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NY 882995

March 22, 1993

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:103 882995


TARIFF NO.: 8431.20.0000

Mr. James Caffentzis
Fitch, King & Caffentzis
116 John Street
New York, NY 10038

RE: The tariff classification of connector assemblies from Japan

Dear Mr. Caffentzis:

In your letter dated February 19, 1993 on behalf of Marubeni America Corporation you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Along with your inquiry you submitted samples of four steel components, referred to as connector assemblies, used in the hydraulic system of forklift trucks manufactured by Barrett Industrial Trucks, Inc. You also submitted drawings depicting the manner in which these components are used, as well as samples of the hoses to which they are attached. The four connector assemblies are:

1. Part No. 69642-04H00 - consists of a hollow tube approximately one inch in diameter and three inches in length which is threaded at one end and flanged at the other end. A three-eighths inch circular tube curves out of this larger tube. This article will be attached, by means of clamps, to a reinforced rubber power steering hose and a reinforced rubber valve return hose, and threaded into a micron filter.

2. Part No. 69642-11H01 - similar to item one described above in configuration and use, except the larger shaft is L- shaped.

3. Part No. 69664-L6000 - consists of three curved tubes, with end flanges, each approximately three-eighths inch in diameter which project from a central body which is three- quarters of an inch in diameter and one and three-quarters inches long. A threaded nut is fitted onto one of the curved tubes. This article will be attached to reinforced rubber divider return hoses and a hydraulic booster.

4. Part No. 69144-L6000 - an L-shaped article with a flanged tube at one end and threading at the other end. Attached to the threaded end is a nut, a washer, and an O-ring. It will be connected to a reinforced rubber hose and a hydraulic oil pump assembly.

You state in your letter that these connector assemblies are all specifically designed for use in the hydraulic oil pump system of a forklift truck. They appear to be incapable of use in any other machine or vehicle due to their configurations.

You contend that these connector assemblies are not pipe and tube fittings provided for in heading 7307 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). You assert that the proper classification of these articles is in the provision for other articles of iron or steel in heading 7326.90.90, HTS, or in the provision for parts of machinery of heading 8427 (which encompasses forklift trucks) in heading 8431.20.00, HTS.

Forklift trucks and parts of forklift trucks are both found in section XVI of the HTS. Note 1(g) to section XVI excludes from this section parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV, of base metal. Note 2 to section XV defines parts of general use to include articles of heading 7307. The question thus arises as to whether the term "pipes and tubes" includes hoses. That is, does heading 7307, which covers tube or pipe fittings of iron or steel, include hose fittings such as these connector assemblies?

In regard to hydraulic hose fittings, Ruling Letter HQ 088393 was issued by the U.S. Customs Service on March 26, 1991. In this ruling a distinction was made between PVC plastic pipe and hose. PVC plastic pipe is made of a single extruded compound rather than many materials, of which hoses are made. Visual examination of the sample hoses submitted with your inquiry indicates they are made of more than one material, and thus are not considered to be plastic/rubber pipes. Following the same logic, they are also not considered to be plastic/rubber tubes. Therefore, the connector assemblies are not fittings for pipes and tubes, and they thus are not excluded from classification within section XVI.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the connector assemblies described above will be 8431.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, which provides for parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of heading 8427 (forklift trucks). The rate of duty will be free. As this heading is more specific, classification of these articles in heading 7326 is not appropriate.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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