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HQ 085900

February 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085900 TLS


TARIFF NO.: 8704.22.50

Mr. Ken Lewis
Shred-Tech, Ltd.
201 Beverly Street
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada N1R 7G8

RE: Mobile security shredder truck

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Your letter of October 20, 1989, to our New York office requested a ruling on the proper tariff classification of a mobile security shredder truck under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). It has been referred to this office for reply.


The mobile security shredder 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 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 8,000 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.

Customs issued a ruling (HQ 083669) on May 2, 1989, in which it classified the mobile security shredder under HTSUSA subheading 8704.22.50, as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods. You contend that such a classification is improper in light of additional facts which were omitted from the original ruling. You submit that the document shredder will function only through the power of the truck's motor in conjunction with the operation of the truck. We previously stated in the original ruling that the shredder and the shredder truck performed separate functions and operated as two separate units rather than as one unit.


Considering these additional facts, under which of the following HTSUSA headings is the mobile security shredder properly classifiable:

8704, HTSUSA, covering motor vehicles for the transport of goods;

8705, HTSUSA, covering special purpose 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).


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) govern classification of articles under HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In HQ 083669, we decided that the mobile security shredder could not be classified under heading 8705 as a special purpose truck because it did not fit any description provided for under Explanatory Note 87.05 (the Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989)).

This decision was based on the belief that the shredder operated independent of the truck itself. You submit that such is not the case and in fact the shredder can only be operated through the power supplied by the truck's motor when the vehicle is in operation. There is no specific mention of the mobile security shredder truck or any similar vehicle under HTSUSA or the Explanatory Notes.

There are other vehicles listed under EN 87.05 that have devices that perform non-transport functions and are driven by the vehicle's engine, such as motor pump vehicles (EN 87.05 (1)) and concrete-mixer trucks capable of both making and transporting concrete (EN 87.05 (10)). The mobile security shredder has characteristics of both of the aforementioned vehicle-types. The shredding device must be driven by the truck's engine to be operated and truck is capable of both shredding documents and transporting them as well. However, we believe that the mobile security shredder is first and foremost a vehicle for the transport of goods. The transporting function of the truck would remain even if the shredder and compactor were removed; the opposite obviously is not true. Therefore, upon finding that the principal function of this truck is to transport goods, we find that mobile security shredder truck is properly classifiable under heading 8704.


The mobile security shredder truck is classified under subheading 8704.22.50, HTSUSA, as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods, if it has a compression-ignition internal combustion engine, and its G.V.W. does not exceed 29 metric tons.

This ruling affirms Customs decision letter HQ 083669, pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 177.9(d).


John Durant, Director

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