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HQ 087497

OCT 4 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 087497 JAS


TARIFF NO. 7326.90.9090

Judith K. Matta
William F. Joffroy, Inc.
P.O. Box 21041
Phoenix, Arizona 85036

RE: Container Frame Assemblies

Dear Madam:

In your letter of April 14, 1990, on behalf of North American Marketing Ltd., Scottsdale, Arizona, you inquire as to the tariff classification and country of origin marking of container frame assemblies from Czechoslovakia. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of container frame panels of steel, entered unassembled, and includes four sides, one gate assembly, one lid, plus hinge assemblies and frame locking hardware welded in place.

After importation, the importer will zinc plate the steel panels, assemble them, screw six cut-to-size plywood panels to the steel panels, then affix the assembed panels to a wooden pallet by means of steel channels and cleats. The completed articles exceed 300 liters in capacity and are used as shipping containers for dry solid goods or, by inserting a plastic bag, to ship liquids or dry granular goods.

You state that the imported steel panels are unfinished shipping containers of the type classifiable under the provision for reservoirs, tanks, vats, and similar containers for any material, of iron or steel, of a capacity exceeding 300 liters, in subheading 7309.00.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Whether the unassembled steel panels are unfinished containers of heading 7309.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules 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 otherwise require, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. See T.D. 89-80. Customs believes they should always be consulted. ENs at p. 1021 indicate that containers of heading 73.09 are normally installed as fixtures for storage or manufacturing use, e.g., in factories, chemical and dye works, breweries, distilleries and refineries, and to a lesser extent, in houses, shops, etc. Among the types listed are oil reservoirs, vats used in malt houses, vats for liquids, vats for tempering and annealing metal goods, and water storage tanks. Not all containers classifiable in heading 73.09 must be installed as fixtures. Nevertheless, the containers in issue here, when completed, are essentially designed to ship or transport goods. There is no evidence that they are ejusdem generis, that is, of a like class with reservoirs, tanks, and vats, which are essentially used to hold or store goods. We therefore conclude that this merchandise is not classifiable in heading 7309. Because the containers in issue have not been shown to be specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport, we do not believe that heading 8609 applies.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the steel frames in issue are provided for in heading 7326 as other articles of iron or steel. Actual classification is in subheading 7326.90.9090, HTSUSA, dutiable as products of Czechoslovakia at the rate of 45 percent ad valorem.

Copies of this ruling are being sent to Customs officers at Nogales and Los Angeles, as you have informed us that there have been actual importations at those ports.

The country of origin marking issue will be addressed separately.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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