United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0086217 - HQ 0086302 > HQ 0086225

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 086225

April 10, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086225 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 9024.10.00

Mr. Charles T. Connors
Director of Consulting
Livingston Consulting Group
130 Albert St., Ste. 407
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1P5G4

RE: Wave Generating Apparatus

Dear Mr. Connors:

This responds to your request dated December 14, 1989, on behalf of W. R. Davis Engineering Limited, for a classification ruling on certain wave generating apparatus. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of various models of wave generating apparatus which simulate sea states for the purpose of designing and testing marine vessels and structures. The apparatus can also be used to test wave energy devices and study coastal erosion. The wave making components consist of a series of stainless steel waveboards which are powered by computer controlled linear hydraulic actuators. The waveboards can be hinged for flapper-like motion, stroked horizontally or moved with a combination of the two modes to produce regular or irregular wave patterns in a test tank.

The user programs the desired wave shape, size and frequency using a dedicated system of computers. Feedback control signals are provided to the computer through waveboard displacement sensors and wave height probes. The wave generating apparatus come in five models, the Minigen, Maxigen, Modugen, Multigen and Powergen.


1) Are the wave generating apparatus classified as machines for testing the mechanical properties of materials, in Heading 9024, or as mechanical appliances having individual functions not specified elsewhere, in Heading 8479?

2) Are the wave generating apparatus eligible for the reduced duty treatment provided in subheading 9810.00.60?


Heading 9024 describes "[m]achines and appliances for testing the hardness, strength, compressibility, elasticity, or other mechanical properties of materials...". The determination of whether the merchandise is classifiable in Heading 9024 turns on whether the articles tested are "materials" and whether marine stability and durability are "mechanical properties" under Heading 9024.

An analysis of the Explanatory Notes to Heading 9024, pp. 1504-1505 reveals that the term "materials" is broadly interpreted. It includes "manufactured articles (usually carefully selected or standard specimens)" and "test-pieces, bars, wire, cables, springs, etc.". It is thus clear that Heading 9024 covers apparatus which test assembled articles as well as raw materials. Tests on assembled articles would be principally designed to determine how well the articles perform their intended functions. Tests performed on scale models of vessels and structures are designed to determine how well these assembled articles perform their intended functions (i.e. marine stability and durability). Further, tests to determine the stability and durability of assembled articles inherently involve testing mechanical properties (e.g. strength, hardness) of the articles' constituent materials. For these reasons the assembled scale models of vessels and structures tested by the apparatus under consideration are "materials" under Heading 9024.

The question remains as to whether marine stability and durability are "mechanical properties" contemplated by Heading 9024. The Explanatory Notes to 9024, p. 1505 provide that "[f]atigue tests" are covered by Heading 9024. The particular fatigue tests listed by the Explanatory Notes are conducted by rotating test pieces at high speeds, and alternately reversing the torsional direction of test pieces. Tests for marine stability and durability are not listed; however, the list in the Explanatory Notes is illustrative, not restrictive.

The fatigue tests conducted by the apparatus described in the Notes are similar to those performed by the wave generating
apparatus. Like the rotating and reverse direction tests, the wave generating apparatus subject scale vessel models to tremendous fatigue by tossing them about in simulated rough seas and causing them to sway back and forth and dip up and down in sudden jerking motions. The wave generating apparatus similarly subject scale models of stationary structures (e.g. oil drilling platforms, breakwaters) to the fatigue of strong currents and the constant pounding of waves. The Explanatory Notes, p. 1505 further provide that "[t]est pieces are not only submitted to simple stresses...but are also subjected to compound and varying stresses." The stability and durability of the scale model vessels and marine structures in response to the varying stresses produced by the wave generating apparatus are "mechanical properties" contemplated by Heading 9024.

Heading 9024 apparatus do not have to actually give a reading of the test results. The test results can be ascertained by examining the material with a non-Heading 9024 device (e.g. a microscope; see Explanatory Notes, p. 1504). Heading 9024 apparatus include "...large mechanically, electrically or hydraulically operated machines of considerable weight (several tons)...". Explanatory Notes, p. 1504.

The wave generating apparatus under consideration is classifiable in Heading 9024. Heading 9024 provides a much more specific description of the article than Heading 8479 (further, Chapter 90 articles are excluded from being classified in Chapter 84 by virtue of Section XVI Note 1(m)). It would appear that the principal use of the apparatus is testing metal; the wave generating apparatus is thus classified in subheading 9024.10.00.

According to Chapter 98, Subchapter X, U.S. Note 6(a), articles classified in subheading 9024.10.00 are among the articles which can be considered for the reduced duty treatment provided in subheading 9810.00.60. To obtain the benefits of subheading 9810.00.60, the procedures outlined in Chapter 98, Subchapter X, U.S. Notes 6(b) through 6(f) must be followed. Enclosed for your information is a Form ITA 338P and a copy of 15 CFR Part 301.


The wave generating apparatus are classified in 9024.10.00, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: