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HQ 085579

April 26, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:CV:G: 085579 JLV


TARIFF NO.: 8482.99.10; 8482.99.30

Robert E. Burke, Esq.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
200 East Randolph Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

RE: Cold forgings for inner and outer rings of bearings; forged blanks

Dear Mr. Burke:

In a letter of September 15, 1989, on behalf of your client, you request a ruling on the tariff classification of "certain forged shapes of bearing grade alloy steel to be used in the manufacture of ball and roller bearings" by your client. You also requested confidential treatment for your client's name and the manufacturing information related to the transaction at issue because release of the information would prejudice your client's competitive position. Samples of the forgings have been submitted, together with a detailed diagram which depicts the processing steps from bar to finished product. The general facts set forth in this ruling are sufficient for the decision. However, to the extent that clarification is required, these facts are necessarily subject to the specific facts embodied in the samples and the diagram.


The imported articles consist of forged shapes, of bearing grade alloyed steel, which are realtively short, hollow products having different inside and outside diameters at various sections throughout the length of each forging. After importation, the articles will be processed into inner and outer rings for bearings by cutting and forming operations.

You state that the forged shapes do not have the form or shape of the finished articles. However, we also note that at the time of importation, the forged shapes, from a
manufacturer's knowledge of the merchandise, appear to have the basic outline or configuration of the individual, finished articles, i.e., inner and outer rings for bearings. Furthermore, there is no evidence or claim that the forgings have any other use.

It is your position that the forgings are classified as other articles of iron or steel in heading 7326, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), or, in the alternative, as seamless pipes, tubes, or hollow profiles in heading 7304, HTSUSA, rather than as unfinished parts of bearings or as pipe or tube fittings.


Are the forged shapes classified as unfinished parts of bearings under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 2(a), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated


The competing headings, in this case, are heading 7304 (tubes, pipes, and hollow profiles, seamless), heading 7307 (tube or pipe fittings), heading 7326 (other articles of iron or steel), and heading 8482 (ball or roller bearings, and parts thereof), HTSUSA. If, however, the forgings are classifiable as parts of bearings, then they would not be classifiable in any of the other headings. Legal note 1(f), section XV, excludes articles of section XVI from classification in section XV. Legal note 2(b), section XVI, in pertinent part and subject to exceptions not applicable, directs that certain parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, be classified with the machines of that kind.

GRI 2(a) states, in pertinent part, as follows:

2.(a) Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

The criteria used to determine whether an incomplete or unfinished article has the "essential character" of the complete or finished article may vary with the type of article
in issue. In this case, the forgings will be finished into inner and outer rings of a bearing assembly. The forgings have the recognizable (approximate) shapes of inner rings and outer rings, although it is obvious that significant machining operations must be performed on the forgings before these rings are complete. Because of this "substantial" processing, it is argued that the forgings are not unfinished articles within the meaning of GRI 2(a).

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to GRI 2(a) provide specific guidance on the application of the rule to articles referred to as "blanks." EN (II) to the GRI states as follows:

(II) The provisions of this Rule [2(a)] also apply to blanks unless these are specified in a particular heading. The term "blank" means an article, not ready for direct use, having the approximate shape or outline of the finished article or part, and which can only be used, other than in exceptional cases, for completion into the finished article or part.

Semi-manufactures not yet having the essential shape of the finished articles
(such as is generally the case with bars, discs, tubes, etc.) are not regarded as

We note that EN (II) addresses two criteria for articles which are "blanks" for purposes of GRI 2(a): the approximate shape or outline, and the sole use for completion into the article. The degree or substantial nature of the processing required to finish the blank is not addressed. In this case, the forgings satisfy these criteria: they have the approximate shape or outline of the finished articles, and, absent evidence to the contrary, they are only used for completion into inner and outer rings for bearings. Therefore, they are blanks for inner and out rings for bearings and have the essential character of the finished articles so as to be classified as the finished articles.


The forgings, which must be cut and machined after importation, are blanks which are unfinished inner and outer rings and classified as parts of ball or roller bearings in
subheading 8482.99.10 or 8482.99.30, HTSUSA, depending on whether they are blanks for ball bearings or for tapered roller bearings.


Jerry C. Laderberg

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