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HQ 555445

April 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C 555445 RA


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80

Mr. John W. Cain
Cain Customs Brokers
P.O. Box 150
Hildago, Texas 78557

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to automobile pick-up coil assemblies

Dear Mr. Cain:

This is in response to your three letters, each dated July 12, 1989, on behalf of the Wells Manufacturing Co., requesting rulings concerning the tariff treatment of certain automobile pick-up coil assemblies from Mexico. We regret the delay in responding to your requests.


Your client will begin assembling in Mexico pick-up coil items which will serve to supply an electrical timing pulse or signal to fire the spark plugs on Ford, General Motors, or Chrysler automobile engines. The assembly steps undertaken in the case of the Ford coil assemblies consist of (1) staking a bushing to a steel plate, (2) pressing two posts into holes in the plate, (3) pressing an encapsulated coil to a pole piece, (4) attaching a coil/pole assembly and a magnet to the plate assembly with liquid rivets, and (5) magnetizing the magnet with an electrical magnetizing machine.

The assembly steps for the General Motors' coil item consist of (1) swaging a bushing to the housing, (2) attaching the coil assembly, magnet, and pole piece to the housing with screws, and (3) inserting the lead wires from the coil into the terminal housing.

The Chrysler product is assembled by (1) riveting a bar, bracket, and magnet together, (2) pressing the coil and magnet assembly together to form the sensor assembly, (3) swaging a post to a plate to form the trigger plate assembly, (4) riveting the sensor and trigger plate assembly together, (5) testing the assembly for continuity and coil resistance, and (6) turning a lock screw through the clearance hole of the sensor into the trigger plate.


Whether the assembly operations performed abroad qualify the returned pick-up coil assemblies for tariff treatment under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS?


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components of U.S. origin with no operations performed thereon except the joining of the components and operations incidental thereto. The U.S. components must be exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, and cannot lose their physical identity in the assembled article by change in form, shape, or otherwise. Duty is assessed on the full appraised value of the imported merchandise less the cost or value of the U.S.-made components, upon compliance with the documentation requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), states that the assembly operations may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components and may be preceded, accompanied, or followed by operations incidental to the assembly process. However, 19 CFR 10.16(c) provides that any significant process, operation, or treatment other than assembly whose primary purpose is the fabrication, completion, or physical or chemical improvement of a component shall not be regarded as incidental to the assembly and shall preclude the application of the exemption to such article.

With respect to the force fitting, soldering, riveting, gluing, and screwing operations performed in Mexico to produce the coil assemblies, these are specifically enumerated in 19 CFR 10.16(a) as acceptable assembly operations for purposes of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Moreover, we are satisfied from the description of the swaging, pressing and staking operations that these are also acceptable assembly operations under 19 CFR 10.16(a), as they serve to securely join solid components together. The testing operation is considered to be incidental to the assembly process pursuant to 19 CFR 10.16(b)(7).

Regarding the magnetizing operation, you indicate that, due to the relatively strong force of the magnet, it would be extremely difficult to assemble it with the other components after it has been magnetized. In view of this, and the fact that the magnetizing operation appears to be a minor one which is logically performed during the assembly proces, it is considered to be incidental to the assembly process. See U.S. v. Mast Industries, Inc., 69 CCPA 47, 668 F. 2d 501 (1981), and Headquarters Ruling Letter 039835 dated May 2, 1975 (magnetizing U.S. ceramic magnet segments abroad following their assembly into electric motors is incidental to the assembly process).


We are of the opinion that the operations performed to make the various pick-up coil assemblies consititute either acceptable assembly operations or operations incidental thereto under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS. Therefore, allowances in duty may be made under this tariff provision for the cost or value of the U.S. fabricated components, upon compliance with the documentation requirements of 19 CFR 10.24.


Jerry Laderberg
Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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