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HQ 950244

DECEMBER 11, 1991

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 950244 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8417.80.00

Mr. Steven Schwartz
LTG Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 2627
Spartanburg, S.C. 29304-2627

RE: Dryer Oven for Coated Metal Sheets; Machinery for the Treatment of Materials by Temperature Change (Heating); Headings 8417, 8419; NY Ruling 861416 Affirmed

Dear Mr. Schwartz:

This is in response to your request for reconsideration of a ruling issued by our New York office on the LTG continuous drying oven from Germany. A diagram of the oven system was submitted.

Your subsequent letter of September 5, 1991, indicates that this transaction may now be current at the port of Baltimore. This response is limited to prospective transactions only, but we will forward a copy to the appropriate Customs officer at that port.


The drying oven will be shipped disassembled and will include heating units, heat exchanger, fans and blowers, pressure and temperature measuring devices, plus insulated ductwork and metal panels and prefabricated steel profiles for support. The oven is electrically powered and will use natural gas to dry metal sheets coated with lacquer and lithography for the metal can industry. Material handling equipment may be sold with the oven system or separately.

New York ruling 861416, dated March 25, 1991, confirmed classification of the oven in subheading 8417.80.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens. The rate of duty is 5.7 percent ad valorem. You believe that subheading 8419.39.00, HTSUS, machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not
electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change in temperature such as drying, is the appropriate classification. The rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem. You cite a 1986 ruling on the same oven system issued under the HTSUSA predecessor code, the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). This ruling confirmed classification in item 661.68, TSUS, the TSUS equivalent of subheading 8419.39.00.


Whether heading 8417 or heading 8419 is relatively more specific with regard to the drying oven in issue.


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. GRI 3(a) states with respect to goods prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description.

Initially, it must be noted that TSUS rulings are not binding under the HTSUS; rather, they are considered instructive in interpreting parallel HTSUS provisions where the nomenclature remains unchanged, but on a case-by-case basis only.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and, though not binding, are considered useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Heading 8417 covers a variety of non-electrical industrial or laboratory furnaces that produce heat at fairly high temperatures by the combustion of fuel and are used for the treatment of various kinds of products. ENs at p. 1168 specifically exclude apparatus of heading 8419 from heading 8417, including steamers and drying plant, among others. Other ENs at (g) on p. 1173, however, exclude industrial furnaces and ovens from heading 8419. Additional notes at p. 1176 indicate that evaporating or drying plant of heading 8419 is limited only to such plant operating at a relatively low temperature, and is not to be confused with the industrial furnaces or ovens of heading 8417, in which much higher temperatures are developed. The notes do not establish
ranges of temperature for either heading. We must therefore conclude that the ENs do not clarify the scope of the competing HTS provisions.

Heading 8417 designates certain articles eo nomine, by name. Heading 8419 designates a class or kind of articles by use. Both provisions describe the merchandise in issue here. However, classification by use is a rule of construction only and is designed to ascertain the intent of Congress. It has no application where the intent of Congress is otherwise manifest. A specific eo nomine provision is clear evidence of what Congress intends to be classified therein and will be held to prevail over a broader provision governed by use where the former is a provision less easily satisfied. Moreover, the ENs indicate that for purposes of Rule 3(a) a description by name is more specific than a description by class.


Under the authority of GRI 3(a), HTSUS, heading 8417 provides the most specific description for the LTG continuous drying oven. Actual classification is in subheading 8417.80.00, HTSUS, other industrial or laboratory nonelectric furnaces and ovens. New York ruling 861416, dated March 25, 1991, is therefore affirmed.

The submitted diagram depicts stacking and pile turning mechanisms, sheet ejection unit, as well as an in-line, motor driven roller conveyor, all fully integrated with the other components to form an oven system. The heading 8417 ENs suggest, at p. 1168, that this material handling equipment is to be classified with the oven.

If imported separately, the conveyor would be classifiable in subheading 8428.39.00, HTSUS, other continuous-action conveyors, and the remaining units in subheading 8428.90.00, HTSUS, other lifting, handling, loading or unloading machinery. The rate of duty under these provisions is 2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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