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HQ 955916

MAY 16, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955916 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 9027.80.40

District Director of Customs
P.O. Box 1490, Rm. 218
St. Albans, VT. 05478

RE: PRD 0201-93-100192; Liquid Density Transducers, Apparatus for Measuring Density of Fuel; Densitometer Sensor, Measuring and Checking Instrument for Liquids and Gases, Heading 9026; Apparatus for Analyzing Physical Properties; Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA); NY 863906

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Protest No. 0210-93-10192, filed against your classification of certain liquid density transducers from the UK. The entry under protest was liquidated on March 19, 1993, and this protest timely filed on April 27, 1993.


The merchandise is identified on the Customs Form 6445 as a liquid density transducer, part #044934-3 Rev G. The liquid density transducer is described in electronic messages from the concerned NIS and other data in the file as a resonant sensor. It is incorporated into a densitometer, which is apparatus that measures the density or actual mass per-unit-of-volume of fuel aboard commercial aircraft. This measurement is accomplished by utilizing changes in the sensor's resonant frequencies caused by variations in altitude, temperature, fuel type, etc. The aircraft's fuel gauging system uses these measurements to correct unacceptable variations in fuel density.

The sensor was entered under the provision for parts and accessories for measuring or checking instruments and apparatus, in subheading 9026.90.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Merchandise in this provision is eligible for free entry under the Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA). On the advice of the concerned NIS that density is a physical property of a material, the concerned import specialist liquidated the entry under the provision for other instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis, in subheading 9027.80.40, HTSUS. - 2 -

For purposes of headings 9026 and 9027, Customs has traditionally regarded sensors of this type as apparatus, rather than as parts and accessories.

Protestant objects to the liquidated classification because he believes that instruments for physical or chemical analysis are of a class or kind used in a laboratory environment. On the other hand, he believes that goods classified in heading 9026 are not so limited.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

9026 Instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases; parts and accessories thereof:

9026.90 Parts and accessories:

9026.90.20 Of electrical instruments and apparatus ...4.9 percent but free under CAA

9027 Instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis:

9027.80 Other instruments and apparatus:

9027.80.40 Other: Electrical...4.9 percent


Whether measuring the density of fuel is physical analysis.


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. Under Rule 3(a), goods that are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, shall be classified in the heading that provides the most specific description.

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 - 3 -
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. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The sensor under protest is described both in heading 9026 and in heading 9027. However, relevant ENs at p. 1511 state that apart from instruments or apparatus more specifically covered by other headings of the Nomenclature, such as: ...(d) Instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis, etc. (heading 90.27), heading 90.26 covers instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure, kinetic energy or other process variables of liquids or gases. Therefore, heading 90.27, if it applies, is deemed to be more specific than heading 90.26.

ENs at p. 1515, list oxygen meters for the determination of dissolved oxygen in liquids by use of a polarometric cell, polarographic analysers for the determination of the components of liquids, and wet-chemical analysers, for the determination of inorganic or organic components of liquids, e.g., traces of metals, phosphates, etc., among the apparatus covered by heading 90.27. Densitometers and related apparatus are compellingly analogous to these exemplars. In addition, NY 863906, dated June 19, 1991, classified apparatus for testing and recording the quality of water, i.e., the amount of dissolved oxygen, as well as Ph, ammonia and nitrate levels, in subheadings 9027.10.20 and 9027.80.40, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 3(a), heading 9027 provides the most specific description for the liquid density transducer, part #044934-3 Rev G. It is classified in subheading 9027.80.40, HTSUS, as instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis.

The protest is 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 - 4 -
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

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