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HQ 087434

OCT 18 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 087434 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7306.30.1000, 7306.30.50, HTSUSA

Alex Romero, Jr.
A. F. Romero & Co., Inc.
477 Railroad Blvd., P.O. Box 989
Calexico, California 92231-0989

RE: Double Walled Pipes

Dear Mr. Romero:

In your letter of June 19, 1990, on behalf of American Metal Products, Los Angeles, you inquire as to the tariff status of double walled pipes used in gas vent systems. They will be assembled in Mexico from pipe sections of U.S. origin. Our ruling follows.


The pipes in issue are round and will be either 3, 4, 5, or 6 inches in diameter (76.2, 101.6, 127.0, and 152.4 mm.) and from 6, 12, and 24 inches and 3, 4, and 5 feet in length. They will consist of an inner pipe of aluminum within an outer pipe of galvanized steel. The aluminum pipes will have a wall thickness of .012 inch. The pipes are connected by snap-lock coupling ends. This means that each pipe section will have raised humps on one end and slits on the other end. The humps of one pipe will be press fit into the slits of the other and a spot weld applied. Both pipes have rolled seams (known in the trade as open seams) where the edges overlap and are rolled together under pressure.

Flue gases flow in the inner pipe while the outer pipe is corrosion-resistant and gives strength, safety and durability. The air space between the two pipes provides insulation against heat loss and keeps the warmer flue gases on the rise, thus minimizing pollution and condensation damage.


Whether double walled pipes are regarded for tariff purposes as tubes, pipes and hollow profiles.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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 such headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

In addition, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not binding and therefore not dispositive, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. See T.D. 89- 80. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted.

Relevant ENs indicate in part that the tubes and pipes of Chapter 73 are concentric hollow products, of uniform cross- section, with only one enclosed void along their whole length. Hollow profiles, on the other hand, are hollow products not conforming to the above definition and mainly those not having their inner and outer surfaces of the same form. The double walled pipes are regarded as hollow profiles for tariff purposes. Because steel is the base metal that predominates by weight, they are considered articles of steel for tariff purposes. See Section XV, Note 5, HTSUSA. Likewise, because it is the component which conveys the chimney flue gases, the inner aluminum pipe is relevant where issues of wall thickness are concerned.


Pursuant to GRI 1, the round double walled pipes are provided for in heading 7306, other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (for example, open seamed or welded, riveted or similarly closed), of iron or steel. If having a wall thickness of less than 1.65 mm. the pipes are classifiable in 7306.30.1000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 8 percent ad valorem. If having a wall thickness of 1.65 mm. or more the pipes are classifiable in subheading 7306.30.50, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 1.9 percent ad valorem.

This ruling applies only to double walled pipes with a circular cross section. Such pipes having oval cross sections are classifiable is appropriate subheadings of heading 7306 calling for noncircular cross sections.

We are satisfied that assembling of the double walled pipes in Mexico from pipe sections of U.S. origin, as described, does not result in a new and different article of commerce, one having a new name, character or use. Consequently, for purposes of the United States-Mexico steel arrangement, the double walled pipes will not be considered products of Mexico upon their return to the Customs territory.

The questions raised concerning country of origin marking and applicability of heading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, will be answered separately.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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