.5000 if the conditions and requirements thereof and any applicable regulations are met. In this case, the tree crosses and tree moving baskets are not eligible for classification in subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUSA, because with certain stated exceptions articles provided for in Chapter 73 are excluded from classification in this subheading. See Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2(ij), HTSUSA.


Tree crosses and tree moving baskets, of wire, are classifiable in subheading 7326.20.0050 or in subheading 7326.90.9090, as appropriate. They are not classifiable in subheading 9817.00.5000 for the reason stated.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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