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HQ 956084

JULY 27, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956084 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8481.10.00, 8481.20.00

District Director of Customs
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: PRD 3004-93-100092; Motor-Actuated Plug Valve, Hydraulic Fluid Regulating Valve; Bleed Pressure Regulatory Valve; Heading 9014, Instrument for Aeronautical or Space Navigation; Heading 9032, Automatic Regulating or Controlling Instrument and Apparatus; Section XVI, Note 2(a), Chapter 90, Note 1(g); Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA); HQ 952880

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Protest No. 3004-93-100092, filed against your classification of certain valve assemblies from France. The entries under protest were liquidated on April 30 and May 7, 1993, and this protest timely filed on June 9, 1993.


The two articles in issue are valve assemblies, an electric, motor-actuated plug valve, part #B38LC2510, and a bleed pressure regulatory valve, part #7408SB01. The first is used to regulate the flow of hydraulic fluid in a power transmission system aboard an A-310 passenger aircraft. The second is a pressure regulating valve used to control fluid pressure in a hydraulic system aboard the aircraft. Both assemblies are not further described.

The first valve assembly was entered under a provision in heading 9032 as an automatic regulating or controlling instrument or apparatus, while the second assembly was entered under a provision in heading 9014 as an instrument or appliance for aeronautical or space navigation. Both of the entered provisions are duty-free under the Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA). The concerned import specialist determined that the valves were provided for eo nomine, by name, as valves, in heading 8481 and liquidated the entries under subheading 8481.80.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8481 Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances ...including pressure-reducing valves and thermostatically controlled valves:

8481.10.20 Pressure-reducing valves...3.7 percent

8481.20.00 Valves for oleohydraulic or pneumatic transmissions...3.7 percent

8481.80.90 Other appliances...3.7 percent

9014 Other navigational instruments and appliances:

9014.20 Instruments and appliances for aeronautical or space navigation (other than compasses):

9014.20.80 Other...Free

9032 Automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus:

Other instruments and apparatus:

9032.89 Other:

9032.89.60 Other...Free under the CAA


Whether the two valve assemblies, or either of them, are provided for in chapter 90; whether they are provided for as valves in heading 8481.


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. - 3 -

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

Regarding the entered provisions, articles of chapter 90, whether instruments or appliances, or parts thereof, are precluded from classification in section XVI (which includes chapter 84). Section XVI, Note 1(m), HTSUS. But valves or other appliances of heading 8481 are not covered by chapter 90. Chapter 90, Note 1(g), HTSUS. Therefore, if the valve assemblies are provided for in heading 8481, they are classified there. Section XVI, Note 2(a), HQ 952880, dated February 8, 1993.

Relevant ENs state at pp. 1321 and 2 that heading 84.81 includes devices designed to regulate the pressure or the flow velocity of a liquid or gas. They regulate the flow by opening or closing an aperture such as a gate, disc, ball, plug, needle or diaphragm). They may be operated by hand, that is, by means of a key, wheel, press button, etc., or by a motor, solenoid, clock movement, etc., or by an automatic device such as a spring, counterweight, float lever, thermostatic element or pressure capsule. Articles incorporating such mechanisms remain in heading 84.81. By function and design, both of the valve assemblies under protest are provided for in heading 8481.


Under the authority of GRI 1, valve assemblies represented by parts 7408SB01 and B38LC2510 are provided for in heading 8481. Because the former valve assembly functions to reduce pressure it is classifiable in subheading 8481.10.00, HTSUS. Because the latter valve assembly is principally used in hydraulic power transmission applications, it is classifiable in subheading 8481.20.00, HTSUS.

Since the rate of duty under the provisions found to apply are the same as the liquidated rate 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 - 4 -
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John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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