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HQ 956591

OCTOBER 6, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956591 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8411.91.90

Area Director of Customs
6 World Trade Center, Rm. 423
New York, NY 10048

RE: PRD 1001-93-108430; Titanium Fan Blade Panels for Processing into Fan Blades for Jet Engines; Articles of Titanium, Subheading 8108.90.60; Parts of Turbojets, Unfinished, Blanks, GRI 2(a); Civil Aircraft Agreement (CAA)

Dear Madam:

This is our decision on Protest 1001-93-108430 filed against the classification of certain tapered alloy fan blade panels from the UK. The entry under protest was liquidated on September 3, 1993, and this protest timely filed on December 1, 1993.


The merchandise in issue is invoiced as titanium hot rolled creep flattened and machined tapered plates, referred to by protestant as fan blade panels. The processing that results in the production of these panels starts with the forming of alloy titanium into consumable electrodes, which are melted and forged into slabs. The slabs are then rolled into long flat sheets, 2 inches thick, and cut into trapezoid-shaped panels slightly wider at the top than at the bottom. These panels are then rolled to a 1 1/2 inch thickness at the bottom tapering to a thickness of approximately 1/4 inch thick at the top. The fan blade panels are then brought to their condition as imported by finish machining to proper exterior surface dimensions. After importation, the external side or airfoil surface of a panel is milled and sanded to a required finish and the internal side machined to produce a cavity. Two identical panels are then placed cavity-side-in between large dies and diffusion bonded for up to four hours at 1725 degrees F, to produce one hollow fan blade assembly. In what protestant describes as a series of finishing operations, the fan blade is heated between two round disks in a preform furnace to impart a camber or curve at one - 2 -
end, the blade skinsmoothed by additional heating in a final form press, and the interior hollow cavity inflated with non-reactive argon gas. Minor finish machining completes the fan blade assembly.

The fan blade panels were entered under a provision in HTS heading 8411 for other parts of turbojets or turbopropellers. Protestant asserts that because of their unique titanium alloy composition and tapered design, together with the relatively minimal post-importation processing involved, the fan blade panels qualify as unfinished parts for tariff purposes. Goods so classified may be eligible for free entry under the Civil Aircraft Agreemnet (CAA), if otherwise qualified. The entry was liquidated under a provision for other articles of titanium, in heading 8108, because the blade panels, being unfinished, were not believed to have been advanced to a recognizable condition as part of an aircraft turbine.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8108 Titanium and articles thereof, including waste and scrap:

8108.90 Other:

8108.90.60 Other...15 percent

8411 Turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines, and parts thereof:


8411.91.90 Other...3.7 percent (Free under CAA)


Whether titanium alloy fan blade panels are blanks and therefore unfinished articles 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. - 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).

The provisions of Rule 2(a) apply to the imported merchandise if they qualify as blanks. The ENs to GRI 2(a) provide specific guidance on the application of the rule to articles referred to as "blanks." EN (II) to the GRI states on p. 2:

(II) The provisions of this rule also apply to blanks unless these are specified in a particular heading. The term "blank" means an article, not ready for direct use, having the approximate shape or outline of the finished article or part, and which can only be used, other than in exceptional cases, for completion into the finished article or part.

Semi-manufactures not yet having the essential shape of the finished articles
(such as is generally the case with bars, discs, tubes, etc.) are not regarded as

The ENs address two criteria for articles which are "blanks" for GRI 2(a) purposes: approximate shape or outline and sole use for completion into the finished article or part.

In this case, the trapezoidal shaping and taper rolling to different thicknesses of titanium alloy sheets into crude fan blade panels prior to exportation establishes the approximate external surface dimensions of each of the two blade panels which, when combined, will comprise a finished fan blade assembly. Even the cambering of one end of a completed fan blade does not destroy its essential external shape which is that of its constituent blade panels. Likewise, the trapezoidal shaping and taper rolling establish to a reasonable certainty the end use of the panels. - 4 -


The titanium fan blade panels qualify as blanks for tariff purposes. Under the authority of GRI 2(a), the panels are considered unfinished parts of heading 8411. They are classifiable in subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS.

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 ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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