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HQ 955308

March 28, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955308 MMC

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 7310.21.00; 8309.90.00

District Director
477 Michigan Ave
Room 200
Detroit, MI 48226

RE: Protest 3801-3-102832; cans and can ends; cans closed by rolling and crimping; HRLs 953509, 951510

Dear District Director:

This is our response regarding Protest 3801-3-102832, which concerns the classification of cans and can ends under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The entries in question were liquidated on April 30, May 7 and June 11, 1993. A protest was timely filed on July 29, 1993.

FACTS:

The protested entries concern cans and can ends. In the U.S., the cans and can ends are sealed by rolling and crimping together of the can body flange and the curled end.

Protestant claims that the cans and can ends, imported in equal numbers, are "unassembled" cans, and thus, according to GRI 2(a) HTSUS, are classifiable under subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS, which provides for cans, of a capacity of less than 50 liters, which are to be closed by soldering or crimping. Protestant further claims that excess can ends imported with cans and can end shipments are classifiable under subheading 8309.90.00, HTSUS, as other caps and lids of base metal.

Upon liquidation the cans were classified under subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS, while the can ends were classified under subheading 8309.90.00, HTSUS.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7310.21.00 [t]anks, casks, drums, cans, boxes and similar containers..., of iron or steel, of a capacity not exceeding 300 liters, whether or not lined or heat insulated, but not fitted with mechanical or thermal equipment...[o]f a capacity of less than 50 liters...[c]ans which are to be closed by soldering or crimping (free)

8309.90.00 [s]toppers, caps and lids (including crown corks, screw caps and pouring stoppers), capsules for bottles, threaded bungs, bung covers, seals and other packing accessories, and parts thereof, of base metal...[o]ther (5.2%)

ISSUE:

Whether cans and can ends imported together are considered "unassembled" cans for tariff purposes?

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

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.

Subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS, specifically provides for cans which are to be closed by soldering or crimping. Therefore, cans and can ends imported together, which will be soldered or crimped after importation to form closed cans, are described by the terms of subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 953509, dated July 22, 1993.

In the present case, as in HRL 953509, cans and can ends are imported together with the intention that the ends will be crimped onto the cans after they are filled. Therefore, the cans and can ends imported in equal numbers are classified under subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS, as cans to be closed by soldering or crimping.

In HRL 953509, as in this case, there were more can ends than cans. HRL 953509 held that excess can ends are classifiable under subheading 8309.90.00, HTSUS, as base metal lids, seals and other packing accessories. See also HRL 951510, dated August 7,1992.

Therefore, equal numbers of cans and can ends which are necessary to form complete cans by soldering or crimping are classifiable under subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS. Additional can ends are classifiable under subheading 8309.90.00, HTSUS.

HOLDING:

Equal numbers of cans and can ends which are necessary to form complete cans by soldering or crimping, are classifiable under subheading 7310.21.00, HTSUS. Additional can ends in excess of the number needed to make complete cans are classifiable under subheading 8309.90.00, HTSUS. The protest should be granted in full.

In accordance with Section 3A (11) (b) of Customs Directive 0993550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry 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 Ruling Module, ACS, and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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