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HQ 954370


CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954370 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8419.89.50

Mr. Terrence L. McCracken
R.J. McCracken Custom House Brokers
5345 44th. St., S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-4001

RE: Hot Air Guns; Multi-Purpose Hand-Held Tool for Blowing Hot Air; Principal Purpose, Additional U.S. Rule 1, HTSUS

Dear Sir:

In a letter dated May 3, 1993, on behalf of Hill Machinery Company, you inquire as to the tariff classification of five (5) models of a Leister hot air blowing device from Switzerland. Our New York office has previously ruled on other similar models. NY 885949 and NY 885988, dated, respectively, May 28 and June 26, 1993.


The electric hot air tools in issue are designated the Forte S3, Hotwind S, Vulcan S, Labor S and Ghibli. These are all motor operated and incorporate a fan that blows air over an electric element. They are advertized for plastic shrink wrapping, de- icing and loosening adhesives, among other drying and heating applications, and for sterilizing. They are also advertized for use in welding and soldering applications, and for fuel igniting.

While the devices in general are hand-held, some can be mounted on a stand and the Vulcan S is machine mounted. They operate at temperatures as low as 20 degrees C to a high of 800 degrees C, with the average range being 450 to 600 degrees C. Each can accommodate a variety of nozzles and the user controls the temperature by adjusting the distance from the workpiece. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8419.89.50 Machinery, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking... sterilizing...drying, evaporating, vaporizing, condensing or cooling:
Other...4.2 percent ad valorem

8468.80.10 Machinery and apparatus for soldering brazing or welding: Other machinery and apparatus: Hand-directed or-controlled 5.7 percent ad valorem


Whether the hot air tools in issue have a principal use.


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.

In accordance with U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUS, a tariff classification controlled by use is to be determined in accordance with use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use. Principal use is that use which exceeds any other single use of the goods.

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.

Heading 8468 encompasses, among other things, machinery and apparatus for soldering, brazing or welding. Owing to the multiple uses which the literature attributes to these hot air - 3 -
guns, among which are soldering and welding, we are unable to establish a principal use in soldering or welding applications.

Heading 8419 encompasses machinery, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterilizing, drying or cooling, among other processes, other than machinery of a kind used for domestic purposes. Relevant ENs indicate at p. 1173, that with certain exceptions not relevant here, the heading covers machinery designed to submit solid, liquid or gaseous materials to a heating or cooling process in order to cause a simple change of temperature, or to cause a transformation of the materials resulting principally from the temperature change. The notes state that the heading excludes machinery in which the heating or cooling, even if essential, is merely a secondary function designed to facilitate the main mechanical function of the machine.

In our opinion, the five (5) hot air gun models in issue are within the scope of heading 8419.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Leister models Forte S3, Vulcan S, Hotwind S, Labor S and Ghibli are provided for in heading 8419. Actual classification is in subheading 8419.89.50, HTSUS, as other machinery for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature. The rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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