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HQ 953544

April 5 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953544 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 7314.30.50; 7326.20.00

Mr. Louis D. Bernier
Customhouse Broker
North Star World Trade Services, Inc.
7700 23rd Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55450

RE: Excluder, Queen bee; DRL 882692 reconsidered and affirmed; Subheading 8436.99.00

Dear Mr. Bernier;

In a letter dated February 3, 1993, on behalf of Mann Lake Supply Co., you asked for a reconsideration of District Ruling Letter (DRL) 882692 dated February 19, 1993, concerning the tariff classification of a bound and an unbound queen bee excluder produced in Taiwan.


The merchandise involved consists of bound and unbound queen bee excluders made of stainless steel and plated with zinc. The excluders (wire mesh screen with holes spaced so that the larger queen bee cannot pass through the screen, but allowing free movement to the others) are used to keep the queen bee away from the "work area" of a bee hive where the honey is stored.

In DRL 882692 Customs ruled that the bound excluder with metal framing on the edges is classifiable under subheading 7326.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTUS), which provides for other articles of iron or steel, articles of iron or steel wire. The unbound excluder, which is a grill without a frame, was ruled to be classifiable under subheading 7314.30.50, HTSUS, which provides for other grill, netting and fencing, welded at the intersection, other. The applicable rate of duty for both provisions is 5.7% ad valorem.

You claim that this merchandise is entitled to duty free treatment under subheading 8436.99.00, HTSUS, which provides for other agricultural, horticultural, forestry, poultry-keeping or bee-keeping machinery, parts, other.


Are the queen bee excluders parts of bee-keeping machinery for tariff purposes?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUS, although not dispositive should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See 54 FR 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The EN to heading 84.36, at pages 1217-19, read in pertinent part as follows:

The heading covers machinery, not falling in headings 84.32 to 84.35, which is of the type used on farms (including agricultural schools, co-operatives or testing stations), in forestry, market gardens, or poultry-keeping or bee-keeping farms or the like.


(A) Honey presses.

(B) Machines for forming wax into comb foundations.

The heading does not cover:

(a) Beehives, classified according to the constituent material (usually heading 44.21).

Although the queen bee excluders are intended for agricultural use (growing honey), they are neither machinery nor are they parts of machinery. Consequently, they do not qualify for classification as parts of bee-keeping machinery under subheading 8436.99.00, HTSUS.


The bound queen bee excluder is dutiable at the rate of 5.7% ad valorem under subheading 7326.20.00, HTSUS.

The unbound queen bee excluder is dutiable at the rate of 5.7% ad valorem under subheading 7314.30.50, HTSUS.

DRL 882692 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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