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HQ 952497

December 15, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952497 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8413.91.10

Mr. Robert Burke
Mr. Lawrence M. Friedman
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
200 East Randolph Drive
Suite 7920
Chicago, Illinois 60601

RE: Fuel-Injector Bodies ("diesel"); 8409; 8481; EN 84.13; NY 866871

Dear Mr. Burke and Mr. Friedman:

This is in response to your letter of August 28, 1992, on behalf of Cummins Engine Company, Inc. (Cummins), requesting the classification of a fuel-injector body under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). You have asked this office to reconsider the denial of your request for internal advice by the District Director of Customs, Detroit, Michigan.


The article in question is a fuel-injector body used exclusively in Cummins compression-ignition ("diesel") engines. The body is a hollow metal forging with a generally cylindrical shape. One side of the body is flared and formed to accept a solenoid-operated control valve. The bottom of the body is threaded to accept other components including a nozzle which protrudes into the top of the combustion chamber to deliver fuel. The injector body, nozzle and solenoid together comprise a fuel- injector unit.

Fuel enters the injector unit through the body retainer and into the control valve at the top of the injector body. Inside the injector body is a plunger (one of two plungers in the fuel- injector unit) which controls the timing of the fuel injection and the metering of fuel to be injected.

The plunger is operated by a mechanical linkage connected to the camshaft. An electronic control unit sends signals to the - 2 -
control valve to end metering or start injection by controlling the flow of fuel into the fuel-injector unit. When the upper plunger is retracting, fuel flows into a metering chamber at the bottom of the unit and moves the lower plunger as well. When the solenoid valve is opened, fuel flow to the metering chamber is stopped and the lower plunger stops. However, flow commences through the solenoid valve to the upper plunger thus forming a hydraulic link between the upper and lower plungers. As the upper plunger moves down (under the influence of the camshaft linkage), it forces fuel back through the control valve until the valve closes. This action forces the lower plunger to move downward and thus forces fuel from the metering chamber to the nozzle.

The opening in the nozzle atomizes fuel into droplets of the appropriate size to promote combustion. The timing of this cycle precisely meters the amount of fuel flowing into the combustion chamber and achieves optimum fuel economy while limiting emissions and smoke.


Whether the fuel-injector body is classifiable as a part of a fuel-injector pump for a compression-ignition engine 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 . . . ."

Because there is no provision for the part itself, classification of the steel fuel-injector body will be based on the classification of the complete fuel-injector unit. Thus, it is necessary to determine whether this particular type of fuel- injector unit used on a diesel engine would be considered a part of an engine under Heading 8409, HTSUS, a pump under Heading 8413, HTSUS, or a valve under Heading 8481, HTSUS.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

EN 84.13, pg. 1159, states that a pump using the linear action of a piston or plunger driven within a cylinder, the inlet - 3 -
and outlet being regulated by valves, is classifiable under Heading 8413, HTSUS. The fuel-injector unit in question uses a plunger within a cylinder to force the fuel from the metering chamber into the combustion chamber. In addition, the inlet of fuel is regulated by the control valve and the outlet by a check valve.

It has been argued that the fuel-injector unit in question should be classified as a valve according to NY 866871, dated October 11, 1991. In this ruling, a solenoid operated fuel- injector used on a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine was held to be classifiable as a valve under Heading 8481, HTSUS.

This ruling, however, is inapplicable to the case at hand. A fuel-injector unit used in diesel engines, such as the unit in question, differs significantly from one used in gasoline engines. Unlike a fuel-injector for gasoline (and some diesel) engines, the unit in question is not a valve.

In the unit in question, fuel is metered into the chamber of the unit by a solenoid, wherein it is compressed by the action of two pistons, and then ejected at high pressure into a cylinder. The pressure to deliver the injection in the unit in question is not generated by the fuel pump. Rather, the downward motion of the plunger forces the fuel to lift the needle valve in the nozzle and begin the injection. This force is generated entirely by the downward motion of the plunger. The complete injector unit in question performs all of the necessary actions of a pump, namely, intake, compression and discharge on a continuous basis. Thus, the unit is classifiable under Heading 8413, HTSUS, and the fuel-injector body, as a part, is classifiable under subheading 8413.91.10, HTSUS.


The fuel injector body is classifiable under subheading 8413.91.10, HTSUS, which provides for "[p]umps for liquids, whether or not fitted with a measuring device; . . . parts thereof . . . [p]arts . . . [o]f pumps . . . [o]f fuel-injection pumps for compression-ignition engines." The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading from Canada which are eligible for treatment under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement is 0.5% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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