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HQ 957085

October 17, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 957085 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 8411.91.90

William J. Phelan, Esq.
Phelan & Mitri
One Atlantic Street
Stamford, Connecticut 06901

RE: Aircraft Engine Disk Forgings; GRI 2(a); incomplete or unfinished; essential character; EN 84.11; EN Rule 2(a)(II) and EN Rule 3(b); blanks

Dear Mr. Phelan:

This is in regards to your letter dated September 9, 1994, to the Regional Commissioner, New York, on behalf of United Technologies Corporation, Pratt & Whitney Division, concerning the tariff classification of aircraft engine disk forgings under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter and attachments, as well as a facsimile to the concerned National Import Specialist, dated September 19, 1994, were forwarded to this office for a response.


This inquiry concerns the tariff classification of aircraft engine disk forgings ("engine disk forgings") which will be manufactured in a proposed Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) in Columbus, Georgia. Pratt & Whitney intends to file for FTZ status for this facility. If the FTZ application is approved, Pratt & Whitney will elect non-privileged foreign status for imported titanium into the FTZ, manufacture engine disk forgings from the titanium and make entry into the U.S. by delivering the engine disk forgings to its Southington, Connecticut, plant for completion. The completed product manufactured in the Southington plant will be an aircraft engine disk designed to carry the airfoils (compressor and turbine blades) that control the airflow through a jet engine.

The imported titanium which will enter the FTZ will be titanium alloy ingot or billet which typically consists of approximately 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium. The engine disk forgings will be produced as follows:

1.) a titanium ingot or billet is "gatorized" (super-heated and pressed) into the shape of a thick pancake-like disk; 2.) the pancake-like disk is "gatorized" (super-heated and pressed) into roughly the final forging shape, which resembles either a disk with a center extruded hub or a flat, donut- shaped disk;
3.) the forged shape is heat-treated according to specifications and machined all over to produce a "sonic" disk configuration; and
4.) this machined disk forging is inspected for defects and then shipped to the Southington plant.

At the Southington plant the engine disk forging will be manufactured into an aircraft engine disk by finishing processes which consist of turning, milling, grinding, broaching, boring, gear-shaping, cleaning and surface treatment. The majority of the finishing processes involve removing extraneous material by cutting with a harder material, i.e., turning produces cylindrical shapes; milling produces non-cylindrical shapes necessary for controlling cooling air and for the attachment of the disks to other parts; broaching creates high precision slots on the periphery of the disks for the attachment of airfoils; boring creates holes for the disks' attachment to other rotating parts; and gear-shaping produces simple precision slots for fixing the rotary alignment of one part to that of another. Other than these finishing processes, no other primary processing occurs, i.e., no additional forging occurs in the Southington plant.


Whether the engine disk forgings are classified as unfinished aircraft engine disks pursuant to GRI 2(a), HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in part, that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...." GRI 2(a), HTSUS, states that:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as presented, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article....

The subheading at issue is as follows:

8411.91.90 Turbojets, turbopropellers and other gas turbines, and parts thereof...Parts...Of turbojets or turbopropellers...Other....

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 84.11 (pg. 115), states that:

Subject to the general provisions regarding the classification of parts (see the General Explanatory Note to Section XVI), parts of the engines and motors of this heading are also classified here (e.g., gas turbine rotors, combustion chambers and vents for jet engines, parts of turbo-jet engines (stator rings, with or without blades, rotor discs or wheels, with or without fins, blades and fins), fuel feed regulators, fuel nozzles) (emphasis in original).

Engine disks are classifiable under subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS. If the engine disk forgings are determined to be incomplete or unfinished engine disks pursuant to GRI 2(a), HTSUS, they will be classified under subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS. Therefore, we must determine whether the engine disk forgings have the essential character of the complete or finished engine disks.

In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure, core or condition of the article. In addition, EN Rule 3(b) (pg. 4), provides further factors which help determine the essential character of goods. Factors such as bulk, quantity, weight or value, or the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods are to be utilized, though the importance of certain factors will vary between different kinds of goods.

Moreover, EN Rule 2(a)(Incomplete or unfinished articles)(pg. 2), states:

(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 "blanks".

Based on the information presented, we are of the opinion that the aircraft engine disk forgings have the essential character of the finished aircraft engine disks. The engine disk forgings specifications concerning chemical composition, shape and dimensions serve to distinguish the article as an engine disk. The submitted information indicates that the engine disk forgings which are delivered to Southington cannot be used for any purpose other than to manufacture engine disks. Additionally, the engine disk forgings have the approximate shape of the final engine disk. The only operations performed in Southington are final machining operations which involve precision machining and cleaning operations. The engine disk forgings qualify as blanks for tariff purposes and have the essential character of the finished aircraft engine disks. Pursuant to GRI 2(a), HTSUS, the engine disk forgings are classified as the finished aircraft engine disks under subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS, as other parts of turbojets or turbopropellers.


Pursuant to GRI 2(a), HTSUS, the aircraft engine disk forgings are classified under subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS, as other parts of turbojets or turbopropellers. The corresponding duty rate for articles of this subheading is 3.7 percent ad valorem.

Upon meeting all the applicable requirements, articles classified under subheading 8411.91.90, HTSUS, are eligible for duty-free treatment under the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft.


John Durant, Director

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