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HQ 087304

August 29, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087304 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8459.69.00

Mr. Greg Reinen
Siber Hegner North America Inc.
One Landmark Square
Stamford, CT 06901

RE: Combination metal drilling, boring and milling machine; machine tools for boring, milling, and drilling; boring- milling machines, other milling machines, bed-type milling machines

Dear Mr. Reinen:

Your April 25, 1990, request for a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA") for certain boring, milling and drilling machines was referred to this office for a reply. Your request for confidentiality has been noted.


The machine in question is a vertical spindle boring, milling and drilling machine imported from Taiwan. The machine will be invoiced from Long Chang Machinery Co., Ltd. of Taiwan as the "LC-5CV" and marketed in the United States. In this ruling the machine will be referred to as the "MT". This model features heavily ribbed castings, a sliding head ram, a counterweight to offset the head and slide weight, class 7 angular thrust bearings, automatic quill downfeed, ballscrews in the x, y and z axes, a vertical hand feed for boring, and a continuous 14 inch z-axis feed for boring and drilling of deeper holes. The x and y axes of this machine are on a fixed bed, they are not supported by a vertically moving knee. The MT is marketed as a combination boring, drilling and milling machine.


Whether the MT is classified under subheading 8459.69.00, HTSUSA, as "Machine tools (including way-type unit head machines) for drilling, boring, milling...Other milling
machines...Other...", or classified under subheading 8549.39.00, HTSUSA, as "Machine tools (including way-type unit head machines) for drilling, boring, milling... Other boring-milling machines...Other...".


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes..." Heading 8459, HTSUSA, describes "Machine tools (including way-type unit head machines) for drilling, boring, milling..." The MT is covered by this heading.

Once the heading is resolved, the proper subheading must then be determined. According to GRI 6, HTSUSA, goods must meet the terms of the subheading and the legal notes under GRI 1 just as they must for the headings. The subheadings in contention are as follows:

8459.39.00 Other boring-milling machines... Other...

8459.69.00 Other milling machines...Other...

The subject machine tool performs milling, boring and drilling. According to Chapter 84, Note 7, HTSUSA, a machine used for more than one purpose is to be classified according to its principal purpose.

It is the opinion of this office that the milling capability of this machine is the principal function. Within the advertising literature submitted with the ruling request, the predecessor to the machine in question is compared to "comparable knee type mills", and is referred to as a "job shop milling machine" and a "2hp job shop mill." The milling features of the former machine tool are stressed and appear to be the principal function of the machine. Since the machine in question is substantially similar to its predecessor, the milling functions would also be the principal function.

In accordance with Chapter 84, Note 7, GRI 1 and GRI 6, milling is the principal function of the MT. The appropriate classification is in subheading 8459.69.00 as "Machine tools (including way-type unit head machines) for drilling, boring, milling...Other milling machines...Other..."


The machine tool in question, the MT, is able to perform boring, drilling and milling operations. In accordance with GRI 1 and GRI 6, it meets the terms of heading 8459. In accordance with Chapter 84, Note 7, the principle function of the MT is milling. The appropriate classification for the MT is in subheading 8459.69.00 as "Machine tools (including way-type unit head machines) for drilling, boring, milling...Other milling machines...Other..."


The importer notes that the substantially similar predecessor model of the MT was classified as a boring-milling machine in subheading 8459.39.00, HTSUSA. In light of the above analysis, that classification was based on an erroneous interpretation of the tariff language, and is not applicable to the instant articles.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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