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HQ 089603

June 27, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089603 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8505.90.80

Mr. David Bierman
Colt Equipment Inc.
8300 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63144

RE: Classification of Magnetizing and Demagnetizing Equipment

Dear Mr. Bierman:

This is in response to your letter of May 6, 1991, concerning the classification of magnetizing and demagnetizing equipment under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The magnetizing instruments are generators which produce a very high pulse current by discharging high voltage condensors. A magnetizing device, which contains the piece or system which is to be magnetized, is attached to the magnetizer. A pulse current of 100 A (amps) up to 100,000 A generates a magnetic field which is approximately five times as strong as the coercivity field of the magnetic material. "Webster's Third New International Dictionary", Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Mass., 1986, defines coercivity as "The property of a material determined by the value of the coercive force when the material has been magnetized to saturation." The magnetizing pulse only lasts a fraction of a second. The condensors recharge during the pulse pauses. These magnetizing instruments can be fitted with the demagnetizing equipment.


What is the classification of the magnetizing and demagnetizing equipment under the HTSUSA?


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.

Heading 8505, HTSUSA, provides for electromagnets. In understanding the language of Heading 8505, HTSUSA, the Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). Explanatory Note 85.05 (1) (p.1340) provides for:


These are of various sizes and shapes according to the use for which they are intended. They consist essentially of a coil of wire wound around a core of soft iron, this core being either in one piece or laminated. The passing of electric current in the coil confers magnetic properties on the core, which can then be used either for attraction or repulsion.

Under this description, the magnetizing and demagnetizing equipment are classifiable as electromagnets under Heading 8505, HTSUSA. A pulse current generates an electric field, which can be used for magnetic (attraction) or demagnetic (repulsion) purposes. This is the only purpose that the equipment serves. Since the magnetizing and demagnetizing equipment falls under the description in Explanatory Note 85.05 (1), they are classifiable under Heading 8505, HTSUSA, which provides for electromagnets.


The magnetizing and demagnetizing equipment is classifiable under subheading 8505.90.80, HTSUSA, which provides for:

Electromagnets; permanent magnets and articles intended to become permanent magnets after magnetization; electromagnetic or permanent magnet chucks, clamps and similar holding devices; electromagnetic couplings, clutches and brakes; electromagnetic lifting heads; parts thereof: Other, including parts: Other.

The general, column one rate of duty is 3.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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