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NY 866982

October 17, 1991

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:103 866982


TARIFF NO.: 8428.90.0090; 4010.91.5090

Mr. Sidney H. Kuflik
Lamb & Lerch
233 Broadway
New York, NY 10279

RE: The tariff classification of a ship unloader from Germany and Hungary, and conveyor belting from Japan

Dear Mr. Kuflik:

In your letter dated September 11, 1991 on behalf of Robins Engineers & Constructors Inc. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

According to your inquiry, your client will be importing a complete ship unloader. The ship unloader will be composed of various mechanical components and fabricated structural components of steel. The mechanical components, valued at approximately $3.2 million, will be manufactured in Germany. The fabricated structural steel, worth approximately $1 million, will be produced in Hungary. The combination of the mechanical and structural components constitutes the complete ship unloader.

The ship unloader will be used to continuously unload coal from a bulk coal carrier and convey it to the dock. It basically consists of an L-shaped bucket elevator, a slewing boom and conveyor, a counterweight boom, a portal frame which travels on rails, and mechanical and electrical controls and drives. The bucket elevator consists of steel buckets bolted to a steel chain, plastic guide rollers, and a drive system located at the elevator discharge point. The horizontal boom is capable of slewing the elevator so that it can reach into all areas of the hold and can position the buckets as close as 100 millimeters from the walls of the hold. The boom is attached to the portal frame by means of a central slewing pylon. The upper frame structure also contains a counterweight boom which can be moved up and down by a hydraulic cylinder to compensate for the vertical movement of the bucket elevator and conveyor boom. The operator's cabin is located on a platform suspended beneath the slewing pylon. This platform also contains the electrical and hydraulic equipment necessary for the operation of the unloader. Steel portals support the platform and access stairways. The portals are attached to pivoting bogies which incorporate wheel trucks and allow the entire unloader to move along the dock.

In operation, the bucket elevator is lowered through the vessel's hatch and into the hold containing the coal. The buckets scoop up the coal and carry it vertically to the slewing conveyor boom. The coal is discharged onto a horizontal belt conveyor which is enclosed to prevent spillage. The conveyor transfers it to a chute, where it falls onto a second belt conveyor located on the portal. From here it is conveyed to a discharge chute which deposits it onto a separate belt conveyor located on the dock.

Your client will also import the conveyor belting used in the dock conveyor to carry the coal to a power plant situated approximately 9000 feet from the pier. You have indicated that there are no manufacturer's specifications or sectional drawings available on the subject belting. Our reply is predicated on the information that you have provided. The belting is composed of rubber with tensile steel cords and you write that there are no textile components. The steel cords (ST 1250) are covered with rubber and sandwiched between two plies of rubber, an 8 mm top cover and a 6 mm bottom cover. The approximate overall thickness of the belt is 20 mm with the width given as 1600 mm. There will be approximately 17,040 feet of belting imported. The belting will be made in Japan and imported separately from the unloader.

You state the Hungarian made fabricated steel components consist of the non-mechanical portions of the boom and counterweight boom, pylon, slewing base, portals and portal platform, and equalizer bogies. These will be transported by truck to Antwerp and loaded onto a transport ship. The machinery portions of the ship unloader, which will be produced in Germany, will also be transported to Antwerp and loaded onto the same vessel as the Hungarian made components. The vessel will deliver both shipments, which comprise the entire unloader, to Honolulu. While they will be on the same vessel, you state the structural and mechanical portions of the unloader will each have its own separate bill of lading, invoice, packing list, and certificate of origin. You further state that when each portion leaves its respective factory it will be destined for the United States with no contingency of diversion.

You request a ruling as to the tariff classification of the ship unloader when both the German and Hungarian portions are imported on a single vessel and entered on a single entry. You also request a ruling as to the tariff classification of the conveyor belting. In a telephone conversation with a member of my staff, you stated that you were no longer interested in receiving a ruling for the German and Hungarian portions of the ship unloader entered separately.

The General Rules of Interpretation provide the framework for interpreting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). General Rule of Interpretation 2(a) holds, among other things, that any reference to an article in a heading shall include a reference to that article complete or finished, entered unassembled or disassembled. The machinery and structural components, imported on a single vessel and entered on a single entry, form a complete unassembled ship unloader. Accordingly, following the dictates of GRI 2(a), the applicable subheading for the unassembled ship unloader will be 8428.90.0090, HTS, which provides for other lifting, handling, loading or unloading machinery: other machinery: other: other. The rate of duty for subheading 8428.90.0090 is dependent on the country of origin of the ship unloader, a portion of which is made in Germany and a portion of which is made in Hungary. It is axiomatic that a single article cannot have more than one country of origin. Noting the relative values of the German and Hungarian portions of the ship unloader, as well as the complexity of the German made equipment in comparison to the components made in Hungary, in our opinion the country of origin of the ship unloader, when viewed as an entity, is Germany. Thus, the rate of duty will be 2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the conveyor belting will be 4010.91.5090, HTS, which provides for conveyor or transmission belts or belting, of vulcanized rubber: of a width exceeding 20 cm: not containing textile materials. The rate of duty will be 4.2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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