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HQ 950876

February 19, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950876 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8420.99.90

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
101 East Main Street
Norfolk, VA 23510

RE: Protest No. 1401-91-100130; Supercalendering Machines; On-Line vs. Off-Line; HQ 087557; 8439.99.10

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1401-91-100130, dated August 21, 1991, concerning your action in classifying off-line supercalendering machine parts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The subject merchandise consists of parts of off-line supercalendering machines. Calenders finish paper products and give them the ability to absorb ink better. According to the importer:

[t]he supercalendering process . . . begins when a web of paper is fed from an unwind stand into the top of the stack and travels through squeezing or pinching areas known as nips. The paper then emerges from the bottom into a rewind unit. With the application of load or pressure on the nips, the metal rolls cause a depression or deformation on the fibrous paper rolls at the point of contact with the paper. The deformation then spreads on either side of the nip. When rotated, the spread area creeps or grows. The motion of the filled-roll surface against the metal-roll surface causes rolling friction. This rolling friction produces the polishing action essential to providing a high finish and smoothing effect to paper.


What is the proper classification of the supercalendering machine parts 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 section or chapter notes.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8439.99.10, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]arts: [o]ther: [o]f machinery for making paper or paperboard." However, the merchandise was liquidated under subheading 8420.99.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[c]alendering or other rolling machines, other than for metals or glass; parts thereof: [p]arts: [o]ther: [o]ther."

On-line calendering machines are classified as paper making machines. However, off-line calendering machines have not been classified as paper making machines, but as paper finishing machines. The importer argues that there should not be any distinction between the two types of machines, and that both are classifiable as paper making machines.

The issue of off-line vs. on-line calendering machines was decided in HQ 087557, dated December 9, 1991. In that ruling, we upheld the distinction between off-line and on-line calendering machines that was provided for under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). Under the TSUS, "on-line and off-line calendering machines were classified under different provisions because on-line calendering machines were determined to be a direct part of the paper making process. Off-line calendering machines were considered to be part of the paper finishing process. See NY 065477, dated January 13, 1982." (HQ 087557).

Among other points raised in HQ 087557 was the fact that "[u]nder the HTSUS, on-line and off-line paper coating machines have been similarly distinguished for tariff purposes. In NY 833074, dated November 17, 1988, it was ruled that on-line paper coating machines are classifiable under subheading 8439.99.10, HTSUS, which provides for: '[p]arts: [o]ther: [o]f machinery for making paper or paperboard.' Independent, off-line paper coating machines are classifiable under subheading 8439.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for: 'machinery for finishing paper or paperboard.' It is our position that this distinction for on- line and off-line paper coating machines under the HTSUS equally applies to on-line and off-line paper calendering machines." (emphasis supplied).

Therefore, under the reasoning provided in HQ 087557, the distinction between on-line and off-line calendering machines stands, and the subject supercalendering machine parts are classifiable under subheading 8420.99.90, HTSUS.


The subject supercalendering machine parts are classifiable under subheading 8420.99.90, HTSUS. The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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