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HQ 087017

August 2, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087017 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8465.94.00

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
2nd & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: Internal Advice 16/90, radial riveting machine, riveting machine, machine tool for use with metal, principal use with metal

Dear Madam or Sir:

This request for internal advice was initiated by a letter dated December 7, 1989, from the Bracker Corporation of Carnegie, Pennsylvania. Our decision follows.


The articles in question are the Modular Bracker Radial Riveting and Assembly Machines. The Bracker machines are imported by Bracker Corporation from Switzerland. The Bracker machine systems are motor driven and may be designed and built for the customer's required specifications.

The Bracker riveting machines are designed so that the orbital or wobble tool moves to form a rosette pattern. Each path of the rosette pattern passes through a center point. The longitudinal axis of the riveting tool always overlaps the center of the rivet point. The advantage to this technology is that the material is spread radially from the center outward, rather than around the center. The riveting machines accommodate a variety of riveting tools. The machines may be used for engraving, marking, beveling and burnishing surfaces. Case-hardened materials, galvanized and other plated surfaces, Bakelite, ceramic, glass, thermoset plastic assemblies, and other brittle materials may be used with the Bracker machines.

The Bracket riveting machines may be combined with CNC control, a X-Y tables, a work table, and other optional equipment to build assembly system workstations. These systems are suitable for staking of pins, and support and mounting posts of

PC boards. The systems are also able to perform riveting, flanging and flaring of shouldered rivet, sleeves, Peru nuts and other metal/plastic fasteners onto metal and non-metallic plates.

Upon entry, the Bracker Radial Riveting and Assembly Machines were classified in subheading 8463.90.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA"), as "Other machine tools for working metal, sintered metal carbides or cermets, without removing metal...Other..." The importer believes that the machines should be classified in-subheading 8465.99.00, HTSUSA, as "Machine tools (including machines for nailing, stapling, glueing or otherwise assembling) for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials...Other..."


Whether the Bracket Radial Riveting and Assembly Machines are used for working metal and properly classified in subheading 8463.90.00, HTSUSA, or for working other hard materials and properly classified in subheading 8465.99.00, HTSUSA.


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and...according to the following provisions."

The radial riveting and assembly machines in question, in order to be classified in either heading 8363, HTSUSA, or heading 8365, HTSUSA, must first be "machine tools". The language of the HTSUSA does not provide a definition of the term "machine tool", as did the previous tariff, the Tariff Schedules of the United States ("TSUS"). This requires that the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA be examined for guidance in the determination of what is a "machine tool." The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The Explanatory Notes provide a more expansive definition for "machine tool" than was found in the TSUS. These notes state that a machine tool is a power-driven machine, but similar machines worked by hand or pedal are also considered machine tools. See Explanatory Note 84.59, Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System ("HCDCS") Vol, 3, p. 1272, Explanatory Note 84.60, HCDCS, Vol. 3, p. 1275; Explanatory Note 84.61, HCDCS, Vol. 3, p. 1276; Explanatory Note 84.62, HCDCS,

Vol. 3, p. 1279; Explanatory Note 84.63, HCDCS, Vol. 3, p. 1281; Explanatory Note 84.64, HCDCS, Vol. 3, p. 1282; Explanatory Note 84.65, Vol. 3, p. 1284.

The Bracker machines are machine tools within the meaning of the HTSUSA. They could be described by either heading 8463 or heading 8465. However, the headings describe particular materials with which the machine tools operate. The Bracker machines are operable with both metallic and non-metallic surfaces. To discern the appropriate classification it must be determined with what material the machines are principally used. In the United States, goods that are classified according to use, are to be classified according to their principal use. Additional U.S. GRI l(a), HTSUSA.

The importer contends that the machines are principally used with diecast materials and thermoplastics, but are also used with metals. Diecast materials may be either metals or plastics. The importer has provided no definitive evidence of the principal use being with hard materials other than metals.

It is the opinion of this office that the terms of heading 8463, HTSUSA, best describes the radial riveting machines in question, in accordance with GRI 1. Explanatory Note 84.63 states that heading 8463 includes riveting machines. Explanatory Note 84.63(5), HCDCS, Vol. 3, p. 1281. Without clear evidence to the contrary, this office interpretsthe HTSUSA as the Explanatory Notes indicate. The proper classification of the radial riveting machines is in subheading 8463.90.00, HTSUSA, as "Other machine tools for working metal, sintered metal carbides or cermets, without removing metal...Other..."


The Bracker Riveting and Assembly Machines are machine tools within the meaning of the HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes indicate that riveting machines are to be included in heading 8463, HTSUSA. Since there is not evidence to the contrary, the radial riveting machines in question are considered to be principally used with metals. Therefore, in accordance with GRI 1, the riveting machines fall under heding 8463. The appropriate classification for the Bracker Riveting and Assembly Machines is within subheading 8463.90.00, HTSUSA, as "Other machine tools for working metal, sintered metal carbides or cermets, without removing metal...Other..."

Please advise the internal advice applicant of this decision.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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