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HQ 951215

April 22, 1992

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 951215 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7308.90.90, HTSUS

Mr. Ralph B. Shirmer
7700 E. Speedway, Suite 806
Tucson, Arizona 85710-1640

RE: Steel Bar Grating; Welded Grating; Catwalk Grating; Bar Grating; Floor Plates; Flooring Panels; Stair Plates

Dear Mr. Shirmer:

In your letter of February 26, 1992, you inquire as to the tariff status of certain steel bar grating panels from Venezuela. Descriptive literature was submitted.


The merchandise in question is described as galvanized steel bar grating. It is imported in panels measuring either 10 or 20 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 1 inch deep. Each panel consists of a series of steel bars of rectangular cross section, perpendicular to the ground and evenly spaced, and connected by horizontally welding wire rods at various intervals. The panels are not enclosed by a frame. The panels are used as flooring and steps in catwalks, fire escape landings, work platforms and similar structural applications in refineries, shipyards, and power and water utilities. After importation, the panels are usually sold to wholesalers and retailers, but at times are cut to smaller sizes as required by a particular customer.

You inquire whether one or more of HTS headings 7308, 7314, or 7326 might apply. You also inquire whether the goods qualify for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and whether it is subject to the steel restraints or other special quota requirements, or to trigger pricing.


Whether the bar grating in issue is merchandise of heading 7308.


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.

Heading 7326 is a provision for other articles of iron or steel not more specifically covered elsewhere in the HTSUS. Therefore, if either heading 7308 or heading 7314 applies, the goods are classifiable therein.

Heading 7314 provides for cloth, grill, netting and fencing of iron or steel, and also for expanded metal of iron or steel. Relevant Explanatory Notes (ENs), which provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and which Customs considers useful in ascertaining classification of merchandise under the HTSUS, indicate that goods of the former group are, in the main, produced by interlacing, interweaving, netting, etc. iron or steel wire by hand or machine. The methods of manufacture broadly resemble those used in the textile industry (for simple warp and weft fabrics, knitted or crocheted fabrics, etc). The ENs also indicate that expanded metal of heading 7314 is a network of diamond shaped meshes formed by stretching sheet or strip metal in which parallel incisions have been cut. The galvanized steel panels in issue are fabricated articles which do not conform to the description of goods of heading 7314.

Heading 7308 provides for structures and parts of structures (for example, bridges and bridge-sections, lock-gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frame-works, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters, balustrades, pillars and columns) of iron or steel The heading also provides for plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel. Relevant ENs indicate that heading 7308 covers complete or incomplete metal structures, as well as parts of structures. In addition to the articles listed in the text of heading 7308, the ENs identify the following as being within the scope of heading 7308: tubular scaffolding and similar equipment, piers and jetties, gangways, balconies and verandas.

In our opinion, the class of iron or steel articles in which these bar grating panels are used qualify as "structures" for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the bar grating panels, as described, are provided for in heading 7308, HTSUS. Actual classification is in subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS, as other structures and parts of structures, of iron or steel. The rate of duty is 5.7 percent ad valorem.

Articles from Venezuela classifiable in subheading 7308.90.90 are eligible for free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), if otherwise qualified under applicable law and Customs Regulations. Copies of these provisions are enclosed. In addition, the trigger pricing mechanism to which you refer, as it relates to the Special Summary Steel Invoice (SSSI), expired in 1982 while the steel restraint agreements (VRAs) terminated on March 31, 1992. Finally, copies of the Treasury Decisions (TDs) you cite may be obtained from the nearest local Customs office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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