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HQ 953479

JUNE 9 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 953479 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7309.00.00

District Director of Customs
P.O. Box 610
Pembina, ND 58271

RE: Internal Advice 9/93; Bulk Feed Bins; Grain Hopper Bottom Bins Imported Without Hopper Bottoms; Unfinished Grain Storage Bins, GRI 2(a); Reservoirs, Tanks, Vats; Machinery, Equipment and Implements to be Used for Agricultural or Horticultural Purposes, 9817.00.50; Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2(ij), HTSUS

Dear Sir:

This is our response to your memorandum of January 25, 1993 (CLA-1:01:SEO:CO DW), on the issue of whether bottom hopper grain bins imported without the bottom hopper mechanism are eligible for free entry under subheading 9817.00.50.


The merchandise in issue is identical in all material respects to the bottom hopper bins which were the subject of our letter to you of September 1, 1992. HQ 951729. The contents of that letter are incorporated by reference in this decision. In bins of this type, the grain is augured to the top while the bottom hopper is a cone-like mechanism for the gravity feed of grains, fertilizers and other dry bulk materials.

You indicate that the broker representing the importer, Micada Ventures, Inc., Hope, ND., proposes to enter the merchandise under the provision for prefabricated buildings, under subheading 9406.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), but free of duty under heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, as machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. - 2 -

You contend that the provisions of heading 9817.00.50 do not apply to incomplete articles.


Whether bottom hopper grain storage bins, imported without the bottom hopper mechanism, have the essential character of complete or finished goods.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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 provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 2(a) provides in part that any 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.

As discussed in HQ 951729, both the appropriate National Import Specialist and the concerned import specialist agree that grain bins of this type are not goods of heading 9406. The bins were found in this decision to be reservoirs, tanks, vats and similar containers of heading 7309.

In determining the tariff status of the unfinished grain bins in issue here, the factor or factors that determines essential character varies with the goods. It may be determined by the nature of the importation itself, its cost or value when compared to the cost or value of the completed article, the role of the import in relation to the use of the goods, or other factors that may be relevant. In this case, grain bins are receptacles for holding or storing goods. The imported bins, some of which your office agrees are entered fully assembled and some disassembled, but in both cases incomplete, perform this function. The bottom hopper mechanism is merely the means of emptying the bins.

In our opinion, bottom hopper grain bins, imported without the bottom hopper mechanism, have the aggregate of distinctive component parts that establishes their identity as grain storage or holding receptacles. They have the essential character of complete grain bins. - 3 -


In accordance with HQ 951729, complete bottom hopper grain bins are classifiable in subheading 7309.00.00, HTSUS, as reservoirs, tanks, vats and similar containers for any material, of iron or steel.

Under the authority of GRI 2(a), HTSUS, incomplete bottom hopper grain bins, as described, are goods of heading 7309. They are also classifiable in subheading 7309.00.00; as such, the bins are not eligible for classification in heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director

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