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HQ 950335

June 1, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950335 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8417.90.00

Mr. David R. Dunlap
Refractory Anchors, Inc.
9836 S. 219th E. Avenue
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74014

RE: Refractory anchors; NY 832149 revoked; EN 84.17; EN 85.14; 7326.90.90; 8514.90.00; Add. U.S. Rule of Interpretation

Dear Mr. Dunlap:

This is in reference to NY ruling letter 832149, issued to you on September 26, 1988, which concerned the tariff classification of refractory anchors under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). We have been asked to reconsider this ruling by the New York Seaport Customs Office.


The articles subject to this reconsideration are refractory anchors fabricated from stainless steel wire. They range in size from 3/16" to 3/8" in diameter. Prior to importation, the products are cut and then bent into various "V"-shaped forms. After importation, they are welded into industrial furnaces and are used to hold refractory material to furnace walls. They are used in heavy industrial operations, such as, in cement kilns, oil refineries and other heat processing equipment. The refractory anchors are used in both electric and non-electric furnaces and ovens.


Whether the refractory anchors are principally used in electric or non-electric furnaces and ovens.


In NY 832149, dated September 26, 1988, the refractory
anchors were classified under subheading 7326.90.90, HTSUS, which provides for "[o]ther articles of iron or steel . . . [o]ther . . . [o]ther." At the time of this ruling, the HTSUS had not yet replaced the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). The applicable TSUS item number was stated to be item 657.2585, TSUS, which provided for other articles of iron or steel, not coated or plated with precious metal.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ." In a telephone conversation with a member of my staff, a representative of your office advised us that the refractory anchors can be used in both non-electric and electric furnaces or ovens.

Heading 8417, HTSUS, provides for "[i]ndustrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, including incinerators, nonelectric, and parts thereof [emphasis added]." Subheading 8417.90.00, HTSUS, provides for parts of these furnaces.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are generally indicative of proper interpretation of these headings. EN 84.17, pg. 1168, states that this heading covers "non-electrical industrial or laboratory type furnaces and ovens, designed for the production of heat in chambers at high or fairly high temperatures by the combustion of fuel (either directly in the chamber or in separate combustion chambers). They are used for the heat treatment (e.g., by roasting, fusion, calcination or decomposition) of various kinds of products which may be placed on the fire-bed, in crucibles, in retorts or on shelves." The articles in question are welded into industrial furnaces and are used to hold refractory material to furnace walls.

EN 84.17, pg. 1168, also states that this heading excludes "blocks, bricks and similar refractory or ceramic materials for building or lining furnaces and ovens." The refractory anchors, however, are not used for building or lining the furnace, nor are they refractory or ceramic materials. Rather, they are stainless steel articles used to keep furnace fire bricks together against furnace walls. Thus, they are not specifically excluded by the EN to Heading 8417, HTSUS.

Heading 8514, HTSUS, provides for "[i]ndustrial or laboratory electric (including induction or dielectric) furnaces
and ovens; other industrial or laboratory induction or dielectric heating equipment; parts thereof [emphasis added]." EN 85.14, pg. 1352, states that this heading covers "a number of industrial or laboratory type electro-thermic machines, apparatus and appliances in which the heat is obtained electrically." Subheading 8514.90.00, HTSUS, provides for parts of electric, industrial furnaces and ovens.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) states that "[i]n the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires--a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use." The refractory anchors can be used in both electric and non-electric, industrial furnaces and ovens. This office has determined that this type of hung refractory is principally used in gas-fired, industrial furnaces. This coincides with your representative's statement that the majority of your refractory anchors are used in non-electric furnaces. Therefore, the articles in question are classifiable under subheading 8417.90.00, HTSUS.


The refractory anchors are classifiable under subheading 8417.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts of nonelectric industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens. The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 5.7% ad valorem.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of NY 832149, dated September 26, 1988, under section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)]. It is not to be applied retroactively to NY 832149 [19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)] and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of the merchandise under this ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions involving merchandise of this type, NY 832149 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.


NY 832149, dated September 26, 1988, is hereby revoked
pursuant to section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR


John Durant, Director

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