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HQ 953352

April 5, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953352 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8483.90.80

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
40 South Gay Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE: Protest No. 1303-91-100105; Steel Forgings; Yokes; Parts of Shaft Couplings; Unfinished; GRI 2(a); Section XVI, Note 2; 8432.90.00

Dear Sir:

This is our response on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1303-91-100105, dated March 8, 1991, concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on steel forgings under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of rough steel yoke forgings which are used in the fabrication of constant velocity joints, otherwise known as shaft couplings. A constant velocity joint is a flexible shaft connection which allows torque transmission, under variable conditions, between drive and driven components. The yoke forgings, once imported into the U.S., will be machine finished and assembled into shaft couplings. One finished yoke makes up one half of a shaft coupling.


Whether the yoke forgings are classifiable under heading 8432, HTSUS, as parts of agricultural machinery, or under heading 8483, HTSUS, as parts of shaft couplings?


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.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8432.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[a]gricultural, horticultural or forestry machinery for soil preparation or cultivation; lawn or sports ground rollers; parts thereof: [p]arts." However, the entry was liquidated under subheading 8483.90.80, HTSUS, which, in part, provides for: "clutches and shaft couplings (including universal joints); parts thereof: [p]arts: [o]ther: [o]ther."

It has been suggested that the yoke forgings are unfinished parts of shaft couplings. Consequently, GRI 2(a) must be consulted. In part, it states that:

[a]ny reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. . .

Based upon the information provided to us, it is our position that the yoke forgings do have the essential character of parts of shaft couplings. One forging, once finished, will make up one half of a constant velocity joint, or shaft coupling.

When dealing with the classification of parts under section XVI, HTSUS, section XVI, note 2, must be consulted. It states that:

[s]ubject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8485 and 8548) 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 (including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are to be classified with the machines of that kind. However, parts which are equally suitable for use principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525 to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;

(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading 8485 to 8548.

With regard to the merchandise, note 2(a), HTSUS, is not dispositive because a finished half of a shaft coupling is not a good included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85, HTSUS. However, note 2(b), HTSUS, is dispositive. The merchandise is suitable for use solely or principally with shaft couplings, and, under note 2(b), HTSUS, it is to be classified with the shaft couplings. Therefore, the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8483.90.80, HTSUS.

Because of the direction given under section XVI, note 2(b), HTSUS, the merchandise is precluded from classification under heading 8432, HTSUS.


The unfinished yoke forgings are classifiable under subheading 8483.90.80, HTSUS, which, in part, provides for: "clutches and shaft couplings (including universal joints); parts thereof: [p]arts: [o]ther: [o]ther."

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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