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HQ 955425

MARCH 22, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955425 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8716.90.50

District Director of Customs
477 Michigan Ave.
Detroit, MI 48266

RE: PRD 3801-93-100584; Twistlock, Metal Device for Securing Container to Semi-Trailer; Parts of Trailers and Semi- Trailers; Parts Versus Accessories; Cast Metal Article, Heading 7325; Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), Beacon Cycle & Supply Co., Inc. v. United States, C.D. 4764, DD 878766

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Protest 3801-93-100584, filed against your classification of certain metal devices for securing containers to semi-trailers. The entry under protest was liquidated on December 16, 1992, and this protest timely filed on March 1, 1993.


The articles in question are twistlocks, described on invoices as the fixed twistlock, part # ML 85-4 and ML 85-5, and the shoot bolt, part # ML 90-2 and ML 90-3. Blueprints of these four devices were submitted. They are further described as securing devices, ones that are designed to be permanently welded to the corners of semi-trailers and capable of being locked and unlocked to the corner fittings of either loaded or unloaded I.S.O. shipping containers. The twistlocks are intended to secure and stabilize the container during transport.

The twistlock securing devices are considered by the importer to be integral parts of semi-trailers. Consequently, they were entered under the provision for parts of trailers and semi-trailers, in subheading 8716.90,50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Based on a district ruling on similar merchandise the concerned import specialist appears to have determined that the twistlocks latch into corner fittings welded to the containers, and are therefore to be considered accessories and not parts. The entry was then - 2 -
liquidated under subheading 7325.99.50, HTSUS, as other cast articles of iron or steel.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7325 Other cast articles of iron or steel:

7325.99.50 Other: Other...5.7 percent

8716 Trailers and semi-trailers; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled; and parts thereof:

8716.90.50 Parts: Other...3.1 percent


Whether the twistlock securing devices are parts for tariff purposes.


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.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, states that a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such articles but a provision for "parts" or "parts and accessories" shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory.

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.

Relevant ENs at p. 1037 state that heading 73.25 covers all cast articles of iron or steel, not elsewhere specified or included. The heading does not, however, cover castings which are products falling in other headings of the HTSUS, for example, - 3 -
recognizable parts of machinery or mechanical appliances. The blueprints and descriptive literature suggest that these twistlocks are fabricated articles and are not cast. In any event, heading 7325 is not a specific provision for purposes of Additional U.S. Rule 1(c). Beacon Cycle & Supply Co., Inc. v. United States, C.C. 4764 (1978).

The issue, then, is whether the described twistlocks qualify as parts for tariff purposes. Your office apparently believes that the twistlocks latch into fittings that are permanently welded to the bed of the semi-trailer. DD 878766, dated October 15, 1992, from the District Director at Charlotte, which you cite, dealt with certain truck corner fittings and held they were classifiable in subheading 7326.90.90, HTSUS, as other articles of iron or steel. The ruling stated that these articles fit on the corners of ocean freight containers, but it is unclear whether the fittings were permanently affixed to the container or to the truck, which we presume to mean trailer or semi-trailer. In a letter dated February 11, 1993, to its broker, the importer states "The twistlocks are the securement devices which are welded to a chassis to enable the chassis to transport an I.S.O. shipping container from the port of discharge to the customer's facility." The concerned National Import Specialist confirmed this fact in a more recent phone conversation with the importer.

It is evident by their function and design that the twistlocks in issue are intended to secure containers to the beds of semi-trailers and to stabilize them during transit. As such, they serve a useful function in relation to the semi-trailer so that they contribute to its safe or efficient operation. The described twistlocks, therefore, qualify as parts for tariff purposes. Beacon Cycle, supra. Their unique design makes it reasonable to conclude that they are principally used with semi- trailers of heading 8716.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the twistlocks ML 85-4, ML 85- 5, ML 90-2 and ML 90-3 are provided for in heading 8716. They are classifiable in subheading 8716.90.50, HTSUS, as entered.

The protest should be ALLOWED. 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 - 4 -

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

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