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 > 1992 HQ Rulings > HQ 0950568 - HQ 0950675 > HQ 0950599

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 950599


CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 950599 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7312.10.50, 7312.10.70, HTSUS

Mr. Bill Hammons, Jr.
Cortez Customhouse Brokerage Company
4950 West Dickman Road
Battle Creek, Michigan 49015

RE: Automotive Cables; Clutch Cable, Window Control Cable; Gas Tank Opener Cable; Door Control Cable; Stranded Cable Fitted With Fittings; Parts and Accessories for Motor Vehicles; 8708.99.50, HTSUS

Dear Mr. Hammons:

In a letter dated October 11, 1991, on behalf of Hi-Lex Corporation, Battle Creek, you inquire as to the tariff classification of certain automotive control cables from Japan and Korea. Samples were submitted.


Four (4) sample control cables were submitted, designated by the numbers 4CW942300, 4VF0777, 4NK0366, and 5HZ5919. The first three consist of hard drawn zinc plated stranded steel wires and in the fourth the wires are stainless. Each cable is cut to a different length and has a different configuration. Three of the four cables are sheathed in a flexible tube. All have special fittings on both ends which dedicate them to a specific automotive application.

Customs officers in Detroit have informally advised the client that the cables will be classifiable in HTS heading 7312 as stranded wire, ropes and cables of iron or steel. Because each cable has a specific automotive application for which there is no substitution, the client believes that heading 8708, other parts and accessories for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, represents the proper classification.


Whether the samples are cables for tariff purposes; if so, whether they are also parts and accessories of motor vehicles.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) 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 expression "parts and accessories" does not apply to parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV. Section XVII, Note 2(b), HTSUS. Throughout the tariff schedule, the expression "parts of general use" means articles of heading 7312, among others. Section XV, Note 2(a), HTSUS. Therefore, if the cables in issue are articles of heading 7312, they cannot be classifiable in heading 8708.

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. 1023 state that the cables of heading 7312 are formed by twisting together stranded wire which itself is obtained by closely twisting together two or more single wires. Cables may be covered with textiles, plastics, etc., provided they remain essentially articles of iron or steel wire. Such cables are generally round in cross section, may be cut to length, and may be fitted with hooks, spring hooks, swivels, rings, thimbles, clips, sockets, etc. (provided that they do not thereby assume the character of articles of other headings). The notes indicate that the goods of heading 7312 are used for hoisting, in mining, quarrying and shipping, for hauling or towing, as transmission belting, as rigging or guying, etc.

Three of the cables in issue are similar to transmission belting in that they transmit power. The fourth one is a cargo door restraining cable similar in function to a ship's rigging. Each cable has end terminations that facilitate the use of the cable and dedicate it to the particular function it was designed to perform.

The four cables in issue conform in all respects to the cite ENs and are therefore cables of heading 7312. This precludes heading 8708 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the four automotive cables in issue are provided for in heading 7312. Model 5HZ5919 is classifiable in subheading 7312.10.50, HTSUS, ropes, cables and cordage other than stranded wire, of stainless steel, fitted with fittings or made up into articles. Models 4CW942300, 4VF0777 and 4NK0366 are classifiable in subheading 7312.10.70, HTSUS, ropes, cables and cordage other than stranded wire, other, fitted with fittings or made up into articles. The rate of duty under both provisions is 5.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: