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HQ 954478

August 10, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954478 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 7318.21.00

Mr. Gerhard Schremmer
Schnorr Corporation
56-02 Roosevelt Avenue
P.O. Box 428
Woodside, NY 11377

RE: Belleville Washers; Spring Washers; CIE 615/66; NY 858663; Item 646.70; 7318.22.00

Dear Mr. Schremmer:

This is in response to your letter of June 21, 1993, concerning the classification of Belleville washers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of Belleville washers, otherwise known as conical spring washers. These washers are intended for use underneath a nut or screwhead to maintain tension. In defining spring washers, The New Encyclopedia Brittania states that "[t]o prevent loosening, several other types of washers are used. All act as springs to compensate for any increase in the distance between the head of a bolt and the nut, or between the head of a screw and the object being clamped. In addition to the spring action, some of these washers have teeth that bite into the workpiece and the screwhead and provide a locking action. The conical washer . . . has spring action, but the only locking action is provided by friction."

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7318.21.00: [s]crews, bolts, nuts, coach screws, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter pins, washers (including spring washers) and similar articles, of iron or steel: [n]on-threaded articles: [s]pring washers and other lock washers.

The general, column one rate of duty is 5.8 percent ad valorem.

7318.22.00: [o]ther washers.

Goods classifiable under this provision receive duty free treatment.


Whether the Belleville washers are classifiable under subheading 7318.21.00, HTSUS, as spring washers, or under subheading 7318.22.00, HTSUS, as other washers?


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.

In a letter issued by the Customs Information Exchange dated August 15, 1966 (CIE 615/66), it was stated that a uniform and established practice existed for the classification of Belleville washers under item 646.70, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), as other washers. It is noted that spring washers were not specifically provided for by name in the TSUS.

Decisions under the TSUS are not dispositive in interpreting the HTSUS, which became effective on January 1, 1989. However, on a case-by-case basis they should be considered instructive in interpreting the HTSUS, particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remains unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTSUS. H. Conf. Rep. No. 576, p.550.

Concerning the classification of spring washers in the HTSUS, CIE 615/66 is not dispositive. The nomenclature has changed and a dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTSUS. Unlike in the TSUS, spring washers are specifically provided for in the HTSUS.

In fact, in NY 858663, dated December 14, 1990, steel conical spring washers were held to be classifiable under subheading 7318.21.00, HTSUS.

Consequently, it is our position that Belleville washers, which are conical spring washers, are classifiable under subheading 7318.21.00, HTSUS.


The Belleville washers are classifiable under subheading 7318.21.00, HTSUS, as spring washers.


John Durant, Director

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