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HQ 086308

April 6, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086308 TLS


TARIFF NOS.: 9603.90.80; 8207.90.60

Mr. Bob Lineberger
Vermont American Tool Company
P.O. Box 340
Lincolnton, North Carolina 28093-0340

RE: Brushes; plug cutters; countersinks

Dear Mr. Lineberger:

Your letter of November 7, 1989 requested that we review pre-entry ruling PC 844218 received from our Wilmington, North Carolina office on the proper tariff classification of various brushes, plug cutters, and countersinks under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The articles at issue include various plug cutters, brushes, and countersinks. The brushes include two curved handle brushes, a shoe handle brush, and a block brush. All of the brushes have wire bristles lined up in either three or four rows. The handles are made of hardwood and are designed to be hand-held. Each brush is marketed to be used for all wire brushing applications.

The plug cutters include a 1/4" plug cutter, a 3/8" plug cutter, a 1/2" plug cutter, and a 5/8" plug cutter. All of them have 1/4" shanks and are made of hard steel alloy. Other than the differences in size, the plug cutters are virtually identical in shape and composition. They are used in woodworking to fill counter-bored holes.

The countersinks range in size from 1/4" in diameter to 3/4". Each is made of steel. They are stated to be designed to bore holes in soft metal and wood. One particular countersink has an adjustable blade which adjusts to the depth desired for the hole.


Under which HTSUSA subheading are the articles properly classifiable.


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. Heading 9603 covers brushes generally. Specifically, subheading 9603.50.00 covers brushes that are parts of machines, appliances, or vehicles. The brushes at issue are not used as parts of any machine, appliance, or vehicle. They are hand-held brushes that cannot be used with any machinery or apparatus. They also are not specifically provided for anywhere under 9603. Therefore, the brushes are properly classifiable under HTSUSA subheading 9603.90.80 as other brushes not covered elsewhere under heading 9603, rather than under 9603.50.00, as advised by our Wilmington office.

The plug cutters and countersinks are covered generally under heading 8207 as interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power-operated. Neither the plug cutters nor the countersinks contain any chromium, molybdenum, or tungsten within their respective chemical compositions. In fact, these tools are composed primarily of iron and manganese by weight. Other chemicals included are carbon, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and lead. These articles are made for use with power-operated handtools. Although the catalogue sheet states that the countersinks can cut through soft metal, it is unlikely that they would have such use and are, in fact, not suitable for cutting metal. None of them have alloy cutting parts and their practical use appears to be for cutting wood. Thus, they are not classifiable under subheading 8207.90.30 as advised by our Wilmington office, but under 8207.90.60 as other interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power operated.


The brushes are classified under subheading 9603.90.80, HTSUSA, as other brushes not specifically covered elsewhere under heading 9603.

The plug cutters and countersinks are classified under subheading 8207.90.60, HTSUSA, as interchangeable tools for handtools.

This ruling reflects the current views of Customs. New York pre-entry ruling PC 844218 is hereby modified pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 177.9(d)(1).


John Durant, Director

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