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HQ 555444

March 15, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C 555444 RA


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80, HTSUS

Mr. John W. Cain
Cain Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 150
Hildalgo, Texas 78557

RE: Applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, to a starter work solenoid assembled in Mexico

Dear Mr. Cain:

This is in response to your letter of June 30, 1989, on behalf of the Wells Mfg. Co., requesting a ruling on the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS), to a solenoid for an automobile starter motor assembled from U.S.-made components in Mexico.


You state that in the first assembly step wire is removed from two spools, cut to length, wound onto a bobbin, and covered with an adhesive to form coil assembly # XXXXXXXX. The wires are then trimmed and terminals are crimped to the ends. Next, the coil assembly, plunger sleeve, washers, field collar, and plunger stop are placed inside a housing. A press makes an indentation on the outside of the housing to hold the parts inside. A lead wire is welde~ to the housing to form an electrical ground and this completes part # XXXXXXXXX.

Next, a panhead screw is welded to a terminal and a wire is crimped to the terminal stud. A contact washer, insulator, plunger, two springs, and a washer are clipped together with a retaining spring to make a contact assembly, part # 511400079. A cover assembly, part # XXXXXXXXX, is formed by bolting two nuts, a contact stud, a cover, a screw, and a terminal through the cover. Defective parts, if anytare detected, are removed and replaced with new parts.


Can an allowance in duty be made under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, for parts of U.S. origin which are assembled abroad into solenoids in the above-described manner?


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components of U.S. origin with no operations performed thereon except the joining of the components and operations incidental thereto. The components must be exported in condition ready for assembly, and cannot lose their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise. Duty is assessed on the appraised value of the imported merchandise less the cost or value of the U.S.-made components at the time they were exported.

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), states that the assembly operations may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, or the use of fasteners. These operations may be preceded, accompanied, or followed by operations incidental to the assembly. Section 10.16(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(b)), sets forth examples of operations considered incidental to assembly, which include cutting to length of wire and adjustments in the shape of a component to the extent required by the assembly being performed.

The foreign operations described in your letter, consisting of cutting wires to length, crimping on terminals to the ends, denting the housing, placing various parts inside a housing, spot welding wires, clipping parts together with a retaining ring, bolting parts together, and attaching parts by means of nuts and screws, are all considered to be acceptable assembly operations under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, or incidental thereto.


The joining of U.S.-made components by the above-mentioned operations constitutes a qualified assembly and an allowance in duty for these components may be allowed under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, upon compliance with the Customs Regulations.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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