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HQ 085125

November 15, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:CV:G: 085125 JLV


TARIFF NO.: 8704.22.50; 9903.87.00

Mr. Johannes Kirchhoff
EDELHOFF Polytechnik GmbH & Co
Postfach 5051
5860 Iserlohn 5
West Germany

RE: Garbage truck with compactor, special pick up and dumping device, and removable container body

Dear Mr. Kirchhoff:

In a letter of July 5, 1989, you requested a ruling, on behalf of EDELHOFF Polytechnik GmbH & Co., on the classifica- tion of a motor vehicle designed for the collecting and compacting refuse. Our decision follows.


The Packer I is a motor vehicle that has been designed for the collection and compaction of materials, such as refuse. The motor vehicle has a compactor unit permanently mounted over the front wheels and directly behind and extending in part over the cab. The compactor unit is loaded from the top. The motor vehicle also has a mechanical device, mounted on the front, which will pick up curbside refuse con- tainers (apparently specially designed as to size and form) and dump the contents into the compactor. The cab of the vehicle extends over the front wheels and provides clear visual contact with the loading device. Finally, the motor vehicle is designed for use with a removable container body as the means for storing and transporting compacted refuse. The motor vehicle is equipped with an hydraulic tipping frame which operates to load, secure, and unload a container body.

You state that these motor vehicles are not designed to transport refuse over distances of more than a few miles. The design is for the collection and compaction of refuse.

However, there is no factual information which would limit the motor vehicle to short distance transport. Furthermore, the facts do not indicate whether the vehicle is powered by a compression-ignition engine or a spark-ignition engine, nor do they indicate the gross vehicle weight (G.V.W.).


Is the motor vehicle, described above, a vehicle for the transport of goods within heading 8704, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), or is it a special purpose motor vehicle, other than one principally designed for the transport of goods within heading 8705, HTSUSA?


Motor vehicles, if principally designed for the transport of goods, are among the kinds of vehicles excluded from classification in heading 8705, HTSUSA. In this case, the motor vehicle has a compactor and self-loading device in addition to its container body design which is suitable for the transport of refuse.

There are no section or chapter notes which direct classification to a specific heading. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to headings 87.04 and 87.05 are instructive. The EN to 87.04 state that the heading includes "refuse collectors whether or not fitted with loading, compressing, damping, etc., devices" and "[s]elf-loading vehicles equipped with winches, elevating devices, etc., but designed essentially for transport purposes." The EN to 87.05 state that this heading covers vehicles "specially constructed or adapted, equipped with various devices that enable them to perform certain non- transport functions, i.e., the primary purpose of a vehicle of this heading is not the transport of persons or goods."

The compactor and loading device do not preclude the vehicle from classification within heading 8704. The removable container body is no less a body for the transport of goods than a fixed body or dumper body on a refuse truck. A motor vehicle designed to use a removable container body for transport of refuse is similarly no less a refuse truck than is one designed with a fixed body. Compacting refuse collectors are included in the kinds of motor vehicles in heading 8704.

Heading 8705 covers vehicles which consist, for example, of a specific device, machine or van body containing special equipment, the function of which is not the transport of persons or goods. This equipment is mounted on a motor vehi- cle chassis which serves to transport the equipment. The pri- mary purpose of these vehicles is the operation of the equip- ment, i.e., a non-transport function. Examples of these motor vehicles are: tow trucks, pump trucks, mobile clinics, mobile welders, mobile generator sets, and mobile drilling derricks.

Specifically excluded from heading 8705 are vehicles principally designed for the transport of goods. The EN to 8704 indicate that refuse trucks with compacting devices are within the meaning of motor vehicles "for the transport of goods." This vehicle is designed as a refuse truck, and, therefore, in spite of the "removable container body" is principally designed for the transport of goods.


The Packer I, a self-loading compacting refuse truck, designed with a removable container as the cargo body, is classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods in heading 8704. If it is equipped with a compression-ignition engine and has a G.V.W. exceeding 5 metric tons but not exceeding 20 metric tons, it is classified in subheading 8704.22.50, HTSUSA; if it is equipped with a spark-ignition engine and has a G.V.W. exceeding 5 metric tons, it is classified in subheading 8704.32.00, HTSUSA. Motor vehicles classified in subheadings 8704.22.50 and 8704.32.00 are subject to a duty temporarily increased to 25 percent ad valorem under subheading 9903.87.00, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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