United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0951308 - HQ 0951384 > HQ 0951325

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 951325

May 12, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951325 EJD


TARIFF NO: 7308.90.00; 9817.00.50

William J. LeClair
Administrative and Regulatory Advisor
Trans-Border Customs Services, Inc.
One Trans-Border Drive
P.O. Box 800
Champlain, New York 12919

RE: Animal Stalls; structures of iron and steel; HQ 089936; HQ 087076; HQ 086706; HQ 086883; HQ 086482; HQ 083930

Dear Mr. LeClair:

In your letter of March 4, 1992, on behalf of J. Houle & Fils Inc. of Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, you inquire as to the tariff classification of animals stalls under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Our ruling follows.


The descriptive literature submitted illustrates the various models of animal stalls used to contain farm animals, most often cows. The animal stalls are made of galvanized steel tubing that is attached to the wall of a barn or stable with the legs embedded in the cement floor.

It is your opinion that these animal stalls should be classified in subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS, which provides for structures of iron and steel. It is also your belief that these animal stalls are subject to the special classification under the subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, which provides duty free treatment for agricultural machinery, equipment and implements used in agricultural pursuits.


What is the proper classification of animal stalls?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, grants duty free treatment for "[m]achinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes...." This is an actual use provision. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 083930, dated May 19, 1989. To fall within this special classification the following three part test must be met:

(1) The article in question must not be excluded from the heading under Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2, HTSUS.

(2) The terms of the headings must be met in accordance with GRI 1, which provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

(3) The article must comply with the actual use provision required under 19 CFR 10.131 through 10.138.

See HQ 086883, dated May 1, 1990; HQ 087076, dated June 14, 1990; and HQ 089936, dated November 15, 1991.

The first part of the test is to determine whether the animal stalls are excluded from heading 9817, HTSUS. To do this we must first determine under which subheading they are classified.

You maintain that the animal stalls should be classified in subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS.

In HQ 086482, dated April 3, 1990, Customs dealt with the classification of livestock corral panels. This case involved the interpretation of heading 7308, HTSUS, which provides for structures and parts of structures, of iron or steel.

Subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS, provides for

[s]tructures (excluding prefabricated buildings of heading 9406) and parts of structures (for example, bridges and bridge sections, lock gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters,balustrades, pillars and columns) of iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel... [o]ther...columns, pillars, posts, beams, girders and similar structural units... [o]ther.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes (ENs) for the HTSUS, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. In explaining the scope of heading 73.08, the ENs, at. p. 1020, indicate that the structures are characterized by the fact that once put into position they are generally (emphasis added) remain in that position. Further, the ENs state that "....[a]part from the structures and parts of structures mentioned in the heading, the heading also includes products such as: [p]it head frames and superstructures...stalls and racks ...."

We are of the opinion that the galvanized steel animal stalls are classifiable under subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS.

Subheading 7308.90, HTSUS, is not excluded from classification in heading 9817, HTSUS, by operation of Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2 (ij). U.S. Notes 2 (ij) states that "[t]he provisions of headings 9817.00.50...do not apply to...articles provided for in chapter 73 (except subheadings 7308.10, 7308.20, 7308.40 and 7308.90...)." Accordingly, the first part of the test is satisfied.

The second part of the test calls for the animal stalls to be included within the terms of the heading as required by GRI 1. The animal stalls must be "machinery", "equipment" or "implements" used for "agricultural or horticultural purposes". For this part of the test, the initial determination to be made is what agricultural or horticultural pursuit is in question. It is your position that animal stalls are agricultural in nature. To support this position, you state that "Webster's Dictionary defines the word "stall" as `a compartment in a stable for animals.'"

Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988), defines machinery, equipment and implement as follows:

Machinery: machines or machine parts in general...the working parts of a machine...a system of related elements that operates in a definable way....

Equipment: the act of equipping or state of being equipped...something with which one is equipped....

Implement: a tool, utensil, or instrument for doing a task...an article used to outfit or equip....

Inasmuch as heading 9817 does not provide a definition for agriculture, that tariff term must be considered in accordance with its common and commercial meaning. Nippon Kogaku (USA) Inc. v. United States, 673 F.2d 380 (1982). To ascertain the common [and commercial] meaning [of a tariff term], in addition to relying upon its own understanding of the terms used, the courts may consult dictionaries, lexicons, the testimony of record, and other reliable sources of information as an aid to its knowledge. Pistorini & Co., Inc. v. United States, 461 F. Supp. 331, 332 (1978).

In determining whether animal stalls were used for agricultural pursuit, we relied on the definition of agriculture as stated in Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary. Agriculture is defined as "the science, art, and business of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock...farming." (Emphasis added.)

Animal stalls are used solely to hold animals, often farm animals such as cows. Therefore, the agricultural or horticultural pursuit in question is raising livestock.

The next determination to be made is whether the animal stalls are "machinery", "equipment" or "implement". It is the opinion of this office that animal stalls are "agricultural implements" which are used for agricultural pursuits.

The animal stalls are agricultural implements to be used for a recognized agricultural purpose, and are not otherwise excluded from classification in subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, by U.S. Note 2 to Subchapter XVII, Chapter 98, Section XXII, HTSUS.


The various animal stalls in issue are provided for in heading 7308. They are classifiable as other structures and parts of structures, of iron or steel, in subheading 7308.90.90, HTSUS. These various animal stalls would qualify for tariff treatment under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, if they meet all the applicable requirements of section 10.131 through 10.139, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.131 through 10.139).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: