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HQ 087181

SEPT 7 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 087181 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8704.21.0000, HTSUSA

Ms. Jill Cuomo
Miller Technology, Inc.
1839 Seymour St.
Site 9, Comp.11, R.R. No. 3
North Bay, Ontario, Canada P1B8G4

RE: Mine Utility Vehicle

Dear Ms. Cuomo:

In a letter dated May 7, 1990, you ask that we reconsider a previous ruling to your company on the tariff status of a mine vehicle from Japan. No alternative classification is proposed.


In a letter dated April 24, 1990 (851136), the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, ruled that the Toyota BJ75 Landcruiser, modified in Canada into an underground mining utility conveyance for passengers and cargo, was classified as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods, in subheading 8704.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The rate of duty has been temporarily increased to 25 percent ad valorem under subheading 9903.87.00, HTSUSA.

The vehicle entering Canada is a 3,000 lb. capacity, off- road truck chassis with open 2-seat cab (no doors) and rear heavy-duty bed 71 in. wide and either 6 ft. 6 in. or 8 ft. long. The following are standard features: 4 x 4 Toyota 113 hp. diesel engine with 4 speed manual transmission, heavy duty leaf spring suspension, power brakes and steering, and 4 storage boxes for tools and other gear mounted parallel on either side of the rear bed. You adapt this vehicle in Canada
by adding a rollover frame to the top and sides of the cab and bed, reinforcing the front and rear bumpers, adding extra leafs to the suspension and adapting the braking system to mine use. In addition, you install a 2-speed transfer case which locks the gear shift mechanism in the low range, thus restricting the maximum speed of the vehicle to 30 kph. Finally, you install cushioned seats and backs over the 12-inch wide rear storage boxes. This creates seating capacity for 6 persons in the rear, in addition to the driver and one passenger in the cab.


Whether the mine vehicle is principally designed for the transport of persons or is designed for the transport of goods.


Merchandise is classifiable under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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 and, provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. Heading 8703 provides for motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons (emphasis added). The rate of duty is 2.5 percent ad valorem. Heading 8704 provides for motor vehicles for the transport of goods.

It is the design features, rather than principal or sole use, which determine whether a particular motor vehicle is encompassed by heading 8703. The overall features of the vehicle in issue here indicate to us that it was designed principally to transport tools and gear. The frame and heavy- duty suspension, for example, are cargo-carrying features, as are the built-in tool boxes and rear bed. The fact that this is an off-road vehicle only and not licensed for highway use is a further indication that it was not designed to transport persons. Even if it were, there is no evidence that it was principally designed to transport persons.


The Toyota BJ75 mine vehicle does not qualify for classification in heading 8703. Under the authority of GRI 1 it is provided for in heading 8704 as a motor vehicle for the transport of goods. Actual classification is in subheading 8704.21.0000, HTSUSA, other motor vehicles for the transport of
goods, with compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine and g.v.w. not exceeding 5 metric tons.


For the stated reasons, the ruling to you from the Area Director of Customs, dated April 24, 1990 (851136), is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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