United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 545721 - HQ 557445 > HQ 556292

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 556292

January 27, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:S 556292 DSN


TARIFF NO.: 9802.00.80

Mr. Philip Freeman
Cain Customs Brokers
421 Texano
P.O. Box 150
Hidalgo, Texas 78557

RE: Applicability of partial duty exemption to an overload lower assembly; 19 CFR 10.14; 19 CFR 10.16

Dear Mr. Freeman:

This is in response to your letter of September 26, 1991, on behalf of Furnas Electric Company, requesting a ruling on the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), to an overload lower assembly to be assembled in Mexico from U.S. and foreign-origin components and returned to the U.S. for completion. Overloads are used in a variety of electrical applications.


According to your submission, the overload lower assembly is assembled with U.S.-origin components and foreign origin screws. The assembly steps are as follows:

1. a part referred to as the lower body is placed in a fixture and a set screw is driven in;

2. a bracket and a control terminal are placed on the fixture and attached to the lower body with two screws;

3. two springs are inserted into the "back plate" by a hand tool that rotates the springs to lock them in the back plate;

4. a part referred to as an "actuator" is placed on the fixture, a level plate is placed on the actuator, a pin is inserted by hand through the actuator, and a clamp is placed over the pin so that the screw can secure the clamp;

5. a part referred to as a "guage clamp" is attached to the lower body by a screw;

6. the lower body is placed on another fixture while the spring is hooked on the lower body and on to a "toggle," holding the lower body and toggle together;

7. the level plate is attached to the lower body with a pin which is inserted by hand;

8. a wave washer is placed on the adjusting cover which is inserted into the lower body, the lower body is placed on another fixture, the backplate subassembly is placed on the lower body by hand, and the fixture is closed to hold the parts together so they can be secured by four screws;

9. the overload lower assembly is inspected and packed for shipment to the U.S.


Whether the overload lower assembly qualifies for the partial duty exemption available under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, when returned to the U.S.


Subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, provides a partial duty exemption for:

[a]rticles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating, and painting.

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under this tariff provision is subject to duty upon the full value of the imported assembled article, less the cost or value of such U.S. components, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Section 10.14(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.14(a), states in part that:

[t]he components must be in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication at the time of their exportation from the United States to qualify for the exemption. Components will not lose their entitlement to the exemption by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly either before, during, or after their assembly with other components.

Section 10.16(a) , Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides that the assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners.

The various operations performed in Mexico to create the overload lower assembly, which involves securely joining the components together by force fitting, inserting a rivet pin, screwing, and clamping are considered acceptable assembly operations pursuant to 19 CFR 10.16(a).


On the basis of the information presented, it is our opinion that the operations performed abroad to create the overload lower assembly are considered proper assembly operations. Therefore, the overload lower assemblies may enter under subheading 9802.00.80, HTSUS, with allowances in duty for the cost or value of the U.S.-origin components incorporated therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24. No allowance may be granted for the cost or value of the foreign- origin screws.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: