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HQ 951196

May 29, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951196 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8414.80.20

Assistant District Director
Commercial Operations Division
U.S. Customhouse
Interstate 87
Champlain, New York 12919

RE: Protest No. 0712-92-100016; Natural Gas Compressor Assemblies; 8413; EN 84.14

Dear Sir:

This protest concerns the classification of natural gas compressor assemblies under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The articles in question are natural gas compressor assemblies. They are used to compress natural gas to high pressure levels. The gas will then be stored in storage tanks. Subsequently, the gas is dispensed into special tanks, which are not subject to this protest, and mounted on automobiles that are designed to run on natural gas.

The compressors were entered under subheading 8413.11.00, HTSUS, which describes liquid pumps fitted with a measuring device for dispensing fuel, of the type used in filling-stations or garages. They were liquidated under subheading 8414.90.20, HTSUS, which describes parts of gas compressors.


Whether the articles in question are classifiable as liquid pumps under Heading 8413, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The headings at issue are as follows:

8413 Pumps for liquids, whether or not fitted with a measuring device . . .

8414 Air or vacuum pumps, air or other gas compressors and fans . . .

The compressors cannot be classified under Heading 8413, HTSUS, because they do not pump liquid. The protestant's own exhibit states as follows: "Unlike gasoline which is a liquid under atmospheric conditions, or propane which liquifies under relatively low pressure, natural gas is not in a liquid phase in the vehicle cylinders. As a result, it is necessary to compress it to a high pressure in order to achieve an acceptable energy density [underlining added]."

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Note (EN) to Heading 8414, pg. 1162, states that "[t]his heading covers machines and appliances, hand-operated or power driven, for the compression of air or other gases . . . ." The articles in question are used to compress natural gas to high pressure levels for storage in tanks. The protestant states, and the additional information submitted reflects, that the articles in question are not parts of compressors, but are complete gas compressors with additional components. These components are dispensers (or barricades), a recovery tank and miscellaneous valves, fittings and stainless steel tubing. The articles in question are clearly classifiable under Heading 8414, HTSUS, specifically under subheading 8414.80.20, HTSUS.


The natural gas compressor assemblies are classifiable under subheading 8414.80.20, HTSUS, which provides for "[a]ir or vacuum pumps, air or other gas compressors and fans . . . [o]ther, except parts . . . [o]ther compressors." The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 3.4% ad valorem.

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

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