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HQ 089574

SEPT 27 1991

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 089574 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8413.70.20, 8421.29.00, HTSUSA

Mr. Melvin S. Schwechter
Coopers & Lybrand
1301 Avenues of the Americas
New York, New York 10019-6013

RE: Downhole Submersible Oil Pump and Gas Diffuser/Separator; Downhole String Components; Filtering Machinery for Liquids

Dear Mr. Schwechter:

In your letter of May 30, 1991, on behalf of Ramco Alnas Limited, Aberdeen, Scotland, you inquire as to the tariff classification and basis of appraisement of oil well pumping apparatus from the Soviet Union. Our ruling follows. The appraisement issue will be addressed in separate correspondence.


The A400-2C electric submersible pumping unit consists of a centrifugal-action pump, electric motor with hydroprotector, and a gas separator or diffuser. You state the gas separator is an accessory item but will be imported with the pump and motor. The hydroprotector incorporates two elastomer bags and functions to protect the motor fluids from contamination. The gas separator is designed to be fitted between the pump intake and the pump module. It functions in wells with high free-gas content to separate gases from the liquids by centrifugal action. It vents the gas into an outer ring and directs the de-gassed fluids into the pump module. This separator effectively protects against gas locks and pump cavitation and insures efficient pumping. Cables, switchboard and transformer will be sourced domestically.


Whether the pump module and gas diffuser are classifiable together or separately.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80.

Relevant ENs at p. 1160 include within heading 84.13, PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS, WHETHER OR NOT FITTED WITH A MEASURING DEVICE, centrifugal pumps. In such pumps liquids are taken in axially by means of an impeller with the resulting centrifugal action forcing the liquid outward to the periphery of an annular casing. This casing is sometimes fitted with diffuser vanes to transform the kinetic energy of the fluid into high pressure. The notes indicate that centrifugal pumps may be driven by an electric or internal combustion motor or turbine, and that the group includes submersible pumps.

In the case of pumps fitted or designed to be fitted with measuring devices (subheadings 8413.11 and 8413.19), the pump and measuring device when presented together are classified together. However, there is no indication from the cited ENs or from other available evidence that gas diffusers of the type here are intended to be classified with pumps and motors of heading 8413 even if presented together.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the pump module of the A400-2C pumping unit is provided for in heading 8413. It is classifiable in subheading 8413.70.2004, HTSUSA, other centrifugal submersible pumps. The column 2 rate of duty is 35 percent ad valorem.

Under the authority of GRI 1, the gas separator or diffuser is provided for in heading 8421, filtering or purifying machinery
and apparatus for liquids or gases. It is classifiable in subheading 8421.29.00, HTSUSA, other filtering and purifying machinery and apparatus for liquids. The column 2 rate of duty is 35 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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