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HQ 950770

February 6, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950770 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8501.40.40

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
Lincoln Juarez Bridge, Bldg #2
P.O. Box 3130
Laredo, TX 78044-3130

RE: Single-Phase Printer Motor; Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A); Section XVI, Note 2(a); HQ 083955; 8473.30.40; Protest No. 2308-89-000012

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2308-89-000012, dated October 18, 1989, concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on printer motors under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of single-phase motors specifically designed to be used in printers. No other information has been provided by the importer describing the motor.


What is the proper classification of the subject printer motor under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative chapter or section notes.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8473.30.40, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]arts and accessories of the machines of heading 8471: [n]ot incorporating a cathode ray tube." However, the merchandise was liquidated under subheading 8501.40.40, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectric motors and generators: [o]ther AC motors, single-phase: [o]f an output exceeding 37.5 W but not exceeding 735 W."

The importer argues that the motor is specifically designed for use in a printer. It is claimed that only with "extreme modification" can the motor be used in other machines. The importer seems to intimate that the merchandise is "more than" a motor and, therefore, it is precluded from classification under heading 8501, HTSUS.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A) (p. 1334), HTSUS, provides that:

. . . the heading covers electric motors of all types . . . Motors remain classified here even when they are equipped with pulleys, with gears or gear boxes, or with a flexible shaft for operating hand tools.

In HQ 083955, dated July 10, 1989, a clutch motor containing a clutch mechanism, a braking mechanism, and a belt pulley for transmitting power was classified as a motor under heading 8501, HTSUS. In part, the ruling stated that:

[y]our claim for classification . . . is based on the tariff concept that where an article is in character or function either more limited or more diversified than that described by a specific statutory provision, and the difference is significant, the article cannot be classified in that provision. It is more than the article described. This tariff concept was developed in judicial decisions under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). However, because the HTSUS has replaced the TSUS as the official tariff code of this country, this tariff concept does not control classification in this case . . .

[t]he Explanatory Notes indicate that heading 8501 covers electric motors of all types . . . It therefore appears that electric motors imported with additional components which complement the function of a motor were intended to remain classifiable in heading 8501.

Therefore, even though the subject motor may have additional components which complement the function of the motor, the presence of those components does not preclude classification of the motor under heading 8501, HTSUS.

Section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, provides that:

[p]arts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings.

It is our position that the printer motor is a "motor" for tariff classification purposes. Therefore, under section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, even if the motor is specifically designed as a part of a printer, it is still classifiable as a "motor" under subheading 8501.40.40, HTSUS.


The subject printer motor is classifiable under subheading 8501.40.40, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectric motors and generators: [o]ther AC motors, single-phase: [o]f an output exceeding 74.6 W but not exceeding 735 W." The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and mailed to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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