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HQ 954000

June 24, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954000 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8701.90.10; 8433.59.00; 8433.90.50

Mr. Hilary Brown, Orchard Manager
MacFarms of Hawaii, Inc.
Box 25, Star Route
Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704

RE: Tree Shaking Harvester Equipment; Tipping Bucket; Tractor; Spare Parts; Explanatory Note 87.01; Section XVI, Note 4; Explanatory Note 84.33; GRI 2(a); Section XVI, Note 2

Dear Mr. Brown:

This is in response to your letter of April 13, 1992, to the Customs Information Exchange, concerning the classification of a tree shaking harvester and various spare parts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter has been referred to Headquarters for a reply.


The merchandise consists of a tree shaking harvester, a tipping bucket, a tractor, and various spare parts. The harvester, used to harvest macadamia nuts, is comprised of a hydraulically powered catching canopy, controls, and a shaker head. These components are detachable from the tractor. The tractor is an open cab type, wheeled tractor suitable for agricultural uses. It supplies the power and drive for the harvester components which are mounted onto the tractor by means of a three point linkage. The canopy unit and shaking mechanism, which is equipped with jaws for gripping a tree, are attached to the front of the tractor. The tipping bucket is attached to the hood (bonnet) of the tractor which allows the macadamia nuts to be transferred into an accompanying vehicle.

When in operation, the harvester proceeds from nut tree to nut tree. As each tree is engaged by the shaker, the folded canopy is activated to encircle the tree. The shaker head is then activated to clamp the tree trunk and provide the necessary shaking force to cause the dislodging of the nuts. Fallen nuts gravitate to the base of the canopy where a conveyor belt transfers them to the tipper bucket on the tractor. From there, the nuts are transferred to an accompanying vehicle for transportation.

The spare parts consist of rubber shaker pads and mounts, shaker weights, canopy material, filters for the truck and the shaker hydraulic system, and a turntable bearing.

The harvester will enter the U.S. with the tractor, the tipping bucket, and the spare parts, but in an unassembled condition. The unassembled harvester consists of the canopy, the hydraulic controls and components, the shaking mechanism, and the conveyor.


What is the proper classification of the tractor, the harvester equipment, the tipping bucket, and the spare 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.

We will first deal with the classification of the tractor. We find that it is eo nomine classifiable under subheading 8701.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for: "[t]ractors (other than tractors of heading 8709): [o]ther: [s]uitable for agricultural use."

We will now deal with the classification of the harvester. 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 87.01 (p. 1425) states that:

[i]t should be noted that agricultural machines designed for fitting to tractors as interchangeable equipment (ploughs, harrows, hoes, etc.) remain classified in their respective headings even if mounted on the tractor at the time of presentation. The tractive unit in such cases is separately classified in this heading.

Therefore, because the harvester equipment is designed for fitting tractors as interchangeable equipment, under Explanatory Note 87.01, it must be classified under its respective heading.

Section XVI, note 4, HTSUS, states that:

[w]here a machine (including a combination of machines) consists of individual components (whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or by any other devices) intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole falls to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function.

It is our position that the tipper bucket and the harvester, intended to contribute together in the harvesting of macadamia nuts, constitute a functional unit.

Subheading 8433.59.00, HTSUS, provides for: "[o]ther harvesting machinery; threshing machinery: [o]ther."

In part, Explanatory Note 84.33 (pp. 1211 - 1212) states that:

[t]his heading covers machines used in the place of hand tools, for the mechanical performance of the following operations:

(A) Harvesting of agricultural crops (e.g., reaping, croplifting, gathering, picking, threshing, binding or bundling). . .


These include:

(18) Tree shakers

As tree shakers are described under Explanatory Note 84.33, it is our position that the harvester and the tipper bucket, as a functional unit, is classifiable under subheading 8433.59.00, HTSUS.

Because the harvester will enter the U.S. unassembled, GRI 2(a) is applicable. It states that:

[a]ny reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

Under GRI 2(a), even though the harvester is unassembled when entering the U.S., because it is in a complete condition, it is classifiable as if it were entered in an assembled state under subheading 8433.59.00, HTSUS.

We will now deal with the classification of the spare parts. In classifying the rubber shaker pads and mounts, section XVI note 2, HTSUS, is applicable. It states that:

[s]ubject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts 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;

(b) Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading (including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are to be classified with the machines of that kind. However, parts which are equally suitable for use principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525 to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;

(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading 8485 or 8548.

The rubber shaker pads and mounts are not described in chapters 84 or 85, HTSUS. Therefore, as it is our understanding that they are suitable for use solely or principally with the harvester equipment, under section XVI, note 2(b), HTSUS, they are classifiable under subheading 8433.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for: "[h]arvesting or threshing machinery . . .; parts thereof: [p]arts: [o]ther."

With regard to the remaining spare parts, you have not provided us with sufficient information as to their description and use. We suggest that once you have obtained this information, you contact your local Customs port for a proper classification of the merchandise.


The tractor is classifiable under subheading 8701.90.10, HTSUS. The harvester and the tipping bucket, as a functional unit, is classifiable under subheading 8433.59.00, HTSUS. The rubber shaker pads and mounts are classifiable under subheading 8433.90.50, HTSUS. Goods classifiable under these provisions receive duty free treatment.


John Durant, Director

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