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HQ 088743

MAY 10, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 088743 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8501.10.40

Area Director
U.S. Customs Service
J.F.K. Airport Area
J.F.K. Airport
Building 178
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Internal Advice 11/91; chart drives; electric motors; gear motors; Section XVI, Note 2; Chapter 90, Note 2; parts which are goods included in any of the headings; measurement recording instruments

Dear Sir:

This is in response to your request for internal advice, Internal Advice 11/91, regarding the classification of certain chart drives. Our response follows.


The articles in question are chart drives, which are gear motors specifically designed for installation in measurement recording instruments. The chart drives provide electrical power to the instrument to rotate the chart paper within the instrument. The drives have rugged housings to protect them from moisture, dust and other conditions of the field in which they are used. The chart drives also have electrical circuitry to control the speed of the chart's rotation. Literature submitted by the importer states that the drive is "a self- starting hysteresis type synchronous motor, and a first class clockwork movement with a pin pallet escapement."


What is the appropriate classification for the chart drives?


The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA") is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRIs"). 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..." Electrical machinery is classified in Chapter 85, Section XVI, HTSUSA. Measuring instruments are classified in Chapter 90, Section XVIII, HTSUSA. Thus, these chapter and section notes must be examined.

Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUSA, and Chapter 90, Note 2, HTSUSA, are substantially similar. These notes state in pertinent part the following:

...parts of machines...are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters [84, 85 90 or 91] 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 are to be classified with the machines of that kind...;

(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading [8485 or 8548 or 9033].

According to Section XVI, Note 2(a), and Chapter 90, Note 2(a), if the chart drives are described by a heading within chapters 84, 85, 90 or 91, the chart drives must be classified in that heading. Heading 8501, HTSUSA, specifically describes electrical motors. To determine what is meant by "electrical motors" of this heading, the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA must be examined. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A) states that "[e]lectric motors are machines for transforming electrical energy into mechanical power." Explanatory Note 85.01(I), Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding Service ("HCDCS"), Vol. 4, p.1333. This Note further comments that heading 8501 includes rotary motors that produce mechanical power in the form of a rotary motion. Furthermore, rotary motors are of many different types and sizes, and the motor housing may be adapted to the circumstances in which the motor will operate (e.g. dust proof, drip proof, etc.). Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A), HCDCS, Vol. 4, pp. 1333-1334.

The importer believes that since the motors are used with specific machines and were classified with those machines under the prior Tariff Schedules of the United States ("TSUS"), then
the chart drives should remain parts of the measurement recording machines under the HTSUSA. We disagree. Although the transition to the HTSUSA was meant to be tariff neutral wherever possible, some differences have occurred. These differences result from the new nomenclature, GRIs and notes of the HTSUSA which this office is bound to follow. In Headquarters Ruling 086832, dated May 21, 1990, this office stated that under the HTSUSA "a motor remains a motor for tariff purposes..."

Under the TSUS, the motors were considered to be "more than" motors since they were dedicated for use with a specific machine. However, the "more than" concept upon which many TSUS classifications were based may no longer apply and certainly does not apply in this case. Classification under the HTSUSA must follow the GRIs, the terms of the headings, and the chapter and section notes. Products classified under the HTSUSA, are classified in the provisions which most specifically describe the articles.

The chart drives in question are electric gear motors. Heading 8501 is an eo nomine provision for electric motors. Heading 8501 describes "Electric motors and generators (excluding generating sets)..." The chart drives are parts of measurement recording instruments and heading 8501 specifically describes the chart drives. Thus, in accordance with GRI 1, the terms of the headings and the section and chapter notes require that the chart drives be classified under heading 8501. The appropriate classification for the chart drives is subheading 8501.10.40, HTSUSA, as "Electric motors and generators (excluding generating sets)...Motors of an output not exceeding 37.5 W...O under 18.65 W...Other..."


The chart drives for use with measurement recording instruments are electric gear motors. Electric motors are specifically described by heading 8501. In accordance with GRI 1, Section XVI, Note 2(a), and Chapter 90, Note 2(a), the chart drives meet the terms of heading 8501. The proper classification for the chart drives is subheading 8501.10.40, as "Electric motors and generators (excluding generating sets)...Motors of an output not exceeding 37.5 W...O under 18.65 W...Other..."

Please advise the internal advice applicant of this decision.


John Durant, Director

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