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HQ 089556

July 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089556 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8466.91.50

Ms. Anne Elick
Rodel, Inc.
9495 East San Salvador Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

RE: Classification of MH Polishing Pads

Dear Ms. Elick:

This is in response to your letter of May 3, 1991, concerning the classification of "MH Polishing Pads" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA).


The subject polishing pads are made of polyurethane plastic and are designed for polishing a variety of surfaces including glass, ceramics, semiconductor wafers and aluminum disks. The pads are used in connection with double sided polishing machines, themselves classified as machine tools under subheading 8464.20.00, HTSUSA. These machines grind, lap and polish both sides of a workpiece simultaneously. During double side processing, workpieces are placed between upper and lower lapping plates, which are rotated in opposite directions. Sandwiched between the plates is a water or oil vehicle with grinding abrasives (slurry), whose cutting edges allow the flatness of each plate to be copied onto the surface of the workpieces.

The polishing pads are used during the polishing process to achieve the desired finish. They can be used for an estimated 8 to 48 hours, depending on what material the pads are polishing. The pads are used with a slurry because the polishing generates heat which is then cooled by the slurry. Through a telephone conversation with a representative of Rodel, Inc., it was determined that the polishing pads are essential to the operation of the double sided polishing machines during the polishing process and are not accessories even though they are characterized as such in the descriptive literature.


What is the classification of the MH polishing pads?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

As was noted by a representative of Rodel, Inc., the polishing pads are essential to the operation of the double sided polishing machines. The first question to be answered is whether the polishing pads can be considered parts to the polishing machines. Whether an article is a part of another article depends on the nature of the so-called "part" and its usefulness, function and purpose in relation to the article in which it is designed to serve. Kores Manufacturing Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 178, 179 (1982), aff'd appeal No. 82-83 (C.A.F.C. 1983).

Because of the nature of the polishing pads and their essential usefulness to the function and purpose of the double sided polishing machines, they are classifiable as parts under the HTSUSA. The period of time to which the polishing pads are useful, compared to the life of the machine, is not relevant in determining whether they are parts.

The importer claims that the pads are classifiable under Heading 3920, HTSUSA, which provides for other sheets of plastic. The pads may not be classified under that heading because they are circular, not rectangular, and thus, are not sheets.

For the foregoing reasons, we find that the MH polishing pads are classifiable under subheading 8466.91.50, HTSUSA, as parts for use solely with the machines of heading 8464, HTSUSA.


The MH polishing pads are classifiable under subheading 8466.91.50, HTSUSA, which provides for Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with the machines of headings 8456 to 8465: Other: Other. The general, column one rate of duty is 4.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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