United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 NY Rulings > NY 0862330 - NY 0862497 > NY 0862497

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

NY 862497

May 3, 1991



TARIFF NO.: 8704.21.0000

Mr. David J. Washburn
General Manufacturing of Utah, Inc.
1635 S. State Street
Orem, Utah 84058

RE: The tariff classification of underground mining trucks from Japan

Dear Mr. Washburn:

In your letter dated March 26, 1991 you requested a tariff class- ification ruling. This inquiry is a supplement to your letter dated October 2, 1990, and contains additional information. You have submitted photo- graphs and descriptive material. You have also presented letters from the United States Department of Transportation and United States Environmental Protection Agency explaining their definitions of motor vehicles.

The three models to be imported are the Isuzu pickup, 4 wheel drive with standard cab; the Isuzu pickup, 4 wheel drive with crew cab; and the Isuzu pickup, 2 wheel drive with standard drive. The point of origin for these vehicles is Isuzu Motors Ltd., of Japan, and their final destination will be underground mining operations in the United States. The vehicles (which are pickup trucks) will be brought into the Foreign Trade Zone (F.T.Z.) in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the following modifications will be performed on all the vehicles:

1. The governor spring on the engine injection pump will be modified to limit the engine speed to 3500 rpm maximum.

2. 5th and 4th speed gears will be removed from the transmission to limit vehicle speed to 25 mph maximum.

3. A perimeter protection package, including heavy duty front and rear bumpers, will be installed on each truck as illustrated in the three enclosed photographs.

4. An on-board fire suppression system will be installed, capable of extinguishing fires in the engine compartment, the fuel tank, or the exhaust system area.

If the truck is a four wheel drive model, the following will be performed in the F.T.Z.

1. The transfer case will be locked in the "4WD-Low Range" position to limit vehicle speed to 25 mph maximum.

If the truck is a two wheel drive model, the following will be performed in the F.T.Z.

1. 3rd speed gear will be removed from the transmission to limit vehicle speed to 22 mph maximum.

2. The cab roof will be cut off most of the 2 wheel drive standard cab long bed model trucks, to allow them to operate in lower clearance mines.

You indicate that the work done in the F.T.Z. changes the design of the transmission, the transfer case and the injection pump. No other modifications are contemplated on the engine, suspension or steering system. For mine use, it is likely that you will install protective guards on the constant velocity joints on the front drive axle of all 4 wheel drive models. This will probably occur outside the F.T.Z. The trucks will use the same windshield glass that is imported with the trucks. Most trucks will use the imported tires, unless low-profile tires are specified by a particular client. Special lighting equipment is included in the design of the perimeter guard package to facilitate turning corners in a dark underground environment. The lunch boxes and oxygen self-rescuer boxes are only placed in the cargo area for easy removal. The desire of the purchasers is to use the trucks for the transportation of both personnel and supplies or tools. It is your contention that the modified vehicles will closely resemble other types of mining equipment more than they will resemble above ground pickup trucks. You request a classification for the trucks which will designate them as specialized mining equipment.

Your letter of October 2, 1990 listed the following specifications for the vehicles:

Dual Cab Single Cab

Wheelbase 119 inches 105 inches
Overall length 194 " 177 "
Overall width 66 " 66 "
Overall height 67 " 66 "
Seat capacity 6 passengers 3 passengers
Doors 4 2
Payload (including passengers) 2,016 pounds 1,566 pounds
Engine diesel, 4 cylinder, 2.5 liters
Transmission manual manual
Gross Vehicle
Weight (G.V.W.) 5,400 pounds 4,520 pounds

Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (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 the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. Heading 8704 provides for motor vehicles for the transport of goods. The overall features of the vehicles in issue here indicate that they are designed principally to transport supplies and tools. The fact that they are off-road vehicles only and not licensed for highway use is a further indication that they are not designed to transport persons. Even if they were, there is no evidence that they are principally designed to transport persons. Similarly, the subject vehicles are not of a construction or design resembling mining equipment and machines.

The applicable subheading for the underground mining vehicles will be 8704.21.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for motor vehicles for the transport of goods, other,with compression ignition internal combustion piston engine (diesel or semi-diesel), G.V.W. not exceeding 5 metric tons. The rate of duty on motor vehicles (valued at $1,000 or more) for the transportation of goods is temporarily increased to 25 percent ad valorem under subheading 9903.87.00, HTS.

You also asked for information regarding possible duty credits for vehicles that are imported into the United States and then re-exported to Canada in new condition, for sale there. We suggest that you address this question to the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229-0001.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: