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NY 875658

July 17, 1992

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:103 875658


TARIFF NO.: 8428.39.0000; 8428.90.0090; 8422.20.0000; 8427.10.0060

Mr. Scott A. Cohn
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th St.
New York, NY 10017

RE: The tariff classification of a shell and shutter stock system from Japan

Dear Mr. Cohn:

In your letter dated June 16, 1992 on behalf of Kao Infosystems Company you requested a tariff classification ruling.

This is one of several ruling requests submitted on behalf of your client covering the importation of numerous machinery items for producing and assembling 3.5 inch magnetic media computer diskettes. The diskettes are basically composed of an outer plastic shell, a protective metal shutter, a metal center hub, and the magnetic media itself. You state that the specific machines covered by this ruling request form a shell and shutter stock system which you describe as a central conveyor and storage system for the molded shells and the completed shutters. The individual machines used in the system are:

1. Double decker conveyor (model U-971) - a roller conveyor which carries storage totes loaded with shell halves to an automatic guideway vehicle.

2. Conveyor station (model U-972) - a machine which picks empty shutter storage totes which are stored in a shell-shutter rack system.

3. Tote cleaning station (model K-972) - a machine which cleans empty totes by means of a rotating brush and pressurized air blowers.

4. Automatic guideway vehicles (models Y-701 and Y-801) - self-propelled works trucks, with a roller conveyor work surface, used to transport totes to and from this system by following the path of a metal strip on the manufacturing plant floor.

You request a ruling as to the classification of these items when separately imported, as well as a ruling as to their classification if they are imported together in a single shipment. In the latter case you contend that the items form a functional unit, as defined in Note 4 to section XVI of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), in that they contribute to a clearly defined function: a central storage and conveyor system for loading, unloading and storing molded shells and shutters.

Note 4 to section XVI holds that where a machine (including a combination of machines) consists of individual components (whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or by other devices) intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole falls to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function. In discussing this note the Explanatory Notes to the HTS, which provide the official interpretation of the HTS, state:

For the purposes of this Note, the expression "intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function" covers only machines and combinations of machines essential to the performance of the function specific to the functional unit as a whole, and thus excludes machines or appliances fulfilling auxiliary functions and which do not contribute to the function of the whole.

The cleaning station does not contribute to the function of tote conveyance or storage. In addition, note 4 is limited to situations in which the imported machines contribute to a single function, whereas you indicate the central storage and conveyor system performs several distinct functions. Accordingly, in our opinion no functional unit exists. Thus the machines described above are separately classifiable whether imported separately or together.

The applicable subheading for the model U-971 roller conveyor will be 8428.39.0000, HTS, which provides for other continuous-action elevators and conveyors, for goods or materials: other. The rate of duty will be 2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the model U-972 conveyor station will be
8428.90.0090, HTS, which provides for other lifting, handling, loading or unloading machinery: other machinery: other. The rate of duty will again be 2 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the K-972 cleaning station will be 8422.20.0000, HTS, which provides for machinery for cleaning or drying bottles or other containers. The rate of duty will be 3.6 percent ad valorem.

Finally, the applicable subheading for the models Y-701 and Y-801 automatic guideway vehicles will be 8427.10.0060, HTS, which provides for other works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment: self-propelled trucks powered by an electric motor: automated guided vehicle. The duty rate will be free.

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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