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 0955614 - HQ 0955729 > HQ 0955727

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 955727

April 14, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955727 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 9107.00.80; 9817.00.50

Mr. John N. Politis
Politis, Pollack & Doram
3255 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1688
Los Angeles, CA 90010

RE: Timer Controllers; Water Sprinklers; Agricultural or Horticultural Purposes; HQ 557232; NYs 855567, 859219, 859991, 880373, and 883329; 8424.81.90

Dear Mr. Politis:

This is in response to your letter of January 11, 1994, on behalf of Anthony Manufacturing Company, concerning the classification of water sprinkler controllers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of water sprinkler controllers. The controllers of three types: electro-mechanical (model nos. RC- 4C/RC-7C/RC-1260C, RC-4Bi/RC-7Bi/RC-1260Bi, and RC-1860AB/RC- 2360AB), solid state (model nos. CRC-A, 4A, 6A, and 8A; EZ-1, EZ1- 6MZ, and EZ1-6D; ISC-B8, 12, 16, 24, and 32; MIC-4, and 8; RCM-4, 6, 8, 12, 18, and 24; and MR-12, 16, 24, 36, and 48), and hybrid (model nos. ESP-12i, 16i; ESP-4, 6, and 8; ESP-X; ESP-Si, 4, 6, and 8; HP-6, 8, and 12; and the Paragon Series). They are exclusively designed, sold, and used with water sprinklers and have no other function.

The controllers, through the use of timers, control the amount of water used by the water sprinklers in agricultural or horticultural pursuits, and the time when the water sprinklers begin and end in operation.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8424.81.90: [m]echanical appliances (whether or not hand operated) for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders . . . : [o]ther appliances: [a]gricultural or horticultural: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 3.7 percent ad valorem.

9107.00.80: [t]ime switches with clock or watch movement or with synchronous motor: [v]alued over $5 each.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 45 cents each and 6.4 percent ad valorem and 2.5 cents per jewel.

9817.00.50: [m]achinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes.

Goods classifiable under this provision are eligible for duty-free treatment.


Whether the water sprinkler controllers are eligible for duty- free treatment under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, as equipment to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In HQ 557232, dated September 28, 1993, we held that water sprinklers were classifiable under subheading 8424.81.90, HTSUS. We also held that the water sprinklers were eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS.

Because the subject controllers are basically time switches, they are specifically classifiable under subheading 9107.00.80, HTSUS. You have stated that Customs, in San Diego, California, has classified the merchandise under this provision.

We must determine whether the controllers for water sprinklers are used for agricultural or horticultural purposes under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS. To fall within this duty-free provision, a three part test must be met.

First the articles must not be among the long list of exclusions to subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, under section XXII, chapter 98, subchapter XVII, U.S. note 2, HTSUS. A review of that note establishes that goods classifiable under subheading 9107.00.80, HTSUS, are not precluded from classification under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS.

Second, in accordance with GRI 1, the terms of subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, must be met. In HQ 557232, we held that because the water sprinklers were used for irrigating crops, gardens, and turf, they were used for agricultural and horticultural pursuits. Because the subject controllers are equipment which, when used with the water sprinklers they control, aid in the growth and production of turf, crops, and gardens, it is our position that they are encompassed by subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS. See NY 855567, dated September 19, 1990, NY 859219, dated January 31, 1991, NY 859991, dated February 12, 1991, NY 880373, dated December 16, 1992, and NY 883329, dated April 16, 1993.

Third, the importer must provide certification that the controllers are actually used in an agricultural or horticultural pursuit in accordance with sections 10.131 - 10.139, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.131 - 10.139). If this requirement is met, then the controllers will receive duty-free treatment under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS.


The water sprinkler controllers are classifiable under subheading 9107.00.80, HTSUS, as time switches. They are also classifiable under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, as equipment to be used for agricultural and horticultural purposes. Upon compliance with the applicable regulations 19 CFR 10.131 - 10.139, the merchandise will be eligible for duty-free treatment.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: