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NY 890976

October 15, 1993



TARIFF NO.: 8704.23.0000; 8705.90.0000

Mr. Paul Chinen
Diesel Leader Incorporated
13751 Lake City Way NE
Suite # 112
Seattle, WA 98125

RE: The tariff classification of a specialized off-road heavy duty truck from Australia

Dear Mr. Chinen:

In your letter dated September 28, 1993 you requested a tariff classification ruling. You have submitted a descriptive brochure.

Your company is interested in importing into the United States specialized trucks that are built for the mining industry. The trucks are called the Tiger Multipurpose Vehicle (TMV). These mine trucks will work and travel only on private properties and will not be licensed for the open road.

The TMV is designed to be a low profile, versatile, heavy duty, off-road vehicle. Beginning with a rigid box section chassis, the TMV has the necessary rough terrain, high speed, load carrying capability that is needed in this type of vehicle. The TMV is powered by a Caterpillar four-stroke- cycle turbocharged diesel engine with six cylinders in-line, and a Caterpillar five speed powershift transmission. Other features include heavy duty cast steel drive axle(s), a front steerable drive axle, outboard mounted planetary final drives, an independent oil-pneumatic suspension, a direct-inject fuel system with adjustment free fuel injection pumps and valves, a dry type air cleaner with primary and secondary elements, a high capacity shock proof radiator, and a direct-electric 24 volt starting system with 45-amp alternator and two 172 amp-hour 12 volt batteries. The operator's cabin features heavy duty construction, is sound insulated, air-conditioned, has a suspension drivers seat, and has full instrumentation and indicator lights.

The brochure shows a three axle model and a two axle model. The TMV is 3500 mm wide to the outside of the tires, and 3012 mm high (to the top of the cabin). The cab and chassis module as a unit with two axles weighs 84,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW), and with three axles weighs 124,500 pounds GVW. You plan to import the TMV in various configurations which would consist of the following:

1. Cab and chassis module only

2. Cab and chassis module with water tank (an attachment would be added to the cab and chassis module which is a large water tank for the spraying of the mine roads to control the dust).

3. Cab and chassis module with lube service attachment (an attachment would be added which is a lube service attachment that would consist of a tank shell with separate smaller tanks built inside to hold various lubricating oils, water and waste dump material. This unit would support the mining equipment working on the site).

In a telephone with this office on October 4, 1993 you explained that the cab and chassis module with water tank will be imported with the pump and spray nozzle. This vehicle is used to spray the mine roads with a liquid to control the dust.

As indicated by Congress, Customs will give considerable weight to the Explanatory Notes (EN) and the Compendium of Classification Opinions because they are the official interpretation of the HTS, but they shall not be treated as dispositive General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 54 Fed Reg 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Explanatory Note 87.04 states that heading 8704 covers motor vehicles for the transport of goods. The exemplars include ordinary lorries and vans; dropframe heavy-duty lorries with loading ramps; delivery trucks and vans of all kinds; tankers (whether or not fitted with pumps)..., etc. These are examples of vehicles that possess auxiliary equipment to permit loading and unloading of goods but which are nonetheless principally designed for transporting those goods from one place to another.

Explanatory Note 87.05 states that heading 8705 covers a range of motor vehicles, specially constructed or adapted, equipped with various devices that enable them to perform certain non-transport functions. The primary purpose of a vehicle of these heading is not the transport of persons or goods. These notes include within heading 8705 fire fighting vehicles and other motor pump vehicles with pumps usually driven by the vehicle's engine, as well as lorries used for cleansing streets, gutters, airfield runways, etc. to include sprinklers and sprinkle sweepers, among others.

In addition, Note 4, Chapter 87, Section XVII, HTS, states that motor chassis fitted with cabs fall in heading 8702 to 8704, and not in heading 8706. Within heading 8704, motor vehicles are classified according to their off-highway use, engine style, and their metric tonnage.

The cab and chassis module with lube service attachment is a motor vehicle principally designed to transport goods (oil, water and waste material).

The cab and chassis with water tank is imported with a pump and a spray nozzle. While the vehicle no doubt transports the liquids from place to place and even serves as a storage receptacle, it is clear these are not its primary purposes.

Based on your submitted material, the applicable subheading for the TMV cab and chassis module only, and the TMV cab and chassis module with lube service attachment will be 8704.23.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for motor vehicles for the transport of goods, other, with compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine (diesel or semi-diesel); GVW exceeding 20 metric tons. The rate of duty for this vehicle has been increased to 25 percent ad valorem under subheading 9903.87.00, HTS. This subheading provides for motor vehicles for the transportation of goods valued $1,000 or more (provided for in subheading ... 8704.23 ...).

The applicable subheading for the cab and chassis module with water tank will be 8705.90.0000, HTS, which provides for special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of goods. The rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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