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HQ 954661

October 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954661 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.50

Mr. Thomas A. Penksa
Ameri-Can Customshouse Brokers, Inc.
783 Busti Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14213

RE: Garden hose nozzles; Aqua guns; NYRL 885006 revoked; EN 84.81

Dear Mr. Penksa:

This is in response to your letter dated May 18, 1993, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, on behalf of Melnor Canada, Ltd., requesting reconsideration of NYRL 885006, dated April 27, 1993, concerning the classification of a model 482C garden hose nozzle under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Additionally, you have requested a classification of models 478, 446C, and 5305C garden hose nozzles. Your request has been forwarded to this office for reply. Samples of all models were submitted for examination.


NYRL 885006, held that the Model 482C garden hose nozzle, known as the "aqua gun", was classifiable in subheading 7907.90.30, HTSUS, as other articles of zinc, of a type used for household, table or kitchen use.

All models are nozzles which attach to a garden hose for use in watering gardens and lawns. Each includes an adjustable head which allows the user to generate different spray patterns. Models 482C, 478, and 446C control water flow with a trigger nozzle. Model 5305C controls the flow of water with a three way switch.

Model 482C has a zinc body with a plastic adjustable turret. It generates five different spraying patterns; shower, fan, fine mist, mist to jet, and jet stream. Model 478 is the same design as Model 482C except it is made entirely of zinc. Model 446C is made of plastic and also generates five patterns; jet, flower, sweeper, mist, and flat. Model 5305C is named the Soft Spray Wand and has a plastic nozzle head which is connected to a metal wand. The head rotates to generate two spray patterns; fine mist and shower spray.


Are the hose nozzles classifiable as hand operated valves?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1, HTSUS, 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. Chapter 84, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part, for machinery and mechanical appliances and accessories of such articles.

Heading 8481, HTSUS, provides for [t]aps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, for pipes, boiler shells, tanks, vats or the like, including pressure-reducing valves, and thermostatically controlled valves; parts thereof. In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be consulted. The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989).

EN 84.81, pg. 1321-1323, states in pertinent part that:

[t]his heading covers taps, cocks, valves, and similar appliances, used on or in pipes, tanks, vats or the like to regulate the flow... of fluids.... [t]he appliances regulate the flow by opening or closing an aperture...[t]hey may be operated by hand...

...[i]n general, taps, valves, etc., are of base metal or plastics, but those of other materials...are also covered by the heading.

...[t]aps, valves, etc., remain classifiable here even if incorporating other accessory features (e.g., ...short lengths of tubing; short lengths of tubing ending in a shower rose...)

...[t]aps, cocks, valves, etc., remain in this heading even if specialized for use on a particular machine or apparatus...

...[t]his heading includes inter alia:...

(10) ...hosepipe nozzles and the like, fitted with cocks or with valves for forming a jet or spray.

Based on the cited Explanatory Note, we find that models 446C, 482C, 478, and 5305C are classifiable as valves. While the heads of these hose nozzles create several different flow patterns, we believe the creation of these patterns is an accessory feature and not their main function. Their main function, controlling the flow of water, is the function of a valve.

Classification to the eight digit level depends upon whether the hose nozzles are hand operated and their composition. Because all of them are hand operated and they are made of materials other than copper, iron, or steel, they are classifiable in subheading 8481.80.50, HTSUS.

Accordingly, we are revoking NYRL 885006 pursuant to section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)]. The revocation will not be applied retroactively, and will not therefore, affect past transactions under those rulings. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 885006 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, you may apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.


Aqua guns models 446C, 482C, 478, and 5305C are classifiable as hand operated valves in subheading 8481.80.50, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 4.4% ad valorem. Products of Canada, classifiable under this provision may be entitled to a reduction in duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement upon compliance with sections 10.301-10.309, Customs Regulations [19 CFR 10.301-309].


Pursuant to section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations [ 19 CFR 177.9(d)], NYRL 885006 is revoked.


John Durant, Director

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