United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0954939 - HQ 0955015 > HQ 0954990

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 954990

MARCH 17, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954990 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8537.10.00

Area Director of Customs
110 S. Fourth Street, Rm. 137
Minneapolis, MN 55401

RE: PRD 3501-92-100098; Landing Gear Control and Interface Unit (LGCIU); Control Device for Raising and Lowering Landing Gear and Opening Landing Gear Door on Airbus A-320; Control Device, Controller; Parts of Airplanes or Helicopters, Subheading 8537.10.00; Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA); HQ 087979, HQ 954972

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3501-92-100098, filed against your action in classifying certain apparatus that controls the landing gear and landing gear doors on the Airbus A-320 aircraft. The entry under protest was liquidated on January 31, 1992, and this protest timely filed on April 23, 1992.


The Landing Gear Control and Interface Unit (LGCIU), identified as part no. 664700500A4A, is described in submitted literature as apparatus that controls the landing gear and landing gear doors on the A-320 aircraft in accordance with pre- programmed instructions.

Actuation of control surfaces on aircraft, to include retractable landing gear, is performed by hydraulic power transmission usually with high-pressure oil as the working fluid. The pilot intitates the process through a hand-operated control lever. This activates the logic memory of the LGCIU which causes the oil to be released through the "landing gear" and "doors" selector valves to the door-actuating cylinders. This releases the mechanical locking devices on these cylinders, allowing the doors to open and the hatches to uncover. When the doors are fully opened, pressure in the hydraulic system rises to a point where a release valve permits oil to flow to cylinders that release the landing gear. Once airborne, the reverse sequence - 2 -
retracts the landing gear and closes the doors. The LGCIU is also said to perform certain failure monitoring functions and to receive information from proximity sensors on the flap disconnect systems and the cargo door and cargo bay heating systems and sends this data to other systems. These processes are not further described. However, there is no indication that the LGCIU itself uses this information or makes any intellegent decisions based on this information.

The LGCIU was entered under the duty-free provision for other parts of airplanes or helicopters, in subheading 8803.30.00, Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Citing HQ 087979, counsel for the protestant proposes an alternative classification in heading 9014, a provision for navigational instruments and appliances. This is based on the theory that the LGCIU enables the A-320 to land; thus, it allows the aircraft to complete a particular course of navigation. The concerned import specialist determined that the LGCIU was a switching mechanism that functions as a control device, and liquidated the entry under subheading 8537.10.00, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8537 Boards, panels and consoles for electric control or the distribution of electricity:

8537.10.00 For a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V ...5.3 percent

8803 Parts of goods of heading 8801 or 8802:

8803.30.00 Other parts of airplanes or helicopters ...Free

9014 Other navigational instruments and appliances

9014.20 Instruments and appliances for aeronautical or space navigation:

9014.20.60 Other: Electrical...Free under CAA

9014.20.80 Other: Other...Free


Whether the LGCIU is an instrument or appliance of heading 9014; whether it is a control device of heading 8537.


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.

Initially, the expressions "parts" and "parts and accessories" do not apply to electrical machinery or equipment of chapter 85 or to articles of chapter 90. Section XVII, Notes 2(f) and (g), HTSUS. Similarly, articles of chapter 90 are precluded from section XVI, which includes chapter 85. Section XVI, Note 1(m), HTSUS. Therefore, if the LGCIU is a good of heading 9014, it cannot be classified either in heading 8537 or in heading 8803. If the LGCIU is not a good of heading 9014 but is a good of heading 8537 it cannot be classified in heading 8803.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80.

The claim under heading 9014 is addressed in HQ 954972, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein, to include reference to HQ 087979. In our opinion, the common meaning of the terms navigate and navigation does not encompass apparatus that raises and lowers a plane's landing gear and opens and closes the landing gear doors. This eliminates heading 9014 from consideration.

Regarding heading 8537, relevant ENs under (3) at p. 1391, indicate that "Programmable controllers" of that heading are digital apparatus using a programmable memory for the storage of instructions for implementing specific functions such as logic, sequencing, timing, counting, and arithmetic, to control, through digital analog/output modules, various types of machines. A programmable controller's ultimate purpose is to control output - 4 -
devices. It does this by reading input signals from pushbuttons, contacts or switches and deciding what the outputs should be, based on the user's program logic. It then takes the logic- level signals from the program logic solver and converts them to output signals which it then sends to output devices such as solenoids, valves, etc. The available information indicates that the LGCIU functions in this manner with its principal purpose being to raise and lower the A-320's landing gear and to open and close the plane's landing gear doors. HQ 087979, HQ 954972. This eliminates heading 8803 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the LGCIU is provided for as a control device of heading 8537. It is classified in subheading 8537.10.00 as liquidated. The protest should be denied.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: