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HQ 955124

October 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955124 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.50

Ms. Helen H. Seldon
W.M. Stone & Co., Inc.
838 Granby Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510

RE: Modification of NYRL 870190; plastic trigger hose 4-pattern water nozzle; EN 84.81; HQ 954661

Dear Ms. Seldon:

This is in reference to a ruling (NY 870190) issued to you on January 24, 1992, by the Area Director of Customs of the New York Seaport, in response to your letter dated December 23, 1991. In NYRL 870190, you were advised of the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of a plastic trigger hose 4-pattern water nozzle. The nozzle was held to be classifiable under subheading 3924.10.50, HTSUS, which provides for other household articles of plastics: other. This is a modification of that ruling.


The subject article was described as item # 819557, a plastic trigger hose nozzle with the capability of creating 4 different patterns of water flow.


Are hoze 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 item 819557 is classifiable as a valve. While the head of this hose nozzle creates several different flow patterns, we believe the creation of these patterns is an accessory feature and not its main function. Its main function, controlling the flow of water, is the function of a valve.

Classification to the eight digit level depends upon whether the hose nozzle is hand operated and its composition. Because it is hand operated and made of materials other than copper, iron, or steel, it is classifiable in subheading 8481.80.50, HTSUS. See HQ 954661 dated October 6, 1993.

Accordingly, it is necessary to modify the portion of NYRL 870190 that concerned the classification of the plastic trigger hose 4-pattern water nozzle pursuant to section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)]. The modification 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 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, 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.


The plastic trigger hose 4-pattern water nozzle is classifiable as a hand operated valve in subheading 8481.80.50, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 4.4% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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