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HQ 089375

September 11, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089375 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8483.60.40

K.K. Carpenter
Mid-South Inc.
666 Riverside Drive
P.O. Box 3080
Memphis, Tennessee 38173

RE: Classification of power take off units (PTO's); 8432.90.00; 9817.00.50; 9817.00.60; "clutches;" EN 84.83(H); Section XVI, note 2(a); HQ 086883; HQ 087076

Dear Mr. Carpenter:

This ruling is in response to your undated request for the classification of power take off units under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The power take off (PTO) unit is a mechanical device which is used to engage or disengage a drive source (engine, etc.) from the device being driven (pump, blower, etc.). It usually bolts around the flywheel of the engine and contains a pressure plate, clutch disc, clutch release bearing, and drive shaft. The PTO rests in between the engine and a pump, and is connected to those units with a drive shaft. A hand lever is mounted on the side and is used to move the release bearing into the pressure plate, forcing it to release the clutch disc, thereby disengaging the engine from the drive shaft (which in turn powers the pump or similar device).

The PTO's under consideration are designed for use solely with irrigation pump systems and for agricultural purposes.


Whether the power take off unit is properly classifiable under subheading 8483.60.40 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "[c]lutches," or under subheading 8432.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of other machinery for agricultural or horticultural use.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Heading 8483, HTSUSA, provides for the classification of "clutches and shaft couplings . . . ." Subheading 8483.60.40, HTSUSA, provides for "[c]lutches." The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to Heading 8483, p. 1328, state that clutches "are used to connect or disconnect the drive at will." See EN 84.83(H). The PTO is a manual clutch used to engage or disengage a drive source from the device being driven, and is, therefore, classifiable under this subheading.

The importer contends that the PTO is entitled to duty free treatment under subheading 8432.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of other machinery for agricultural or horticultural use. However, classification of the PTO is subject to Section XVI, Note 2, which provides that parts of machines are to be classified as follows:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings . . .

Thus, pursuant to Section XVI, Note 2, because the PTO's are classifiable as goods (clutches) under Heading 8483, HTSUSA, they are not classifiable under Heading 8432, HTSUSA.

The only other provisions which could have resulted in duty free treatment of the PTO's are subheadings 9817.00.50, HTSUSA, and 9817.00.60, HTSUSA. To fall within either of these special classification headings, the terms of the headings must be met in accordance with GRI 1. See HQ 086883, dated May 1, 1990; HQ 087076, dated June 14, 1990.

Subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA, describes "[m]achinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural purposes." The PTO does not constitute machinery, equipment or an implement for agricultural use, because it is merely a component of the motor/pump assembly and is not a stand-alone piece of equipment possessing its own function.

Subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUSA, describes the following:

Parts to be used in articles provided for in headings 8432, 8433, 8434 and 8436, whether or not such parts are principally used as parts of such articles and whether or not covered by a specific provision within the meaning of additional U.S. rule of interpretation 1(c).

Headings 8432, 8433, 8434 and 8436 refer to specific types of agricultural and horticultural machinery. The PTO is not provided for in any of these headings, and is, thus, not classifiable under subheading 9817.00.60, HTSUSA.


The PTO's are classifiable under subheading 8483.60.40, HTSUSA, which provides for "clutches." The corresponding rate of duty for this article is 5.7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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